Opportunities and Adventures in Scholarly Publishing with Dr. Rosanne Welch and Dr. Kristine Ashton Gunnell, Claremont, CA, February 22, 2024 [Video]

Here’s the video of the presentation that my friend Kristine Gunnell and I recently made to the current History and English masters at the Claremont Graduate University campus where we both earned our Ph.D.

Opportunities and Adventures in Scholarly Publishing.

Surrounded by our most recent publications we discussed “Opportunities and Adventures in Scholarly Publishing”. I shared ideas for gaining your first academic credits – from doing book reviews in journals to writing entries for encyclopedias to submitting essays or chapters to anthologies and discussed creating working relationships with editors. Kristine went in-depth into working in archives when researching and writing books on very specific subjects and how to find connections in the lives of other women whose lives you are bringing to the attention of modern readers.


Book Talk: Opportunities and Adventures in Scholarly Publishing with Dr. Rosanne Welch and Dr. Kristine Ashton Gunnell, Claremont, CA, February 22, 2024

If you live in the Claremont area stop in at the IAC on the Claremont campus for a Book Talk about “Opportunities and Adventures in Scholarly Publishing” on Thursday, February 22nd from 4-5:30. Free and Open to the Public.

Book Talk: Opportunities and Adventures in Scholarly Publishing with Dr. rosanne Welch and 0r. Kristine Ashton Gunnell, Claremont, CA, February 22, 2024

Great New Autobiography to add to your list – Necessary Trouble: Growing Up at Midcentury by Drew Gilpin Faust [Books]

I was introduced to historian Drew Gilpin Faust’s books in my PhD program and learned so much (about writing, women’s involvement in the Civil War, and cultural shifts) from her This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War…

…that I was excited to read her new autobiography, Necessary Trouble: Growing Up at Midcentury

As expected, I learned so much – she was born in Virginia to (sadly) racist parents but chose Northern schools to teach herself the opposite of their ways – ended up at the march in Selma and became friends with John Lewis — the book title comes from his famous phrase which she asked his permission to use.

My Mom always said you learn more from autobiographies than from fictional books. Though I still read copious amounts of both kinds, she was right in that the real-life details I’ve collected from autobiographies have stayed in my mind longer than much of my other reading.

And if you don’t know the story of how Gilpin Faust became the first female president of Harvard University – check it out:

 Drew Gilpin Faust, the First Female Harvard President, Was Nicknamed ‘Chainsaw Drew’

Essentially, previous president Lawrence H. Summers was forced out for saying that “intrinsic” gender differences accounted for the lack of women in science (in other words there weren’t a lot of women in science and math departments because ‘girls aren’t good at math’) so they appointed Faust the immediate interim pres while they looked for a new one – and after 18 months of looking it suddenly occurred to them that she’d been doing the job for… 18 months so why not make her the permanent new pres? She held the gig for 11 years and “generated what might be considered the opposite kind of controversy: She was too PC, her critics griped — during her time, the number of tenured female faculty rose by 47 percent.”

Rosanne Writes on Doctor Who, “The King’s Demons”, and more in the new book, Outside In Regenerates [Books]

63 New Perspectives on 163 Classic DOCTOR WHO Stories by 163 Writers

While I am quite proud of all the larger publishers I have worked with I also deeply enjoy supporting smaller presses and their niche work – especially when it comes to writing about shows I’ve loved for a long time. That’s what ATB offers every time they email me about another book in their “Outside/In” series.

They publish “thoughtful non-fiction books that explore the history of pop culture with insightful and entertaining commentary from a diverse array of writers, authors, and editors”. So far I’ve had essays in their books on the original Star Trek (on the episode ‘This Side of Paradise’) and in the book on Buffy the Vampire Slayer (on the episode ‘Hush’). My latest is an essay on the ‘Kings Demons’ episode of the Peter Davison era of classic Doctor Who. 

