Dr. Rosanne Welch Interviewed by the Journal of American Popular Culture – Fall 2021

What a lovely Christmas gift.

I was more than honored a couple of months ago when Leslie Kreiner Wilson (Associate Professor of Creative Writing & Film at Pepperdine University) asked to interview me for the special segment of the Journal of American Popular Culture called “Conversations with Scholars of American Popular Culture.

It was published this week in the Fall 2021 issue. 

Leslie and I found we share such similar interests in the ways women and their work is recorded in history that we could have stayed on the phone for hours – as it is we traversed topics ranging from how we both teach Anita Loos and other female screenwriters of Early Hollywood; how I found feminist messages in The Monkees thanks to the writing of Treva Silverman; how working on encyclopedias allowed me to curate which women were remembered; how Wally Funk, who learned to fly in the aviation program as a student at Stephens College became one of the Mercury 13 and finally made it into space on a SpaceX flight last year. 

It all boiled down to the fact that we both have dedicated our careers to writing about powerful women.  It’s nice to find kindred spirits in academia (all nods to author Lucy Maude Montgomery for teaching me the phrase ‘kindred spirits” when I read Anne of Green Gables – another story about an empowered young woman that deserves more attention).

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Dr. Rosanne Welch Interviewed by the Journal of American Popular Culture - Fall 2021Dr. Rosanne Welch Interviewed by the Journal of American Popular Culture - Fall 2021

Featured Guest:
Rosanne Welch

Rosanne Welch is the Executive Director of the MFA in TV and Screenwriting Program at Stephens College where she teaches the History of Screenwriting as well as Writing the One-Hour Drama. She has written for such television shows as Beverly Hills 90210, Picket Fences, Touched by an Angel, ABC/Nightline – as well as publishing novels.

Her critical studies books include Why the Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television, and American Pop Culture (McFarland, 2016) and The Civil War on Film (with Peg A. Lamphier, ABC-CLIO, 2020). In addition to publishing many chapters and journal articles, she has written or edited several essay collections and encyclopedias such as Encyclopedia of Women in Aviation and Space (ABC-CLIO, 1998); Women in American History (with Peg A. Lamphier, ABC-CLIO, 2017); When Women Wrote Hollywood (McFarland, 2018); and Technical Innovation in American History (with Peg A. Lamphier, ABC-CLIO, 2019).

Dr. Welch sits on the Editorial Board for the Writers Guild Written By magazine and the California History Journal. She also serves as the Book Reviews editor for the Journal of Screenwriting where last year she co-edited (with Rose Ferrell) a Special Issue on Women in Screenwriting (11.3). Dr. Welch holds a Ph.D. in twentieth century American history with a focus on film from Claremont Graduate University.

We talked to her about her teaching, research, and writing, which consistently empowers women.


When you were writing Touched by an Angel, were you conscious of writing a strong female-centered show? Was that discussed in the writers’ room?

Oh yes, I always felt the show was really Cagney & Lacey without guns. I’m Sicilian-American, so I’m loud and assertive. People thought I would write for Roma Downey’s sweet, quiet character, but soon realized my personality was better suited for Della Reese. I wrote her dialogue.

The series was about two women trying to change people’s lives for the better. When they resisted the change, God was mentioned, and then they changed. We were empowering women to empower others.

What attracted you to directing the MFA program at Stephens College and teaching the History of Screenwriting?

The history of film is usually taught as the history of directors, which is the history of great white men. Why don’t we equally teach women and men’s contribution to the industry? I want students to know how important women were and are to the movies and television. Stephens is a woman’s college, but the graduate program is co-ed, so we get a lot of cool feminist guys who want to know the full truth, too.

I want them to know about Anita Loos and Gentleman Prefer Blondes – haven’t we heard enough about F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Great Gatsby? I teach the fact that Nora Ephron got an Oscar nomination [with Alice Arlen] for a serious drama they never heard of – Silkwood. They only know her for her funny stuff. When I teach Rocky, I want them to learn about Norma Rae, written by a woman – Harriet Frank Jr. and her husband, Irving Ravetch. How can they not know about Norma Rae? How can they not know all the unrecognized contributions of women in this industry?

