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Shelley Stamp

Professor, Film & Digital Media
Affiliated Faculty, Feminist Studies, Visual Studies
Silent Cinema, Female Filmmakers, Feminist Media Histories, Film Censorship, Histories of Moviegoing, Early Hollywood
Research Interests: 

I am a film historian and curator, author of the award-winning books Lois Weber in Early Hollywood and Movie-Struck Girls: Women and Motion Picture Culture after the Nickelodeon, curator of the award-winning 6-disc set Pioneers:  First Women Filmmakers, and author of many articles on women’s filmmaking and moviegoing.  I am Founding Editor of the journal Feminist Media Histories, published quarterly by the University of California Press, and currently edit the Feminist Media Histories book series for UC Press.  My research has been funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and a University of California President’s Fellowship.  

I have taught at UC Santa Cruz for almost 30 years and have twice won the Excellence in Teaching Award.  From 2018-21 I served as campus Presidential Chair.

Phone: 831-459-4462
Office: Kresge 157
Selected Publications: 


Lois Weber in Early Hollywood (University of California Press, 2015)

Movie-Struck Girls: Women and Motion Picture Culture after the Nickelodeon (Princeton University Press, 2000).

 American Cinema's Transitional Era: Audiences, Institutions, Practices, co-edited with Charlie Keil (University of California Press, 2004).


“Selling Noir’s ‘Red Meat’ to the Female Market.” In The Oxford Handbook of American Film History.  Ed. Jon Lewis, forthcoming from Oxford University Press.


“Curiosity Seekers, Morbid Minds, and Embarrassed Young Ladies:  Female Audiences and Reproductive Politics Onscreen.”  In The Oxford Handbook of Silent Cinema.  Ed. Charlie Keil and Rob King, forthcoming from Oxford University Press.


What Happened to Women in Histories of Hollywood?Journal of Women’s History 33, no. 3 (Fall 2021).


“Film Noir’s ‘Gal Producers’ and the Female Market,” Women’s History Review 29, no. 5 (2020): 801-821.


"Critics, Reformers, and Educators: Film Culture as a Feminine Sphere," in Silent Women: Pioneers of Cinema (London: Aurora Metro Books, 2016), 257-81.


"Feminist Media Historiography and the Work Ahead," Screening the Past, 40 (2015).


"Lois Weber at Rex: Performing Femininity Across Media," in Performing New Media, 1890-1915 (John Libbey Publishing, 2014).


"Women and the Silent Screen," in The Wiley-Blackwell History of American Film, Volume I: Origins to 1928 (Blackwell Publishers, 2012).


"'Exit Flapper, Enter Woman', or Lois Weber in Jazz Age Hollywood," Framework: The Journal of Film and Media 51, no. 2 (2010), 358-87.


"Lois Weber, Star Maker," in Reclaiming the Archive: Feminism and Film History (Wayne State University Press, 2010).


"1916: Movies and the Ambiguities of Progressivism," in American Cinema of the 1910s: Themes and Variations (Rutgers University Press, 2009).


“Lois Weber and the Celebrity of Matronly Respectability,” in Looking Past the Screen: Case Studies in American Film History and Method  (Duke University Press, 2007).


"Presenting the Smalleys, 'Collaborators in Authorship and Direction'," Film History 18, no. 2 (2006): 199-28.


“Lois Weber, Progressive Cinema and the Fate of ‘Our Work-A-Day Girls’ in Shoes,” Camera Obscura 56 (2004): 140-69.


"It's a Long Way to Filmland": Starlets, Screen Hopefuls and Extras in Early Hollywood," in American Cinema’s Transitional Era: Audiences, Institutions, Practices (University of California Press, 2004).


"An Awful Struggle Between Love and Ambition: Serial Heroines, Early Celebrity and Modern Femininity," in Silent Cinema Reader (Routledge, 2003).


"Taking Precautions, or Contraceptive Technology and Cinema's Regulatory Apparatus," in The Feminist Reader in Early Cinema (Duke University Press, 2002).



Pioneers:  First Women Filmmakers, Six-disc set, Kino-Lorber, 2020

Lois Weber Retrospective (Co-Curated with Mariann Lewinsky), Il Cinema Ritrovato Film Festival, Bologna, Italy, 2012



La peur des ombres (1911) for Cinema’s First Nasty Women Collection, Kino Lorber, 2022

Sensation Seekers (1927), Kino Lorber, 2021

Shoes (1916), Milestone Video, 2018

Traffic in Souls (1913), Perils of the New Land, Flicker Alley, 2008 

Where Are My Children? (1916), Treasures from American Film Archives III, National Film Preservation Foundation, 2007  

The Blot (1921), Milestone Video, 2003



"Everyone Everywhere All at Once," NPR Throughline, 2023

Elizabeth Weitzman, "Hollywood’s First Professional Stuntwoman Jumped From Planes and Swung Onto Trains," Smithsonian Magazine, 2023

“Hollywood in the 1910s and 20s”Hollywood by the Decade, Feminist Frequency Radio, 2022

Lois Weber: Unladylike 2020 (dir. Charlotte Mangin, 2020)

“Lois Weber, Early Film Pioneer, Has Two Films Restored”, NPR Weekend Edition, 2019

Elizabeth Weitzman, “A Century Late, a Giant of Early Cinema Gets Her Closeup,” New York Times, 2019

Lost LA: Dream Factory (dir. Logan Kibbens, 2018)

This Changes Everything (dir. Tom Donahue, 2018)  

Manohla Dargis, “Thrills, Tears and the Real Gone Girls of Cinema,” New York Times, 2018



Education and Training: 
Ph.D., Cinema Studies, New York University
M.A., Cinema Studies, New York University
B.A., Cinema Studies, University of Toronto
Teaching Interests: 

History of American Film, Silent Cinema, Feminist Media Histories, Female Filmmakers, Film Noir, Censorship & the Production Code,