Pam Cook’s essay ‘Text, Paratext, Subtext’ in SEQUENCE

Frances has also mentioned the exciting news of the recent publication of Pam Cook’s essay ‘Text, Paratext and Subtext’ in the online journal SEQUENCE. We were very happy to welcome Pam to speak on this subject of Mildred Pierce in its many forms at our Maternal Melodrama Symposium last May.

MP TV seriesThe following invitation to read Pam’s essay was written by REFRAME editor Dr Catherine Grant of the University of Sussex:

‘Writer-director Todd Haynes has previously recounted how film scholar Pam Cook’s 1978 foundational article “Duplicity in MILDRED PIERCE” informed his 2011 HBO miniseries adaptation of James M. Cain’s novel (an effective remaking of Michael Curtiz’ 1945 film). Now, in her new essay for the open access serial SEQUENCE (a REFRAME publication), Cook turns her attention to Haynes’ miniseries and its intertextual chain of makings and remakings, and explores, in particular, how we come to read it (or any other audiovisual artefact) as “maternal melodrama.” Her essay is online here:’

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Maternal Melodrama Symposium 3rd of June, GLT 3

Posted by Sarah

Exciting news! We can confirm the date and location of the Melodrama Research Group’s first symposium.

maternal melodrama

Sponsored by CISFMI and KIASH, the Melodrama Research Group will host a Symposium on Maternal Melodrama during the 3rd of June in GLT3. While Maternal Melodrama is often associated with Hollywood films of the 1930s and 1940s, and actresses such as Bette Davis, Joan Crawford and Barbara Stanwyck, recent academic work on this topic has explored a new area. Sue Thornham’s ‘”A HATRED SO INTENSE” We Need to Talk About Kevin, Postfeminism and Women’s Cinema’ discusses the relevance of maternal melodrama to contemporary cinema, prompting us to re-evaluate some tired assumptions.

The Symposium will be a great opportunity to debate maternal melodrama generally and to respond specifically to Thornham’s argument. Her article appeared in the new journal Sequence: Serial Studies in Media, Film and Music 2.1, 2013. Unlike most journals, Sequence encourages a sequential approach to academic deliberations and its emphasis on a variety of forms for the submission of responses (the traditional written word, but also audio and video) will allow the Melodrama Research Group to engage more fully, and fruitfully, with the Digital Humanities.

The Group is delighted to welcome our special guests: Professor Pam Cook (University of Southampton) and Dr Catherine Grant (University of Sussex). Pam and Katie will present on video essays.

Sue Thornham’s article:

Pam Cook’s University of Southampton page:

Katie Grant’s University of Sussex page:

More details, including a timetable and the titles of talks, will be posted here in due course.