I liked how Fosse/Verdon showed how important Gwen was to his career. Most of my students never even heard of Gwen Verdon. I made them watch the show. You know, her daughter was a producer. I think that’s why it was so good. She was saying, “Now mom gets her due.”

I teach the women in the beginning of film, then I do the men, Trumbo, all that, then I return to the women screenwriters emerging in the late seventies and early eighties. But they need to know Lucille Kallen and Selma Diamond, the only women in Sid Caesar’s famous writers’ room for Your Show of Shows in the 1950s. And writers like Suzanne De Passe – she co-wrote Lady Sings the Blues in the 1970s and was nominated for an Oscar, but is rarely included in most film history courses.

Your first book was Why the Monkees Matter. It might surprise readers to know you have a chapter on feminism, gender, and sexuality in relation to the show.

The Monkees was my favorite show when I was a kid. I went back and re-watched all the episodes as a pop culture-cultural studies professor and realized there were a lot of feminist messages that I hadn’t caught when I was little.

I focus on Treva Silverman who was a prominent television writer in the sixties and seventies with The Mary Tyler Moore Show, That Girl, The Monkees, He & She, and Room 222. She won two Emmys in 1974. Most people don’t know there was a woman in the writers’ room. A woman in the room makes a huge difference.

For example, every single girl who dated one of the main characters on the show had a job. Not one was a bubble head or waiting to get married, so someone else could take care of her. They had jobs – in record stores, television studios, reporting the news. That was an interesting message to send in 1966. Every time we met a girl, she was defined by her job first.

In the first episode that aired, Princess Bettina of Harmonica turns down the cute boy because she has “responsibilities for the welfare of [her] people.” They even flip the trope in the episode of the girl getting kidnapped and the boys having to save her. Here, The Monkees get kidnapped, and Princess Bettina has to save them. When they meet the Julie Newmar character in another episode, she’s working on a Ph.D., and they learn “the fastest way to a woman’s heart is through her mind.”

At the end of the book, I make the point that if you were to girl in 1966, you learned that if you wanted to date a Monkee you should be a woman of value. That was an interesting feminist thought – that you should think about your purpose in the world and be led by it.

You have published several encyclopedias. What is it about that form that excites you?

Choice. I get to choose who is included. When ABC-CLIO put me on Technical Innovation in American History, there were no women. They also didn’t included innovations that have made women’s lives easier such as dishwashers and vacuum cleaners. Having a say in who or what is included makes a difference in how we teach and understand history. We, as women writers, have the ability to be our own gatekeepers.

For Women in American History, I was able to include people like Cyndi Lauper who others might dismiss as a silly pop star, but she was the first woman in history to win a Tony for writing the lyrics and music without a male partner. Her Broadway musical Kinky Boots got thirteen nominations. I like having a say in who’s going to be remembered and why.

You collected essays written by your students for When Women Write the Movies and the publisher asked you to write a chapter as well. You did. Tell us why you chose to focus on Ruth Gordon.

A lot of people attribute the feminism of the Spencer-Tracey films to Katherine Hepburn, but I contend that Ruth Gordon deserves the credit. She co-wrote those films with her husband Garson Kanin who was a cool guy, and they were Oscar-nominated for Pat and Mike and Adam’s Rib.

George Cukor gets the credit for the film because he directed it. However, Ruth’s voice comes through in the feminist message of Hepburn’s character. Gordon essentially invented the popular culture image as a feminist that Hepburn enjoyed – more from the power of the characters Ruth wrote than the events of Hepburn’s actual life.

Gordon is more famous as an actress – she won an Oscar for Rosemary’s Baby and starred in Harold and Maude, which has become a cult classic – but she was an accomplished writer and hard worker – working and writing plays and films all the way until her death.

