Date of Award
College of Liberal Arts
Type of Degree
Today autobiography and memoir hold great interest for the average reader as well as the literary scholar. Some argue this form has replaced the novel as the dominant modern/postmodern narrative expression. Its study crosses departmental boundaries, surfacing in disciplines such as psychology, as well as English/literature. This thesis focuses on the autobiographies of two Euro-American actresses of the early twentieth century. Intersecting the study of film, narrative, autobiography (“female” or feminist, as well as canonical or “male”) and modernism, it focuses on text and subtext, analyzing reasons for both the works’ and actress/authors’ cultural marginalization. In art as well as life, Frances Farmer and Louise Brooks offer aspects of both the “masculine” and “feminine”—whether speaking of narrative structure or assigned gender roles in a given culture. Ultimately, however, canonical “male” aspects of the autobiographical genre present themselves in their works as filtered through a more “female”-centered lens.
Anderson, Karen M., "Billing below Title : The Contested Autobiographies of Frances Farmer and Louise Brooks" (2003). Theses, Dissertations and Capstones. 16.