05 The Missing Women Part 2 From Women in Early TV for the American Women Writers National Museum [Video]

05 The Missing Women Part 2 From Women in Early TV for the American Women Writers National Museum [Video]

Many thanks to Janice Law of the American Women Writers National Museum who invited me to give a short talk on The Women of Early TV.

I enjoyed sharing the names and careers of women like Peg Lynch, Gertrude Berg, Selma Diamond, and D.C. Fontana to the members who gathered on Zoom last Wednesday morning. There are so many more I could have talked about whose names don’t appear in mainstream books about the history of television so we have to learn who they are and carry those names forward ourselves.  It’s one of the missions of the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting – and has been one of my missions all my life.

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Transcript:

However, those two ladies were so important to the creation of Rose Marie — this character on the beloved Dick Van Dyke Show. This is one of the most important characters really in television history and many many female tv writers today will tell you that they knew this job was possible because they saw her do it on the fictional Dick Van Dyke Show and The Dick Van Dyke Show was a fictionalization of the staff writing for Sid Caesar right? Carl Reiner’s character is meant to be a personification of that. So these are the typical gentlemen who worked for him and she is a representation of Lucille and Selma Diamond sort of wrapped together. A woman who never got married right? Couldn’t find a guy. This is a very stereotypical vision of a career gal as they would say back in the day but she inspired many many women all the way up through Tina Fey and I think it’s always important to think about the power of television. One of my favorite stories has nothing to do with tv writers but to do with a Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who says she learned that she could be a lawyer someday by watching Perry Mason as a child. She learned that lawyers existed and that it was a job that required college and so she did well in school so that she could move forward and look she’s on the Supreme Court today. So television has a lot of power and the visuals women see on television are very very important to the ideas. You have to see it so that you can be it right? So Rose Marie stands for a lot of things — a representation of the women who truly did come before her and an inspiration to the women who came after.

Many thanks to Janice Law of the American Women Writers National Museum who invited me to give a short talk on The Women of Early TV.

I enjoyed sharing the names and careers of women like Peg Lynch, Gertrude Berg, Selma Diamond, and D.C. Fontana to the members who gathered on Zoom last Wednesday morning. There are so many more I could have talked about whose names don’t appear in mainstream books about the history of television so we have to learn who they are and carry those names forward ourselves. It’s one of the missions of the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting – and has been one of my missions all my life.

Watch this entire presentation

 

Women pioneers who created, produced, or shepherded many of America’s most wildly popular, early television programs will be profiled by Dr. Rosanne Welch.

Get your copy today!

23 Why Return to the US? 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

23 Why Return to the US?  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: So here’s a question that I’m never really sure. Were they were coming for a visit or were they coming to move permanently or was it sort of…

Rosanne: I believe the idea was they were going to move permanently because she could do more work there and she wanted to publish the book and it had to be published in the United States. So even if — yeah maybe not permanent the wrong way to say it — it was going to be a period of time so that piece could be done and the kind of — she knew that the United States needed to come and support what was happening in Italy as well. So I think it’s twofold. Her career is gonna move forward with this and he’s thinking he’s gonna help get the kind of support because Garibaldi lived in the states for a little bit too after one of his failures. So he knew that if you got people there on your side you would have the support you needed. So they had business reasons, as well as I’m sure she kind of wanted to show off her kid to her friends, because as you said earlier, that wasn’t part of her planned life story and when I was a kid I was never going to have kids because I thought that’s not something I want to do and then Ii changed my mind at 32 because a writer friend of mine actually said if you want to be a writer and you want all the experiences that a writer can have, you’re turning down an experience that only half the planet can have and it was it a conversation which again makes me think about Margaret talking to these women. What are the possibilities in your life and what have you told yourself you should or shouldn’t do based on what society will say about you and I did think having a kid would get in the way of having a career and then I realized no because you could do it your way and Margaret did right I think in that moment, in those periods in her life, she was really happy and I think that was you know the other reason she wanted to come back and show everybody, look I did it all.

