A Professor, Female Screenwriters and a Monkee Walk Into a Lecture … – OC Weekly, February 26, 2019

Well, that has to be a record (at least for me) – appearing in local newspapers two days in one week! 

This article — A Professor, Female Screenwriters and a Monkee Walk Into a Lecture … — is about my upcoming Noontime Faculty talk on the history of Female Screenwriters for the Pollak Library at Cal State Fullerton. They take the time to mention the talk I gave last year about my book on The Monkees, which is a bit sad since what makes the book topical this week is the loss of Peter Tork. 

But the beauty of both my books (I hope) is the fact that they bring much needed attention to writers and performers who weren’t necessarily lauded in their own time. —Rosanne

 A Professor, Female Screenwriters and a Monkee Walk Into a Lecture … - OC Weekly, February 26, 2019

You know how you are going to lecture on topics from your new book and then something happens in the big old world that touches on your previous book?

Such is happening to Rosanne Welch, who is a writer and adjunct professor at Cal State Fullerton, Cal Poly Pomona, Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut and Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri.

She is scheduled to give one of the Faculty Noon Time Talks in CSUF’s Pollock Library from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 5. These events are based on faculty research, which in Welch’s case is partly encapsulated in her most recent book, When Women Wrote Hollywood: Essays on Female Screenwriters in the Early Film Industry (McFarland & Co., 2018).

However, on Feb. 21, actor/composer/musician Peter Tork, who is best known as the bass player/keyboardist with the Monkees, passed away, which prompted the re-release of something Welch had said about him:

Read A Professor, Female Screenwriters and a Monkee Walk Into a Lecture … 

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Rosanne is mentioned in “Titan Voice: My screenwriting realization steals the scene” – Orange County Register

You never know how much of an effect – if any – you’re having on students who are sometimes quiet in class, or looking at their computer screens when you think they ought to be looking at you… but this article was a wonderful reminder that they are listening, sometimes even amidst their multi-tasking lives. And what this MFA student took away didn’t come from any long lectures, really, but rather from the opening of all my classes where I bring in articles from recent newspaper stories about the film and television business and discuss what they mean to them and their futures. In this case, it had to do with which gendered writers are usually chosen for which genre films…a topic of deep interest to me – and through this article she published, I learned it was a topic of deep interest to Chelsea as well.

“Titan Voice: My screenwriting realization steals the scene” by Chelsea Barns

Rosanne is mentioned in

[…]

I can only lend my stream of consciousness to the screenwriting instructors I have had the pleasure to learn from in the MFA program. Specifically, when it comes to this filmmaker Michael Bay-type realization, I had to give the credit to lecturer Rosanne Welch. This woman has taught me more about what it is to be a female writer in Hollywood than I ever thought I needed to know. I would never have made this connection with the tone and the story of this film had it not been for her classes.

She has taught me that as a woman I need to speak up. I have to raise my voice, and in the way that I know how; writing. Going into this program I did not imagine I would grow as much as I have. Thank you to all my classmates and our faculty that push me every day to be better. I will miss learning from all of you when this wild ride of a program is over.

[…]

Read the entire column: Titan Voice: My screenwriting realization steals the scene

Event: “When Women Wrote Hollywood” with Rosanne Welch, Ph.D, Pollack Library, Cal State Fullerton, March 5, 2019, Noon

When Women Wrote Hollywood

When Women Wrote Hollywood

Tuesday, March 5, 2019 (12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.) in PLS-360 (Pollack Library)
Rosanne Welch, Ph.D., Instructor and Editor of
“When Women Wrote Hollywood: Essays on Female Screenwriters in the Early Film Industry” 
Department of Cinema and Television Arts
College of  Communications

This time I’ll discuss the women in my new book “When Women Wrote Hollywood” which covers female screenwriters from the Silents through the early 1940s when women wrote over 50% of films and Frances Marion was the highest paid screenwriter (male or female) and the first to win 2 Oscars – but fails to appear in film history books, which continue to regurgitate the myth that male directors did it all – even though it’s been proven that the only profitable movies Cecil B. de Mille ever directed were all written by Jeannie Macpherson film ever won for Best Picture was written by Robert E. Sherwood (who people have heard of, mostly due to his connection to Dorothy Parker) and Joan Harrison.


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New Review of “America’s Forgotten Founding Father: A Novel Based on the Life of Filippo Mazzei” from the Historical Novel Society

It’s so nice to see my book on Filippo Mazzei continuing to receive good reviews from the press.  This one comes from website of the Historical Novel Society and seems to like being introduced to such an interesting man as Filippo.

The novel is more of a factual presentation than fictional storytelling; the chronology is interspersed with anecdotal conversations with Franklin, Jefferson, and others involved in the emerging American state. Readers learn about Mazzei’s involvement with the Virginia militia and his work advocating for independence from the British Crown in the Second Continental Congress, conducting business for the colonies in France, and writing essays supporting the American Revolution in the European press after he returns to his homeland.

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They cap it off by telling their readers that…

“But the book has a larger focus than Mazzei’s place in the American Revolution. It covers his early years, travels in Turkey, and relationships with family as well as discussions of religion, the prerogatives of landed gentry versus the rights of ordinary people, even the proper pronunciation of Italian words.” 