These are funny essays to write – and read – for deep, deep fans of these shows and it’s been fun to be involved.

Reading: Wild Girls: How the Outdoors Shaped the Women Who Challenged a Nation

61rBk0Njb7L SL1200

As the semester winds toward the holiday season more time for reading opens up and I love finding new books to read – both fiction and non. My Thanksgiving read this week was Wild Girls: How the Outdoors Shaped the Women Who Challenged a Nation by Harvard professor Tiya Miles.

In this short book, she traces the way playing in the outdoors shaped the lives of several American activist women from Harriet Tubman to Louisa May Alcott to Native American writer Zitkála-ŠáNative/Gertrude Bonnin to Dolores Huerta. It added female names to my list of women to be remembered and reminded to get outside this holiday season and play in the dirt.

From the publisher…

Named a Best Nonfiction Book of the Year by Publishers Weekly

An award-winning historian shows how girls who found self-understanding in the natural world became women who changed America.

Harriet Tubman, forced to labor outdoors on a Maryland plantation, learned from the land a terrain for escape. Louisa May Alcott ran wild, eluding gendered expectations in New England. The Indigenous women’s basketball team from Fort Shaw, Montana, recaptured a sense of pride in physical prowess as they trounced the white teams of the 1904 World’s Fair. Celebrating women like these who acted on their confidence outdoors, Wild Girls brings new context to misunderstood icons like Sacagawea and Pocahontas, and to underappreciated figures like Native American activist writer Zitkála-Šá, also known as Gertrude Bonnin, farmworkers’ champion Dolores Huerta, and labor and Civil Rights organizer Grace Lee Boggs.

This beautiful, meditative work of history puts girls of all races—and the landscapes they loved—at center stage and reveals the impact of the outdoors on women’s independence, resourcefulness, and vision. For these trailblazing women of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, navigating the woods, following the stars, playing sports, and taking to the streets in peaceful protest were not only joyful pursuits, but also techniques to resist assimilation, racism, and sexism. Lyrically written and full of archival discoveries, Wild Girls evokes landscapes as richly as the girls who roamed in them—and argues for equal access to outdoor spaces for young women of every race and class today.


Tiya Miles is the Michael Garvey Professor of History at Harvard University, the author of five prize-winning works on the history of slavery and early American race relations, and a 2011 MacArthur Fellowship recipient. She was the founder and director of the Michigan-based ECO Girls program, and she is the author of the National Book Award–winning, New York Times best-selling All That She Carried. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

New Reviews for American Women’s History on Film written by Dr. Rosanne Welch and Dr. Peg Lamphier


American Women’s History on Film, my newest book co-written with my colleague Dr. Peg Lamphier is out now and so some reviews are beginning to roll in. While this review in Booklist (March 2023) is mostly informational it’s always nice to hear that our writing style is “informative and engaging” and that this “makes the book a welcome addition to women’s and film-history collections.” That’s been our hope since being commissioned for the book a few years ago.

Yep, it takes a few years from being commissioned to do the research, do the writing, do the rewriting, do the editing, and then for the publishers to print and distribute the book. Our first book in the series covered Films of the Civil War – with that historical period being Peg’s academic specialty and film being mine. Covering women’s history and film this new book fits perfectly in each of our wheelhouses. 

The icing on the cake for me was the chance to celebrate films I adored in my childhood and that I now have on the viewing list for the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting like: Norma Rae, and Silkwood alongside films written and produced by friends of mine such as On the Basis of Sex (produced by Karen Loop) and Hidden Figures (written by Allison Schroeder).  

Anita Loos: An Introduction with Dr. Rosanne Welch, Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting and the Retroformat Silent Film Society [Video]

Anita Loos: An Introduction with Dr. Rosanne Welch, Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting and the Retroformat Silent Film Society [Video]

During each of our Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting we take our MFA candidates on field trips around Los Angeles and this January that included the screening of a silent movie – “The Social Secretary” – hosted at the Historic Women’s Club of Hollywood with a full audience. Many attendees had never watched a film shown from a projector, much less a silent film on such a large screen with live piano accompaniment. The MFA co-sponsored the event with the , a group dedicated to promoting education and enthusiasm about the art of silent film.