05 The Missing Women From Women in Early TV for the American Women Writers National Museum [Video]

05 The Missing Women From Women in Early TV for the American Women Writers National Museum [Video]

Many thanks to Janice Law of the American Women Writers National Museum who invited me to give a short talk on The Women of Early TV.

I enjoyed sharing the names and careers of women like Peg Lynch, Gerturde Berg, Selma Diamond and D.C. Fontana to the members who gathered on Zoom last Wednesday morning. There are so many more I could have talked about whose names don’t appear in mainstream books about the history of television so we have to learn who they are and carry those names forward ourselves.  It’s one of the missions of the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting – and has been one of my missions all my life.

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Transcript:

…and here’s the problem. See all these men that we’re seeing in the pictures. All these men are who are remembered for writing for Sid Caesar. You’ve got Carl Reiner. You’ve got Woody Allen. You’ve got Larry Gelbart, who’s going to go on to do M*A*SH for us. These men are icons of comedy. When they came together to be recognized both Lucille and Selma had passed away. So when it was time to take this photograph, this is what people will remember about the writers of these classic iconic early comedies. They will not remember that women were on board for those things. The other sad thing to realize is this is still the visual of what a writing staff looks like on a late-night comedy show. When Stephen Colbert’s show won the Emmy a few years ago, there’s one female writer among the 13 male writers on that show. It is an issue that is still with us today in television. So we have to think about it, but sadly because this is such a great photograph, people will forget way down here it says not pictured the two ladies who didn’t happen to be able to be there that day.

Many thanks to Janice Law of the American Women Writers National Museum who invited me to give a short talk on The Women of Early TV.

I enjoyed sharing the names and careers of women like Peg Lynch, Gerturde Berg, Selma Diamond and D.C. Fontana to the members who gathered on Zoom last Wednesday morning. There are so many more I could have talked about whose names don’t appear in mainstream books about the history of television so we have to learn who they are and carry those names forward ourselves. It’s one of the missions of the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting – and has been one of my missions all my life.

Watch this entire presentation

 

Women pioneers who created, produced or shepherded many of America’s most wildly popular, early television programs will be profiled by Dr. Rosanne Welch.

Get your copy today!

04 Selma Diamond From Women in Early TV for the American Women Writers National Museum [Video]

04 Selma Diamond From Women in Early TV for the American Women Writers National Museum [Video]

Many thanks to Janice Law of the American Women Writers National Museum who invited me to give a short talk on The Women of Early TV.

I enjoyed sharing the names and careers of women like Peg Lynch, Gerturde Berg, Selma Diamond and D.C. Fontana to the members who gathered on Zoom last Wednesday morning. There are so many more I could have talked about whose names don’t appear in mainstream books about the history of television so we have to learn who they are and carry those names forward ourselves.  It’s one of the missions of the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting – and has been one of my missions all my life.

RMW Rosanne Signature for Web

Transcript:

Next, we want to see Selma Diamond. Selma Diamond was an early writer on Your Show of Shows. Look at these names that she is with — Mel Tolkin, Larry Gelbart, Mel Brooks, and Selma Diamond right? She was such a fascinating woman but many people only know her from her part on Night Court which was a show in the late 80s. She stepped into that character. She actually passed away in the course of the show and was replaced by Marsha Warfield. So most people only know her from her acting career but in fact, she was a writer many years earlier. She had some comedy albums that were very very well respected and I happen to know right now her great-nephew is working on a documentary to tell the story of her career because sadly what happens to her and this woman, Lucy Kallen — Lucille Kallen, excuse me. She was also a writer on these early Sid Caesar shows right? So you can see her in this picture. She’s right there doing the work with everybody. She’s part of it everywhere you go except when we start to think about memorializing the people who worked on these shows. Now you have to think about how brilliant Lucille Kallen was. When tv went away from her right when it started to be something that they weren’t really giving her jobs in she began to write murder mysteries. The Tanglewood Murder. That whole CB Greenfield line is her. So she was already in the world of let’s have a continuing series. If I can’t do it on tv, I’ll do it in book form. So this is a woman who wrote all her career and I also happen to love this quote by her — a man’s home is his castle and his wife is the janitor. This is the kind of wit. She’s very much a Dorothy Parker type of person.