So glad they noticed that!

Read the entire review on the Historical Novel Society site

Our books, Women in American History, named to ALA’s 2018 list of Best Historical Materials

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My co-editor Peg Lamphier and I are honored to have awoken this morning to this lovely email telling us that our book, Women in American History: A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia and Document Collection, has been named to the American Library Association’s 2018 list of Best Historical Materials.  

“The list recognizes effectiveness in coverage of historical resources in all fields of history and promotes enhanced availability  of historical works and information, and is published in Reference and User Services Quarterly (RUSQ).  These sources are selected by the Historical Materials committee that seeks to improve the usefulness of bibliographies, historical materials, and indexes in the field of history and shared among bibliographers, indexers, publishers, and professional associations.”

Since both of us have our PhDs in American History – and we both have taught Women’s HIstory at one time or another (on top of our other courses) — this is a most wonderful acknowledgment of all the time we took to make sure as many women from as many multicultural backgrounds — and as many new documents (not merely retreads from past books) could be included.  Of course, we also have to thank the many professional editors at ABC-Clio who helped proof and copyedit and cull permissions for all that material. It truly was a team effort.

Women in American History named to ALA's 2018 list of Best Historical Materials

Dear Dr. Welch:

            I am writing as a representative of the Historical Materials Committee of the Reference and User Services Association, a division of the American Library Association.  It is my pleasure to inform you that your book, Women in American History: A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia and Document Collection, has been named to the 2018 list of Best Historical Materials. 

The list recognizes effectiveness in coverage of historical resources in all fields of history and promotes enhanced availability of historical works and information, and is published in Reference and User Services Quarterly (RUSQ).  These sources are selected by the Historical Materials committee that seeks to improve the usefulness of bibliographies, historical materials, and indexes in the field of history and shared among bibliographers, indexers, publishers, and professional associations.

Congratulations on your remarkable contributions to scholarly literature.

 

Sincerely,

Steven A. Knowlton

Review: When Women Wrote Hollywood via Offscreen

Another wonderful and well-detailed review of When Women Wrote Hollywood came out today, written by film historian Elaine Lennon and appearing in Offscreen, the longest running monthly online film journal.

Check it out!

Review: When Women Wrote Hollywood
Offscreen

This new collection of 24 essays on women screenwriters offers fascinating insights into early Hollywood and beyond. Editor Rosanne Welch (herself a screenwriter) set her Stephens College MFA History of Screenwriting students a task: to outline the achievements of those screenwriters who have been systematically erased from the majority of film studies. The foreword by film historian Cari Beauchamp sets the tone in the first sentence, reminding us that “almost half of all films made before 1925 were written by women” (1). This volume is a sparky assemblage which not only acts as a corrective to conventional screenwriting historiography, it highlights careers which were multi-faceted, wide-ranging and virtually Renaissance in their scope.

Read the entire review

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Press: The Mentoris Project: The Lives of Filippo Mazzei and Louis Palma di Cesnola: Learning about two key Italian-Americans in American History

All kudos to the library staff at Chapman University for posting this lovely article about the presentations my colleague and fellow writer Peg and I made on our individual books for the Mentoris Project.  Publisher Robert Barbera sponsored the event – and donated the set of books to the university library – and we enjoyed speaking to the Italian Studies students who gathered that evening about Filippo Mazzei and Louis Palma de Cesnola. — Rosanne

The Mentoris Project: The Lives of Filippo Mazzei and Louis Palma di CesnolaLearning about two key Italian-Americans in American History

The Mentoris Project: The Lives of Filippo Mazzei and Louis Palma di Cesnola: Learning about two key Italian-Americans in American History
December 4, 2018

When Robert J. Barbera founded The Mentoris Project as a part of The Barbera Foundation, his goal was to add to the canon of names most U.S. students learn over and over again from fifth grade through high school. He remembered hearing the names of people like George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln repeated from year to year, but realized that two very important populations were missing from the standard U.S. history books and narratives: Italians and Italian-Americans. With that in mind, he started The Mentoris Project, which publishes biographies and novels based on the lives of prominent Italians and Italian-Americans, specifically those who can be considered as mentors. In the words of The Mentoris Project, these books are intended “to inspire the reader in a very tangible way: To finish the book saying, ‘I can do something great, too.’” The books published by The Mentoris Project are written by a variety of scholars and authors, and cover subjects from Christopher Columbus to Enrico Fermi.

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Read the entire article – The Mentoris Project: The Lives of Filippo Mazzei and Louis Palma di Cesnola: Learning about two key Italian-Americans in American History


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Tom Stempel Reviews “When Women Wrote Hollywood” In Script Magazine

Tom Stempel Reviews

Script Magazine publishes the “Understanding Screenwriting” column by historian Tom Stempel (author of Framework: A History of Screenwriting in the American Film). In this post Mr. Stempel reviews our book “When Women Wrote Hollywood.”