I was happy to be asked to deliver this introduction to the work of screenwriter and novelist Anita Loos whose work bridged the worlds of silents – where she was instrumental in creating the swashbuckling character for Douglas Fairbanks – to talkies and screenplays to novels to Broadway plays. Her Gentlemen Prefer Blondes remains a classic, never having gone out of print, and it led to several film versions including the famous one starring Marilyn Monroe. Her book for Gigi helped give the play a successful transition to the well-known film that showcased Leslie Caron.

If you don’t know much about this prolific woman writer, check out my introduction and then go watch some of her films, many of which are on YouTube. Yet the experience of seeing it on the big screen became one of this Workshop’s most appreciated events.

RMW Rosanne Signature for Web



…Rosanne Welch. [Applause]

Hello everybody. I am Dr. Rosanne Welch. I run the Stevens College MFA and TV and Screenwriting where we study film with a female gaze.

So we study Anita Loos and so I’m gonna –– we’re here for an hour and a half lecture right?

Very quickly, I just want to make sure people who are here know what we’re talking about. First of all, what we do in our program is we teach the history of screenwriting because in most places they teach you the history of film and that tends to be the history of directors which becomes the history of Great Men. While we love men, women founded Hollywood and need to be remembered.

So I was really pleased when Tom said I have the Anita Loos print and I was like, oh yeah Anita Loos. We study her. We love her and it would be lovely to see it with real live accompaniment. 


I’m gonna say a very quick things about Anita. I want people who don’t know her to know these things. First of all, we have to remember her as the first person to put wit in her title cards and today when someone writes a television or film script, in their action lines they use that technique. They use their own voice. They say funny things. They don’t just say the door opens right? They are still doing something essentially we learn from Anita. So I think that is a reason that she should stay with us. I think it’s also important to remember her as a star maker. She’s the reason you know who Douglas Fairbanks is. He was just the stumblebum actor until she made him a swashbuckler and then he became the Douglas Fairbanks –– the founder of the Academy right? She also –– I’m sure many of you can think about Carol Channing and Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend. Talk about a character that lived forever in that actress. So I think that’s brilliant for Anita. She was also known for her diligent work ethic. The woman got up at five o’clock and wrote until two or three in the afternoon and then dealt with business ––  that and she would tell people she didn’t work very hard. It wasn’t very hard at all. Think about that. So I think that’s really beautiful. I think it’s important to think about all the literary friends she had. She was friends with Theodore Dreiser , and H.L. Mencken –  these are major names of their day. Interestingly enough her name is still a little more famous than theirs are. So there’s something about her work. Though people made fun of films and film writing clearly she survived where some of their stuff isn’t read that much anymore and also she was a brilliant friend to other women in the business and we know that that’s how everyone who moves up in the world by taking the next person below you and bringing them up right? So she was friends with the young Ruth Gordon. Y’all don’t remember when she was young but she was and Anita was someone who helped her move forward in the business. She was best friends with Helen Hayes who many people remember. So the idea that she understood that sisterhood was the way to help everybody. So those are the reasons that I still admire Anita. I always say that I met her when I was six years old – not the person but in her memoirs and so if you haven’t read A Memoir of hers you should because they’re funny and witty and teach us a lot about this time period and also we’ve written about her in this book which we will have for sale afterward. There you go. I’ll teach Tom how to sell. Which was written by the first inaugural students in our program about seven years ago and there’s a chapter on 25 different famous female screenwriters of that period. So if you’re interested we’ll have some more of those and we’ll talk afterward and we have three of the original authors of chapters right here with me tonight. So with that, I hope that everybody adores if you haven’t met Anita Loos before you will listen to her voice today and laugh. Have a great night.



