March 7, 2013 § Leave a comment
I found this incredible poster from one of Sally Rand’s performances at the Music Box on the Virtual Museum of San Francisco Website (http://www.sfmuseum.net/bio/rand.html). I love vintage advertisements so I bookmarked the page. Lo and behold, as I was reading through articles on the Historical Newspapers database, I found an article about Rand being arrested while performing at this venue twice in 24 hours. This poster isn’t dated so I’m unsure if its related to her arrest, but it was a fun moment of connection for me.
I’ve had a lot of success finding newspaper articles about Rand’s many legal troubles. Once I’ve gathered enough information, my next step will be to send a request to the SFPD archives.
March 1, 2013 § Leave a comment
If I had lots of disposable time, I would love to just pull random pieces out of the Bancroft and look through them. I’ve always been a history nerd so I love primary sources. I poured over the works of Shakespeare from Monday’s class and tried to read the stories of the apocalypse in the massive book (the name is escaping me).
That being said, I had tremendous difficulty finding anything that related to my topic in the Bancroft. I wasn’t really expecting anything. I didn’t think it was very likely to have photographs of burlesque beauties or the flyers from their shows. But when I searched for the keyword “burlesque”, I found works that used it in the true sense of the word, which is to make fun of or jest about something. That brought me to a wonderful website that the Bancroft had put up called “Gay Bears: The Hidden History of the Berkeley Campus” (http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/collections/gaybears/index.html). That was a wonderful source to glance through because I am very much interested in historical views about sexuality. I guess that sexuality is tangentially linked to a study of burlesque. No, the two are most definitely linked.
I found a few interesting snippets about gay life and fraternities, which interested me due to my connection with Greek Life. There was an excerpt from an oral history called “Gay Life in Berkeley in the 1950s” which talks about the percentage of leaders in the Greek community who were gay. Erwin Kelly, the speaker, claims that 30-35% of the fraternity and IFC presidents during his tenure at Cal were gay.
As for actually going to the library and looking at a primary source document, I requested a poster from Alhambra Theatre in SF and had planned to go look at it after class today but a family emergency called me home. I’ll try to look over it early on Monday so I have something to contribute to class.
February 17, 2013 § 1 Comment
I’ve always been interested in burlesque and the striptease (also known as the strip, the bump and grind, the burly-cue, etc), so I’ve decided to select that as my general topic.
I’m interested in studying: the development of burlesque theater, specifically the striptease, in the late 19th and early 20th century
To find out how: the gender norms/roles were affected by its popularity
In order to show that: TBD. I know this is most likely going to change over time as I do my research, but I’m still not 100% sure what direction I want to take. My primary thoughts are: To show that while displays of female sexuality are initially met with criticism, they are soon accepted and surpassed.
Burlesque – A decent beginning search, but the recent resurgence of neo-burlesque and the Christina Aguilera movie makes this search not very useful.
Burlesque AND gender – nothing of any use
Burlesque (Theater) –United States – History — not much of use, a lot of general sources or biographies of famous performers
Vaudeville AND gender: Rank Ladies: Gender and Cultural Hierarchy in American Vaudeville by M. Alison Kibler
Ziegfeld AND chorus OR girl*: Ziegfeld Girl: Image and Icon in Culture and Cinema by Linda Mizejewski
Posing a Threat: Flappers, Chorus girls, and other Transgressive Performers of the American 1920s by Angela J. Latham
I’m looking forward to refining my search more as I read these secondary sources.
February 11, 2013 § 2 Comments
My name is Cyn, and I’m a third year. I missed class last week due to that nasty bug that’s going around, but I’m very excited to join in at last. I’m in this class because I regularly don’t know where to start when doing research. I look forward to learning to take advantage of all the incredible resources that Berkeley has to offer.
My research interests aren’t extremely focused. My concentration is officially gender, but I’m also interested in all things relating to sexuality and the formation of one’s identity. I’m taking a 103 right now called Sex, Gender, and Legal Spectacle, which I find completely fascinating. I’ve always been interested in crime and law, so this 103 fits well within my interests.
I’m planning to write my thesis in the fall so my end goal for this class to to develop a topic for that.