In 2020, you published The Civil War on Film with Peg A. Lamphier. What was the most interesting thing you learned in writing and researching the book?

Right up front, we asked the publishers to make sure there was a female in the photo chosen for the front cover, and they listened. Sally Field as Mrs. Lincoln appears on the cover along with Daniel Day Lewis. Yes! Usually, Civil War studies only feature the men – and usually men in uniform glorying war which was not the message of our book at all.

You know, Glory is the film that historians and scholars point to as the best, most accurate Civil War movie ever made, so I was surprised that they didn’t include the fact that Harriet Tubman was a spy at that point and could have been included in that story – a young woman running around doing things – not the old lady in the rocker – the one image we have of her.

Written by boys. Produced by boys. Reminds us why it’s important to have a woman in the room. I’m writing a chapter right now about the women who created A Star Is Born. When Dorothy Parker wrote it – and Joan Didion remade it for Barbara Streisand – I could see the female gaze, but the last version by Bradley Cooper, Will Fetters, and Eric Roth focused on the man’s point of view. It didn’t work creatively. Frankly, it became more like A Star Is Dying.

What’s the most interesting story from your first encyclopedia Women and Aviation in Space?

The Powder Puff Derbies are interesting – women flying in races all across the country from Cleveland to Los Angeles. You know, they said Amelia Earhart was not the best flyer – others were better than she was, but she had a publicist for a husband.

Women were tested as Mercury 13 astronauts, and they did very well – better than the men in some cases – but the program was quickly cancelled.

But the most interesting story is the WASPS. Over a thousand women were flying in World War II – the Women Airforce Service Pilots – civilian volunteers flying all the military planes. They delivered the new ones to bases, worked as test pilots, hoped to join the military, but that program was cancelled after two years.

It would be many years before women got their due. One of the original Mercury pilots Wally Funk just went up in the Blue Origin launch at the age of 82. She said she can’t wait to go up again. Happily enough, she learned aviation as a student at Stephens College in the run up to World War II.

I have so much respect for these women because they love one thing so much they don’t want to do anything else. It’s passion. I feel that as a writer. I must write. It’s my passion.

What’s next? What are you writing now?

I’m editing the ABC-CLIO Women Making History Series, a set of biographies with primary documents (so we can let these women speak for themselves). We’re working on Ida B. Wells, Sally Ride, Delores Huerta, and Wilma Mankiller now. We’ve recently published books on Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Hillary Clinton, Gloria Steinem, and Helen Keller.

I’m also writing a chapter for Palgrave – “Women Screenwriters in Early Silent Film” and one for Bloomsbury on A Star is Born. The next book I’m finishing is similar to the Civil War one – this one on Women’s History on Film – a collection of films about moments in women’s history.

And in a completely other vein, though still connected to celebrating empowered women, I just published a chapter in Doctor Who New Dawn: Essays on the Jodie Whittaker Era which details the work of screenwriter/showrunner Christopher Chibnall in creating the first female incarnation of this fifty year old sci-fi icon.

So you enjoy writing about powerful women.

Clearly, women who make things happen fascinate me. In fact, last year I published a novel about Giuseppe Garibaldi, the man who united Italy in 1860, and in the research I discovered his Brazillian-born wife, Anita, joined his band of soldiers and fought side by side for that dream. I enjoyed bringing her story to the forefront of his oft-told (at least in Italy) tale.

Interestingly enough, Anita Garibaldi brought me back to American History when she crossed paths with journalist and Transcendentalist Margaret Fuller, who was the first correspondent sent to Italy to cover the fight for unification. The two women worked together as nurses for fallen soldiers. Imagine what they talked about as they created their cross-cultural friendship.

So even when writing about an international couple, I found my way back to an icon of American popular culture.

