Upcoming Ursula Parrott "Becoming the Ex-Wife" Events
Nov 29 (Weds), 6pm Ursula Parrott lecture (in person + streaming),
Nov 30 (Thurs), 6pm Parrott lecture + book signing, Harvard Club
Send me an email to reserve a seat. 374 Commonwealth Avenue. Parking is
on 415 Newbury Street (Club’s parking lot behind the Clubhouse).
Dec 1 (Fri), 6pm Book Signing + Introduction, There's Always Tomorrow (1956) at
The Brattle Theater, Cambridge
Jan 9 (Tues), 6pm, Virtual Webinar on Ursula Parrott and NYC for the Greenwich
Village Society for Historic Preservation.
Feb 26 (Mon), 6pm, Screening + Book Signing, Cosford Cinema University of
March 9 (Sat), 1pm Ursula Parrott talk; 2:30pm book signing
3pmThe Divorcee introduction
Asheville, NC. Zelda Festival, East Asheville Library.
March 5 (Tues), 7pm "Why You Should Start Teaching Ursula Parrott's Ex-Wife."
National Humanities Center Webinar. Registration (free) here.
Past Parrott Events:
April 25 So & So Books with Belle Boggs.
April 26 The Divorcee screening + book talk with Tift Merritt, The Cary Theater.
April 27 Lecture at the University of Maryland, College Park and screening
of Next Time We Love (1936), Old Greenbelt Theater.
April 30 Book signing + double-feature--There's Always Tomorrow (1934) + The
Divorcee (1930)--AFI Silver Theatre, Silver Spring, MD.
Aug 27 Introduction of Next Time We Love + book signing, Chelsea Theater,
Chapel Hill, NC
Aug 31 Book talk, Introduction of There's Always Tomorrow, and Q&A, Indiana
University Cinema, Bloomington.
Sept 1 Book talk at Case Western Reserve + Introduction of Next Time We Love at
Sept 27 The Divorcee Introduction at Union Cinema, Milwaukee.
Sept 28 Book reading + signing, Boswell Books, Milwaukee.
Sept 30 Introductions to There's Always Tomorrow, UW Madison Cinematheque.
Oct 4 Ursula Parrott discussion with Cara Robertson, Chevalier's Los Angeles.
Oct 8 Introduction of Leftover Ladies (1931) on 35mm (loaned by Library of
Congress) at the Hammer Museum/UCLA archives.
Oct 27 Book talk + signing The Lamb's Club in Manhattan (3 West 51st St)
Oct 28 Introduction toNext Time We Love on 35mm + book signing,
Museum of the Moving Image, Astoria Queens.
Nov 9 Ursula Parrott lecture + screening of The Divorcee (1930), MSU.
University of Chicago.
Nov 11 There's Always Tomorrow (1956) introduction + post-screening discussion,
I am a Film Studies professor at North Carolina State University who loves researching, writing, and speaking about American film and culture. I regularly introduce movies, moderate panels, make radio and podcast appearances, and lecture on an array of topics.
My latest book, Becoming the Ex-Wife: The Unconventional Life & Forgotten Writings of Ursula Parrott (2023), was supported by a National Humanities Center Fellowship (2019-2020) and NEH Public Scholar Fellowship (2020-2021).
I am also the author of Film is Like a Battleground: Sam Fuller’s War Movies and Hollywood Ambitions: Celebrity in the Movie Age, and the co-editor of Learning with the Lights Off: A Reader in Educational Film and Screening Race in American Nontheatrical Film. I am the former editor of The Moving Image journal.
I have co-directed three short documentaries: Nesting (2020), about a bird’s nest and historical small-town American newspapers; All the Possibilities... (2019), about a single, extraordinary painting by Vernon Pratt; and Rendered Small (2017), about a unique collection of American Folk Art Buildings. My latest documentary-in-progress is This Beautiful Vision.
From December 2013 to November 2020, I did the monthly radio show, “Movies on the Radio,” on NPR affiliate WUNC’s "The State of Things." I also co-founded Home Movie Day Raleigh and the infamous Bastard Film Encounter.
I've given talks all over the United States as well as in London, Amsterdam, Vienna, and Prague. I've introduced films at the National Gallery of Art, the National Archives, the Museum of the Moving Image, the Hammer Museum, the Czech National Film Archive, the Austrian Film Museum, the North Carolina Museum of Art, and many other venues.
Watch my "Ursula Parrott in Two Minutes" video.
Check out Adam Sobsey's review of "Becoming the Ex-Wife" at the LA Review of Books.
One of the highlights of my career was getting to go with Vice Provost Susan Nutter to the White House in June 2016 to accept the National Medal for Museum and Library Service on behalf of NCSU’s amazing libraries from one of the women I admire most, First Lady Michelle Obama.
1. Motion Pictures . . . A little black circular object sits in Gordon’s office. At first glance, it looks like an ashtray, but it’s a miniature zoetrope. Spin it and images drawn by one of her students bring to life a howling wolf. It’s a nice reminder of how students surprise her. “More often than not, I’m surprised what students end up appreciating that I think they are going to be dismissive of,” says Gordon.
2. Hard to Pick a Favorite, but . . . Gordon loves teaching classics like Rebel Without a Cause, by one of her favorite directors, Nicholas Ray. Or director Douglas Sirk’s melodramas and Sam Fuller’s war movies. Fuller, in fact, gets a nod above her desk with a framed picture of Lee Marvin from the set of the director’s The Big Red One. She wrote a book about Fuller and was able to meet his wife and daughter. “They were generous enough to allow me into their home archive,” she says. “I remember the first time I was in that space of his former writing studio, I just felt like this was like a religious experience.”
IN MY OFFICE
"Desk Set," by Chis Saunders
The Alumni Magazine NC State, Winter 2018
Who: Marsha Gordon, professor and coordinator of the film program at NC State since 2002. She teaches courses ranging in focus from musicals and war documentaries to African-American film and literature and cinema. And she’s a director to boot. Gordon just made her first documentary, Rendered Small.
Office: Tompkins 257
3. An Eye for Art . . . A lamp designed to look like a dress is a piece of folk art. “One of my secondary life interests is the world of art and collecting,” she says. She once worked at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. It’s that interest that led her to the subjects of her documentary, Rendered Small, which chronicles a Hillsborough, N.C., couple’s vast collection of miniature buildings.
4. Period Pieces . . . A movie poster featuring Clara Bow, an early 20th century film star, hangs on the wall. “If you were to say, ‘What’s your favorite period of time in film history?’ America film from the Twenties to the Fifties,” she says.
5. Wall of Women . . . Bow is just one of many powerful females adorning walls all around in the cinephile’s digs. There’s a picture of Judy Garland and a poster of Donna Summer. There’s a boxed-up Eva Gabor wig (Gordon will offer to let you wear it) and a picture of Wonder Woman, Gordon’s hero growing up in California’s San Fernando Valley. And directly above her desk hangs a picture of Diana Serra Cary, a child star of the early 1900s. She went by the name of Baby Peggy, and Gordon got to interview her 12 years ago. The picture features Serra Cary’s autograph.
Department of English
North Carolina State University
Dept. of English--CB 8105
Raleigh, NC 27695-8105