The review is the last thing in the column, so you will have to scroll down to it – but it’s well worth it – as it is well worth reading his reviews of the several films he writes about in the front matter of the article. — Rosanne

When Women Wrote Hollywood (2018. Book edited by Rosanne Welch. McFarland [McFarlandBooks.com]. 221 pages)

Rosanne Welch is a television writer who also teaches screenwriting at a variety of places. One of her gigs is handling the Los Angeles residency for screenwriting courses offered at Stephens College in Missouri. The students come out to L.A. a couple of times a year, where they get lectures from people connected to the business. One assignment that Welch has her students do is research papers on screenwriters of the past. This book is a collection of those papers, 23 by her students and one by Welch.

Stephens used to be an all-women’s college, but it now takes male students. The preponderance of its students are female, so all of the essays, including two by male students, are about women screenwriters in the early days of Hollywood. Some writers, like Anita Loos, you have probably heard of. Many of them you probably have not.

I was particularly taken by Amelia Phillips’s piece on Jeanie Macpherson. I wrote briefly about Macpherson in my book FrameWork: A History of Screenwriting in the American Film(1988), but one reviewer gave me a hard time for not mentioning that she was Cecil B. De Mille’s mistress. He seemed to think that disqualified her as a writer. Phillips starts out in the first paragraph by noting that Macpherson was only one of De Mille’s three long-time mistresses and has credits on a lot more than just De Mille’s films.

Several of the pieces, such as the ones on Zoe Atkins and Bella Spewack, note that they worked in both the theatre and film, which was a lot more common than is generally assumed about the early days of movies.

Welch takes her students to the Margaret Herrick Library of the Motion Picture Academy and some get into the archives in depth. Others, such as the people writing on Anita Loos and Dorothy Parker, depend mostly on memoirs and biographies. Then there is Pamela Scott, who found very little material on Sarah Y. Mason, the wife and co-writer of Victor Heerman, but was able to follow her connections with other people to give a nice little view of Mason’s career.

Like virtually every other book that is a collection of essays by different writers, the quality varies a lot, but there is enough good stuff to make it worth your while.


When Women Wrote Hollywood Book Reading and Signing, Skylark Bookshop, Columbia, Missouri

On Saturday, November 3rd, 2018 several of the contributors to When Women Wrote Hollywood gathered at the Skylark Bookshop in Columbia, Missouri for a signing and launch party that functioned like a mini-reunion of the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting Class of 2017.

Many thanks to all who came to hear them each speak with passion about the research subjects who became whole chapters in this book of essays on female screenwriters from the Silent Era into the 1940s.

Check it out!

Video: When Women Wrote Hollywood Book Reading and Signing, Skylark Bookshop, Columbia, Missouri

 

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Dr. Rosanne Welch is interviewed by MUTV23, on “When Women Wrote Hollywood” [Video] (1:21)

Dr. Rosanne Welch is interviewed by MUTV23, on “When Women Wrote Hollywood”

Dr. Rosanne Welch is interviewed by MUTV23, on

Transcript:

The goal of our program and the goal of the book in general is to remind people that there was a time in Hollywood when 50% of the writers and producers were women and that was in the silent and the early Hollywood era and then they were all sort of wiped away and what happened was now we think oh can women do that? women did it in droves just a hundred years ago .It was a lot of research for all the different contributors many of who came from Columbia Missouri and it was because a lot of these women don’t have books written about them. They had to look through newspaper archives.They had to look through the Library of Congress. They — you know we could check the internet but the Internet’s not your perfect source for anything. It took a lot of time about six months for everyone to get enough research to be able to write and then the book itself took two years to go through the editing production and then produced available today. I have been a fan of very famous women from the past and Anita Loos, Adela Rodgers St. John. I’ve read their books. I’d seen them on television when I was a child doing talk shows and I thought how fascinating their lives had been and yet I never saw them in the history books that I was given about Hollywood. They always talked about the men. They never talked about the women who done that work and I wanted to create a program and a course that would allow other women to learn how many women had come before them.

When Women Wrote Hollywood Book Reading and Signing, Skylark Bookshop, Columbia, Missouri

On Saturday, November 3rd, 2018 several of the contributors to When Women Wrote Hollywood gathered at the Skylark Bookshop in Columbia, Missouri for a signing and launch party that functioned like a mini-reunion of the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting Class of 2017.

Many thanks to all who came to hear them each speak with passion about the research subjects who became whole chapters in this book of essays on female screenwriters from the Silent Era into the 1940s.

Check it out the entire book reading!

 

Buy a signed copy of when Women Wrote Hollywood

Paperback Edition | Kindle Edition | Google Play Edition

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library.
Check it out! † Available from the LA Public Library

News about Women in American History: A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia and Document Collection

More news on Women in American History: A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia and Document Collection

Women in American History
A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia and Document Collection

Peg A. Lamphier and Rosanne Welch, Editors

2017 Award Winner in the “Women’s Issues” Category
— Best Book Awards, American Book Fest

2018 Outstanding Reference Source
— Reference and User Services Association [RUSA]

“This four-volume set does more than simply provide biographical information on influential American women. . . . Care was taken to include women of color and LGBTQ women. . . . With applications for history, gender studies, political science, sociology, and more, this would be a useful addition to high school and undergraduate libraries.”—Booklist

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library