Fall 2021
Leslie Kreiner Wilson, Interviewer and Editor

17 More On Joan Didion…from “Female Creatives & A Star Is Born” [Video]

17 More On  Joan Didion...from

Transcript:

So she brings a journalistic background to this. She brings feminism to this in a way that maybe it didn’t appear as much in that this is Barbra Streisand not only is she acting in this piece, she’s producing it right? She’s the first woman producer on this movie. So she has final say and one of the things she makes sure happens is when they get married she does the proposing to her John Norman Maine. When they have their ceremony there’s a whole little piece of dialogue where she says oh skip that obey part. Obey doesn’t happen. She has a female minister marrying them and Kris is in a white tux. Men usually wear black to their weddings but if the girl has to wear white and pretend to be a virgin why shouldn’t a boy right? So there’s something visual here right that a woman has planned this scene and one of the changes will bring to this Esther is that she’s going to hyphenate her last name. She will be Esther Hoffman-Howard and that will be how she announces herself at the end. So we’re getting some movement of the feminist world coming into this through Joan and John himself also a feminist because he’s married to a woman who is equally comfortable. Now they’re bringing a marriage to it right but their marriage is happy all their life. They didn’t have issues over whose novel made more money last year.

Watch this entire presentation

Connections at conferences matter! Through the most recent SCMS, I met Vicki Callahan, whose film history focus right now is on Mabel Normand. When she learned I could put together a lecture on the importance of the female voice in the A Star is Born franchise she asked me to give that lecture to her master students.

It made for a great opportunity for me to hone the ideas I’m working on for a chapter on that franchise that I’m writing for a new book from Bloomsbury: The Bloomsbury Handbook Of International Screenplay Theory. It’s always nice when one piece of research can be purposed in other ways – and it’s always fun revisiting such a female-centric film franchise – one that drew the talents of such powerful performers as Janet Gaynor, Judy Garland, Barbara Streisand, and Lady Gaga.

Find out why in this lecture!

RMW Rosanne Signature for Web



Screenwriter Eve Unsell, Hitchcock’s Mentor Who Saved Universal’s European Operation — Dr. Rosanne Welch, Script magazine, December 2021

Screenwriter Eve Unsell, Hitchcock’s Mentor Who Saved Universal’s European Operation -- Dr. Rosanne Welch, Script magazine, December 2021

 

Born in Chicago in 1888 (or thereabouts, different sites report different dates), writer-producer Eve Unsell grew up in Caldwell, Kansas. After earning her undergraduate degree and working as a journalist for the Kansas City Post, she attended graduate school at Boston’s Emerson College for a year. There she studied drama and literature before heading to New York. After reading one of her short stories, theatrical agent Beatrice deMille (mother of Cecil and William) hired to work as what was then called a play reader and constructionist. During her career, Unsell accumulated nearly 100 credits as a screenwriter while writing for notable stars including Mary Pickford, Lon Chaney, Clara Bow, Baby Peggy and Jack Benny.

Read Screenwriter Eve Unsell, Hitchcock’s Mentor Who Saved Universal’s European Operation


Read about more women from early Hollywood


16 Joan Didion…from “Female Creatives & A Star Is Born” [Video]

16 Joan Didion...from

Transcript:

We bring in Joan and John. So in this third version, we’re going to have another female writer with her imprint on this movie. She’s going to change a few things. She is a journalist. She’s worked in New York. She’s worked out of Sacramento. She’s covered the hippie generation. She particularly wrote this lovely piece — a book called The White Album where she looked at the culture of her day and she studied The Doors. She was fascinated by The Doors and their popularity and the way that Jim Morrison just blew up in American culture right? She in fact called them the missionaries of apocalyptic sex right? Look at this beautiful picture of this young man right? Sadly he’s going to be one of the guys who dies young right. He’s going to join the Jimi Hendrix and you know that whole team of people that we’ve lost too young in life but now Joan is writing this new version and she’s going to make the new people rock and roll stars. So we’re going to move out of acting — move out of musical theater — we’re going to move into the rock world. So right away she’s patterning things on Jim Morrison. Look at this picture of Kris Kristofferson. This is Kris Kristofferson young. This is Jim Morrison. Look how close they are. You could almost mix them up right? So Joan immediately is having this vision of who is this new Norman Maine and because Norman is not such a cool name in the 70s, he’s John Norman Maine, right? So we’re going to make a little change.

