22 Preserving Women’s Film History from What Is a Western? Interview Series: When Women Wrote Westerns from the Autry Museum of the American West [Video]

22 Preserving Women's Film History from What Is a Western? Interview Series: When Women Wrote Westerns from the Autry Museum of the American West [Video]


Host: So are there some ways that we as – like the work you’ve been doing with your research – that in terms of revising those kind of incomplete histories of the film industry. What steps can we take to actually repair that and have a more accurate Narrative of the past?

Rosanne: Oh wow. Well, of course, hire more women writers. Step one to get more of those stories that – hire more underrepresented voices to tell us the stories we haven’t heard before and once we’ve done that, we have to preserve this material. One of the issues again with why we don’t remember these women is when we started preserving films and doing the Library of Congress and the 100 Years of – all of that stuff – people kind of push the that wasn’t important. It was Charlie Chaplin and these other people and we preserved all their material. We didn’t really think about that when it comes to stuff done by women.


The Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting is building a relationship with the Autry Museum of the American West since both organizations are devoted to bringing out more diverse and untold stories.  Last year we were able to take our cohort of graduating MFA candidates to the museum’s theatre for a showing of Michael Wilson’s Salt of the Earth and we had plans to present a film of our choice this year – but of course the pandemic changed all that.  Instead, Autry Curator Josh Garrett-Davis asked me if I would sit for an interview about female screenwriters in the western genre and so “When Women Wrote Westerns” came to be a part of their “What Is a Western? Interview Series”

I had a great time discussing so many wonderful women writers – from Jeanne MacPherson to D.C. Fontana to Edna Ferber to Emily Andras.  If you love westerns I suggest you watch Josh’s other interviews covering everything from the work of Native Americans in Western movies to films in the western-horror hybrid. — RMW Rosanne Signature for Web

What this entire presentation

As part of a series exploring the significance of the Western genre and the ways in which the movies shape our understanding of the American West, Autry Curator Josh Garrett-Davis interviews Professor Rosanne Welch about the women screenwriters of Hollywood and their contributions to the Western genre.

Find more information at the Autry Museum of the American West

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