Mary R. Desjardins

Academic Appointments

Professor, Department of Film and Media Studies

Mary Desjardins received her PhD in Cinema-TV from USC. Before coming to Dartmouth, she taught at UC Santa Barbara and UT Austin. She has published articles in a variety of journals, such as Film Quarterly, Camera Obscura, Film History, Cinema Journal, Celebrity Studies, The Velvet Light Trap, Quarterly Review of Film and Video, Vectors, and The Spectator. She also has book chapters in 22 book collections, including Reframing Todd Haynes: Feminism's Indelible Mark; Mapping Movie Magazines:  Digitization, Periodicals, and Cinema History;The Anthem Handbook of Screen Theory;  Television, History, and American Culture: Feminist Critical Essays; Everyday eBay: Culture, Collecting and Desire; Headline Hollywood: 100 Years of Film Scandal; Communities of the Air: Radio Century, Radio Culture; When Private Talk Goes Public: Gossip in United States History; Glamour in a Golden Age:  Movie Stars of the 1930s; Idols of Modernity:  Movies Stars of the 1920s; and Fires Were Started: British Cinema and Thatcherism.  Her books include Dietrich Icon, which she co-edited with Gerd Gemunden (Duke University Press, 2007);  Recycled Stars: Female Stardom in the Age of Television and Video (Duke University Press, 2015); and Father Knows Best (Wayne State University Press, 2015). Mary served as an executive board member of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies (2014-17), and served on the advisory boards of Console-ing Passions: Conference on Television, Audio, Video, New Media, and Feminism until 2015 and "She Made It: Women Creating Television and Radio," a permanent collection at the Paley Center for Television and Radio. Areas of teaching specialty include: media history, film and television stardom, feminist theory, gender and the media, feminist filmmaking, melodrama, material culture, print culture and history. 


Visual Arts Center, Room 207
HB 6194


  • B.A. University of California at Riverside
  • M.A. University of California at Berkeley
  • Ph.D. University of Southern California

Selected Publications

  • Recycled Stars:  Female Film Stardom in the Age of Television and Video (Duke University Press, 2015).

    Father Knows Best (Wayne State University Press, 2015)

  • Dietrich Icon, co-edited with Gerd Gemunden (Duke University Press, 2007).

    Special issues of Celebrity Studies (Volume 8, no. 4, December 2017) on celebrity biography/biopics, co-edited with Michael DeAngelis; Journal of e-Media Studies (Summer 2015) on race, gender, and genre in broadcast television and radio, co-edited with Mary Beth Haralovich.

  • "The Incredible Shrinking Star:  Todd Haynes and the Case of Karen Carpenter,"  Feminism’s Indelible Mark:  Reframing the Work of Todd Haynes, eds. Therese Geller  and Julia Leyda (Duke University Press, 2022), pp. 256-280.

  • "Gross 'Inaccuracies, Misrepresentations, and Exaggerations': The Motion Picture Industry's Clean-up of Movie Fan Magazines in 1934," Mapping Movie Magazines:  Digitization, Periodicals, and Cinema History, ed. Daniel Biltereyst and Lies Van de Vijver (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020).  Runner-up for Best Edited Collection awarded by British Association of Film, Television, and Screen Studies (BAFTSS), 2021.

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Works In Progress

Publicity Matters:  Case Studies in Studio-era Hollywood's Public Relations, book-length study of the relation between the Hollywood studios, the press, and public relations between 1930-1960.  In progress.

Selected Works & Activities