Watch this entire presentation

Connections at conferences matter! Through the most recent SCMS, I met Vicki Callahan, whose film history focus right now is on Mabel Normand. When she learned I could put together a lecture on the importance of the female voice in the A Star is Born franchise she asked me to give that lecture to her master students.

It made for a great opportunity for me to hone the ideas I’m working on for a chapter on that franchise that I’m writing for a new book from Bloomsbury: The Bloomsbury Handbook Of International Screenplay Theory. It’s always nice when one piece of research can be purposed in other ways – and it’s always fun revisiting such a female-centric film franchise – one that drew the talents of such powerful performers as Janet Gaynor, Judy Garland, Barbara Streisand, and Lady Gaga.

Find out why in this lecture!

RMW Rosanne Signature for Web



15 1976…from “Female Creatives & A Star Is Born” [Video]

15 1976...from

Transcript:

1976 comes along and this is Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson. So 54 or jump into 76. It’s kind of like once every generation there’s an interest and a need for this movie. Partially because female creatives, whether they be writers or actresses, see this as a great piece to work from and a great way to reflect on their moment in culture right? So this is a big fancy deal. Look at these great photographs. Let me tell you, this is going to be written by Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunn. They are a married couple who write their own novels as you see here and work out of New York. They get hired to do this and Joan is going to have her own imprint on it. We’re going to see that in a second. I also want to highlight the fact that John Gregory Dunn wrote this marvelous book if you’ve never read it called Monster: Living Life Off the Big Screen. It’s about the writing of this film Up Close and Personal, which was meant to be the story of Jessica Savitch, an anchorwoman who died when she was high on cocaine and drove her car into a lake and drown and by the time they were done it had nothing to do with her at all and so this tells you the eight-year struggle to get the movie made out of the Disney company. It’s a really a good inside look at how writers and producers work with studios.

Watch this entire presentation

Connections at conferences matter! Through the most recent SCMS, I met Vicki Callahan, whose film history focus right now is on Mabel Normand. When she learned I could put together a lecture on the importance of the female voice in the A Star is Born franchise she asked me to give that lecture to her master students.

It made for a great opportunity for me to hone the ideas I’m working on for a chapter on that franchise that I’m writing for a new book from Bloomsbury: The Bloomsbury Handbook Of International Screenplay Theory. It’s always nice when one piece of research can be purposed in other ways – and it’s always fun revisiting such a female-centric film franchise – one that drew the talents of such powerful performers as Janet Gaynor, Judy Garland, Barbara Streisand, and Lady Gaga.

Find out why in this lecture!

RMW Rosanne Signature for Web



20 What Might Have Been? from Concord Days: Margaret Fuller in Italy [Video]

In researching and writing my book on Giuseppe and Anita Garibaldi and the unification of Italy (A Man Of Action Saving Liberty: A Novel Based On The Life Of Giuseppe Garibaldi)  I re-discovered the first American female war correspondent – Margaret Fuller — who I had first met in a college course on the Transcendentalists. I was once again fascinated by a life lived purposefully.

Then I found Tammy Rose’s podcast on the Transcendentalists – Concord Days – and was delighted when she asked me to guest for a discussion of Fuller’s work in Italy as both a journalist – and a nurse. — Rosanne

20 What Might Have Been? from Concord Days: Margaret Fuller in Italy [Video]

Watch this entire presentation

Concord Days sends love to Margaret Fuller on the anniversary of her death in 1850.

The conversation focuses on Margaret’s exciting days in ITALY!

Dr. Rosanne Welch takes us through her adventures and enthusiastically reminds us what she was like when she was living her best life!

Transcript:

Tammy: Exactly because I think she was coming back to participate in a lot of the early feminist or like women’s like Suffrage movements and she was scheduled to speak at — what is it — Seneca Falls maybe.

