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Gaylyn Studlar


Gaylyn Studlar is an associate professor in the film studies program at Emory University.

Ph.D. (Cinema), University of Southern California, 1984 Prof. Studlar's scholarship is well known in the area of feminist film theory, but she has wide ranging interests in how gender and sexuality are represented in film, especially American genre film. Gaylyn Studlar was recently named the Rudolf Arnheim Collegiate Professor of Film Studies, making her one of eight faculty members in the College of LS&A to be appointed to endowed or titled professorships in 2000.

Publications: Visions of the East: Orientalism in Film (Rutgers UP, 1997); This Mad Masquerade: Stardom and Masculinity in the Jazz Age (Columbia UP, 1996); Reflections in a Male Eye: John Huston and the American Experience (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1993); In the Realm of Pleasure: Von Sternberg, Dietrich, and the Masochistic Aesthetic (University of Illinois Press, 1988); numerous articles in anthologies and journals, including "Silent Film", ed. by Richard Abel; "Movies and Methods II", ed. by Bill Nichols; "Film Theory and Criticism", ed. by Mast, Cohen, and Braudy; "Bodies of the Text: Dance as Theory"; "Literature as Dance"; "Fields of Vision: Essays in Film Studies"; "Visual Anthropology"; and "Photography, Fabrications, From Hanoi to Hollywood", and others. Her co-edited volume, JOHN FORD MADE WESTERNS, will be published by Indiana University Press in January 2001.

Masochism and the Perverse Pleasures of the Cinema

In: Quarterly Review of Film and Video, Vol. 9, No. 4, 1984, pp. 267-282
Notes: Also published in "Movies and Methods" (ed. Bill Nichols), University of California Press, 1985, pp. 602-621.


  1. In the Realm of Pleasure: Von Sternberg, Dietrich, and the Masochistic Aesthetic - Gaylyn Studlar [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    In a major revision of feminist-psychoanalytic theories of film pleasure and sexual difference, Studlar's close textual analysis of the six Paramount films directed by Josef von Sternberg and starring Marlene Dietrich probes the source of their visual and psychological complexity. Borrowing from Gilles Deleuze's psychoanalytic-literary approach, Studlar shows how masochism extends beyond the clinical realm, into the arena of artistic form, language, and production of pleasure. The author's examination of the von Sternberg/Dietrich collaborations shows how these films, with the mother figure embodied in the alluring yet androgynous Dietrich, offer a key for understanding film's "masochistic aesthetic." Studlar argues that masochism's broader significance to film study lies in the similarities between the structures of perversion and those of the cinematic apparatus, as a dream screen reviving archaic visual pleasures for both male and female spectators.

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