Studlar

Gaylyn Studlar

​Program Director of Film and Media Studies
David May Distinguished Professor in the Humanities
research interests:
  • Feminist Film Theory
  • Genre Studies
  • Hollywood Cinema
  • Orientalism

contact info:

mailing address:

  • WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY
  • CB 1174
  • ONE BROOKINGS DR.
  • ST. LOUIS, MO 63130-4899

​Studlar’s research interests include feminist film theory and history, Hollywood cinema, genre studies, Orientalism, and the relationship between film and the other arts. 

For more information, visit Gaylyn Studlar's department profile.

Have Gun—Will Travel

Have Gun—Will Travel

One of the most successful series of its time, Have Gun—Will Travel became a cultural phenomenon in the late 1950s and made its star, Richard Boone, a nationwide celebrity. The series offered viewers an unusual hero in the mysterious, Shakespeare-spouting gunfighter known only as "Paladin" and garnered a loyal fan base, including a large female following. In Have Gun—Will Travel, film scholar Gaylyn Studlar draws on a remarkably wide range of episodes from the series’ six seasons to show its sophisticated experimentation with many established conventions of the Western. Studlar begins by exploring how the series made the television Western sexy, speaking to mid-twentieth century anxieties and aspirations in the sexual realm through its "dandy" protagonist and more liberal expectations of female sexuality. She also explores the show’s interest in a variety of historical issues and contemporaneous concerns—including differing notions of justice and the meaning of racial and cultural difference in an era marked by the civil rights movement. Through a production history of Have Gun—Will Travel, Studlar provides insight into the television industry of the late 1950s and early 1960s, showing how, in this transition period in which programming was moving from sponsor to network control, the series’ star exercised controversial influence on his show’s aesthetics. Because Have Gun—Will Travel was both so popular and so different from its predecessors and rivals, it presents a unique opportunity to examine what pleasures and challenges television Westerns could offer their audiences. Fans of the show as well as scholars of TV history and the Western genre will enjoy this insightful volume.

Precocious Charms: Stars Performing Girlhood in Classical Hollywood Cinema

Precocious Charms: Stars Performing Girlhood in Classical Hollywood Cinema

In Precocious Charms, Gaylyn Studlar examines how Hollywood presented female stars as young girls or girls on the verge of becoming women. Child stars are part of this study but so too are adult actresses who created motion picture masquerades of youthfulness. Studlar details how Mary Pickford, Shirley Temple, Deanna Durbin, Elizabeth Taylor, Jennifer Jones, and Audrey Hepburn performed girlhood in their films. She charts the multifaceted processes that linked their juvenated star personas to a wide variety of cultural influences, ranging from Victorian sentimental art to New Look fashion, from nineteenth-century children's literature to post-World War II sexology, and from grand opera to 1930s radio comedy. By moving beyond the general category of "woman," Precocious Charms leads to a new understanding of the complex pleasures Hollywood created for its audience during the half century when film stars were a major influence on America's cultural imagination.