Rosanne: Seneca Falls because again Lydia Marie Child who she knew in her childhood right becomes a big leader of that. One of the founders of that event and of course she’d want Margaret Fuller. I mean, my god she’s world-known. She’s world-traveled. She’s the perfect example of what women can accomplish if they are not given the rules and requirements that society was forcing on them. Exactly what Seneca Falls was meant to counteract.

14 What Changed?…from “Female Creatives & A Star Is Born” [Video]

14 What Changed?...from

Transcript:

So let’s look at what changed. First, we’ve got to move her into it being a musical star because this is Judy Garland. She’s going to have to sing musical numbers in this particular remake. We’re still going to have our drunken actor and they’re going to marry and he’s going to be jealous. This is something that remains the same all the way until we get to Bradley Cooper and we’ll talk about why that changes. We’re going to have our Academy Award moment because musicals were things that earned Academy Awards back in the day of course. He’s going to commit suicide off-screen. He’s going to walk off into the ocean as the noble man that he is and she too will introduce herself as Mrs. Norman Maine. So these things remain exactly the same. When the Writer’s Guild arbitrates a script to decide who should get final credit, they look at all versions of a script. They have a blind group of writers who sign up to do this and they get the scripts –writer one, writer two, writer three. You don’t get any names and then you decide statistically how much of a percentage of this person’s original work made it to the end and that’s how they decide credit. So I am looking at this as if I’m arbitrating the various versions of this script to see how much credit Dorothy Parker still deserves. In this case, I think a lot right? They’re borrowing a lot of what she did.

Watch this entire presentation

Connections at conferences matter! Through the most recent SCMS, I met Vicki Callahan, whose film history focus right now is on Mabel Normand. When she learned I could put together a lecture on the importance of the female voice in the A Star is Born franchise she asked me to give that lecture to her master students.

It made for a great opportunity for me to hone the ideas I’m working on for a chapter on that franchise that I’m writing for a new book from Bloomsbury: The Bloomsbury Handbook Of International Screenplay Theory. It’s always nice when one piece of research can be purposed in other ways – and it’s always fun revisiting such a female-centric film franchise – one that drew the talents of such powerful performers as Janet Gaynor, Judy Garland, Barbara Streisand, and Lady Gaga.

Find out why in this lecture!

RMW Rosanne Signature for Web



19 What Have We Learned? from Concord Days: Margaret Fuller in Italy [Video]

In researching and writing my book on Giuseppe and Anita Garibaldi and the unification of Italy (A Man Of Action Saving Liberty: A Novel Based On The Life Of Giuseppe Garibaldi)  I re-discovered the first American female war correspondent – Margaret Fuller — who I had first met in a college course on the Transcendentalists. I was once again fascinated by a life lived purposefully.

Then I found Tammy Rose’s podcast on the Transcendentalists – Concord Days – and was delighted when she asked me to guest for a discussion of Fuller’s work in Italy as both a journalist – and a nurse. — Rosanne

19 What Have We Learned? from Concord Days: Margaret Fuller in Italy [Video]

Watch this entire presentation

Concord Days sends love to Margaret Fuller on the anniversary of her death in 1850.

The conversation focuses on Margaret’s exciting days in ITALY!

Dr. Rosanne Welch takes us through her adventures and enthusiastically reminds us what she was like when she was living her best life!

Transcript:

Tammy: You try to figure out so what have we learned from a woman who sort of goes beyond her station in life and accomplishes all these amazing things. Is it that she does get punished in the end or is it something, like I would love to have the idea of like her spirit, is just interrupted and shifted to a different plane or something because I think

Rosanne: That’s such a non-American way to think but it is the best yeah because I hate the other one you’re right. The other one’s terrible because it does like oh look you did everything against the rules and you paid for it which is not a message we want to share but the idea that maybe you achieved. It’s a little Jonathan Livingston Seagull. You’ve achieved the peak and now you move on to that next plane that we we don’t know. So we can’t understand.