The new classics: 10 of the best feminist films you need to watch in your lifetime

The new classics: 10 of the best feminist films you need to watch in your lifetime

Recently, I was quite happy when sent this link to a RUSSH website and their article The new classics: 10 of the best feminist films you need to watch in your lifetime.

Why? Because among the 10 they chose are 3 that Peg and I cover in the new book American Women’s History on Film (On the Basis of Sex, Hidden Figures, Confirmation):

Check out the rest in American Women’s History on Film:

Remember, you don’t have to buy the book to read it – you can request that your local library buy a copy that can then be shared with many, many others!

24 Conclusion from What Is a Western? Interview Series: When Women Wrote Westerns from the Autry Museum of the American West [Video]

14 Conclusion from What Is a Western? Interview Series: When Women Wrote Westerns from the Autry Museum of the American West [Video]


Host: I know it’s always so heartening when something turns up that was thought to be lost and there may still be some Treasures out there and people are discovering new things every day and that’s what you know of course of interest to us at the Museum – finding those rare rare voices that luckily were preserved in some way or other and just bringing them to light more.


Rosanne: Well and that’s what I always tell students too. If you go to places like museums you know when my students are in town – they’re low residency but they come in town once twice a year – and we’ll go to The Autry. We’ll go to the Herrick. We’ll go to different places but what – even long before I did this job – I would go to The Autry with my son because of course cowboy stuff cool but also you look at the photographs of who the Cowboys right and we all know they weren’t John Wayne. We all know that wasn’t who it was right? They were the Mexican Americans and they were Chinese Americans and you see that in the photographs but movies came along and made them all Caucasian and that’s ridiculous but that became the myth right? So the more we look at the real history the more we can tell those real stories. I love research. 


Host: Me too. Well, thanks so much for joining us it was such a wonderful conversation and I especially I think I’ll take away this idea of a sort of community type stories in westerns particularly from our perspective – what are those western films that feature that Community story and is that a sort of more feminine point of view or a kind of women’s view of the West. That’s going to stick with me but as will many other points thanks so much for joining us.


Rosanne: Thanks for asking me. I love to talk about this clearly and I love The Autry 



Host: Thanks 


the archery Museum of the American West thanks our members and supporters


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

My Reading Vacation over Winter Break

When a semester ends – even before grades are finished and posted – I dive into reading books I’ve been hoarding. While I love to physically travel on a break, one can’t travel across the WHOLE break, so books became my in-chair vacations.

This week I found myself immersed in two books that can best be described as biographies of books as much as they are biographies of writers. I’m not even a huge fan of The Great Gatsby but I found myself fascinated by the idea that Maureen Corrigan based a whole book on “How The Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why it Endures.”  

So for my first trip I visited 1920s New York and the life and (sad) times of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. Again, not a fan of the actual Gatsby, but now a big fan of the book about the book. You can’t get much more meta than that.

I followed that up with Imani Perry’s Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry (author of the play A Raisin in the Sun).

There I visited 1950s Harlem to find her and her circle of Black poets and writers and activists who truly did change the country through pacifist protests – and art. While most people recognize Hansberry as the author of the play, many don’t know that she also wrote the screenplay for the film. That’s catalogued in yet another book that I had already read: A Raisin in the Sun: The Unfilmed Original Screenplay which has a forward by Spike Lee.

Hope you’re finding some fun books to tuck into over this holiday season. You’ve probably heard about the Icelandic tradition of Jolabokaflod, which translates into “Christmas Book Flood.”

 Icelandic tradition of Jolabokaflod

The tradition is to give or receive new books on Christmas Eve and then read them late into the night. I’ve always read before bed. It helps me fall asleep so I’m not sure I could read all night long – but I’m more than happy to read all DAY long. THAT’s what I call a vacation.