Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Cassandra Branch Humanities

Silver Screen Sex Work: The Spectacular Mythology of Prostitution in the Cinema of 1960s America

Scholars Journal

Cassandra’s research explores gendered discourse and narrative. For the purposes of this project, Cassandra will analyze the narratives of "Butterfield 8" featuring Elizabeth Taylor, "Breakfast at Tiffany’s" starring Audrey Hepburn, and "Walk on the Wild Side" with Jane Fonda. She will underscore how the Hollywood machine served as a propaganda bulwark against feminine subversion through the early half of the 1960s, using prostitution and semiotic signification as means of redefining womanhood and quelling masculine anxiety amidst the larger cultural discourses of the Cold War and the burgeoning feminist movement. This summer, Cassandra will spend time researching at the UCLA Special Collections Library, the Margaret Herrick Library, and the USC Cinematic Arts Library to explore precisely what these limits of conformity and control are when it comes to the aforementioned films in relation to the conservative production codes of the era.
Major: American Studies and English
Mentor: Christine Palmer, American Studies
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