13 1954 Credits…from “Female Creatives & A Star Is Born” [Video]

13 1954 Credits...from

Transcript:

Where, first of all, let’s look at these credits. One of the things I want to make point of so here’s Moss Hart. He takes full credit for the screenplay but it is based on the one that Dorothy did with Alan and Robert right? So this is how our credits read properly. What’s interesting about this is he says when he’s asked during his rewrites about some things he did not change at all and he didn’t for this very reason. He felt they were perfect the way they were. They were perfect the way she wrote them. He could not top those lines. So the 1954 version is still an echo and a mimic of Dorothy Parker in my opinion based on Moss Hart’s confession. If you want to put it that way and Moss Hart if you’ve never read Act One, this is his autobiography of growing up poor in New York, working in some summer camps that are very much like dirty dancing summer camp, and eventually making it on Broadway. It’s quite a good book if you’re interested in that period. Of course, the joke is how much of it is true and how much did he elaborate on. We will never really know. There is then obviously a real biography of him if you are interested but here’s the man who’s rewriting this version of A Star Is Born, so I will say though it is written solely by a man, it is a man relying on and reusing the words of a woman’s. The female imprint is still highly there in this version.

Watch this entire presentation

Connections at conferences matter! Through the most recent SCMS, I met Vicki Callahan, whose film history focus right now is on Mabel Normand. When she learned I could put together a lecture on the importance of the female voice in the A Star is Born franchise she asked me to give that lecture to her master students.

It made for a great opportunity for me to hone the ideas I’m working on for a chapter on that franchise that I’m writing for a new book from Bloomsbury: The Bloomsbury Handbook Of International Screenplay Theory. It’s always nice when one piece of research can be purposed in other ways – and it’s always fun revisiting such a female-centric film franchise – one that drew the talents of such powerful performers as Janet Gaynor, Judy Garland, Barbara Streisand, and Lady Gaga.

Find out why in this lecture!

RMW Rosanne Signature for Web



18 Tragedy from Concord Days: Margaret Fuller in Italy [Video]

In researching and writing my book on Giuseppe and Anita Garibaldi and the unification of Italy (A Man Of Action Saving Liberty: A Novel Based On The Life Of Giuseppe Garibaldi)  I re-discovered the first American female war correspondent – Margaret Fuller — who I had first met in a college course on the Transcendentalists. I was once again fascinated by a life lived purposefully.

Then I found Tammy Rose’s podcast on the Transcendentalists – Concord Days – and was delighted when she asked me to guest for a discussion of Fuller’s work in Italy as both a journalist – and a nurse. — Rosanne

18 Tragedy from Concord Days: Margaret Fuller in Italy [Video]

Watch this entire presentation

Concord Days sends love to Margaret Fuller on the anniversary of her death in 1850.

The conversation focuses on Margaret’s exciting days in ITALY!

Dr. Rosanne Welch takes us through her adventures and enthusiastically reminds us what she was like when she was living her best life!

Transcript:

Tammy: I can just imagine Margaret saying, I don’t want to be defined by this shipwreck.

Rosanne: Yes you don’t and yet it does and doesn’t. She still has all these other things going for her but we are — as humans — as Americans– that voyeuristic tragedy. That’s why we’re still talking about the Titanic. Really. I mean and how many movies do we need about that. It’s very difficult and yet a tragedy is a a narrative that we’re used to right? We do Romeo and Juliet a million times. There’s a reason for tragedies to exist but I don’t know because I guess in Romeo and Juliet we learned the lesson that the parents being so separate caused this — that we could stop the hatred. It’s the same in West Side it’s a whole West Side Story. Stop the hatred because this is what it leads to. There’s a message. There is no message to her loss. We’ve learned nothing from that and I think that’s why it’s harder because I’ve tried to do I would love to do a Margaret Fuller movie but that part of it is just too sad for people to want to take on.