Exploring the Enigma of Female Spectatorship in Silent Cinema

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Kalinak, Kathryn

Document Type



Four images in the public domain have been used in this thesis.




Explores the concept of spectatorship in relation to gender in the earliest period of film history in the United States known as the silent era. Argues that a new mode of spectatorship emerges for women during the 1920s, which employs to advantage the extra-diegetic components of spectacle in theater design, new customized genres for female filmgoers, fandom, and exotic male film stars, such as Rudolph Valentino. Focuses primarily on feminist film theory and on cultural studies as methodological models.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Dubois MA Thesis Approval Sheet.pdf (6579 kB)
Signed thesis approval sheet