Many thanks to Janice Law of the American Women Writers National Museum who invited me to give a short talk on The Women of Early TV.

I enjoyed sharing the names and careers of women like Peg Lynch, Gerturde Berg, Selma Diamond and D.C. Fontana to the members who gathered on Zoom last Wednesday morning. There are so many more I could have talked about whose names don’t appear in mainstream books about the history of television so we have to learn who they are and carry those names forward ourselves. It’s one of the missions of the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting – and has been one of my missions all my life.

Watch this entire presentation

 

Women pioneers who created, produced or shepherded many of America’s most wildly popular, early television programs will be profiled by Dr. Rosanne Welch.

Get your copy today!

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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Americana double eagle 1900

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!

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03 Gertrude Berg From Women in Early TV for the American Women Writers National Museum [Video]

03 Gertrude Berg From Women in Early TV for the American Women Writers National Museum [Video]

Many thanks to Janice Law of the American Women Writers National Museum who invited me to give a short talk on The Women of Early TV.

I enjoyed sharing the names and careers of women like Peg Lynch, Gerturde Berg, Selma Diamond and D.C. Fontana to the members who gathered on Zoom last Wednesday morning. There are so many more I could have talked about whose names don’t appear in mainstream books about the history of television so we have to learn who they are and carry those names forward ourselves.  It’s one of the missions of the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting – and has been one of my missions all my life.

RMW Rosanne Signature for Web

Transcript:

Gertrude Berg is a woman we need to know about. We think about early television. We think about diversity. In this case, it was considered quite diverse that there would be a Jewish family on television and so she wrote The Goldbergs, one of the earliest, again, sitcoms and these are the pile of scripts behind her because this ran as well on radio and then moved into television where she portrayed herself in the show right? So that’s a beautiful other thing. Long before they were Seinfeld in any of those other comics, she became the star of the show she also wrote. This impresses me because the double work involved in that is almost hard to explain and what’s really amazing about Molly Goldberg is in the 1940s she was voted the second most admired woman in America, right after the first lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Imagine that was showing us the early power of television and how those stories can move into our lives and really be part of something. So I found that absolutely fascinating.

Many thanks to Janice Law of the American Women Writers National Museum who invited me to give a short talk on The Women of Early TV.

I enjoyed sharing the names and careers of women like Peg Lynch, Gerturde Berg, Selma Diamond and D.C. Fontana to the members who gathered on Zoom last Wednesday morning. There are so many more I could have talked about whose names don’t appear in mainstream books about the history of television so we have to learn who they are and carry those names forward ourselves. It’s one of the missions of the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting – and has been one of my missions all my life.

Watch this entire presentation

 

Women pioneers who created, produced or shepherded many of America’s most wildly popular, early television programs will be profiled by Dr. Rosanne Welch.

Get your copy today!

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


22 Giovanni Angelo, Marchese Ossoli 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

21 The Husband 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: So talk about him (Giovanni Angelo) a little bit more because I feel like he’s sort of this figure and you know I want to imagine him in my mind as sort of like this you know super handsome — maybe not the rich guy but you know definitely — the man of quality that we all aspire to meet.

Rosanne: Well he went against his family as well because they were not for the united unification of Italy. So he lost his he — they wrote him off if you will. So that’s why it doesn’t have any money. He’s not going to inherit any and the family does have lands and all that stuff but they were against the unification and many people were because they were happy with whichever country was running their section of Italy or they didn’t appreciate the king and they didn’t want the king to be king over all of Italy or lots of different reasons that they were against it and so yeah they write him off and because he married her and she wasn’t Catholic and this is huge obviously back in the day.

I actually tell the story. My mom put together her brother — three children of Sicilian immigrants — only one son — my mother put her brother together with a woman who wasn’t Catholic and they fell in love and they got married. She did become Catholic because you know she converted because she knew she had to but on the day of the wedding my mother was a maid of honor. My grandmother was tying the bow on her dress and as she walked out into the church the last thing her mother said to her was I’ll never forgive you for this. That was 1950 in America. That was like you this is a mismatched marriage.

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.

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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!

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