Marsha Gordon, “Narrating Modern Women’s Experiences: The Complex Legacy of Ursula Parrott”

June 4, 2020

In the 1930s, the writer Ursula Parrott used her novels, short stories, and screenwriting ventures to portray independent women during a period of immense social change in America. Despite this, like many women writers, Parrott’s legacy has been all but erased from the popular imagination.

In this podcast, Marsha Gordon, professor of film studies at North Carolina State University, delves into the way that Parrott’s independence and professional success existed in a complex relationship to her rather conservative views on gender. Understanding Parrott as a woman out of sync with her own time allows us to understand how she was influenced by the limitations of her society even while she envisioned a more progressive future.

Marsha Gordon
Marsha Gordon, North Carolina State University
Marsha Gordon is professor of film studies at North Carolina State University. She is the author of Film is Like a Battleground: Sam Fuller’s War Movies (Oxford University Press, 2017) and Hollywood Ambitions: Celebrity in the Movie Age (Wesleyan University Press, 2008), and co-editor of Learning With the Lights Off: Educational Film in the United States (Oxford University Press, 2012) and Screening Race in American Nontheatrical Film (Duke University Press, 2019). Marsha does a monthly show, “Movies on the Radio,” with NC Museum of Art film curator Laura Boyes and Frank Stasio, on 91.5/WUNC’s “The State of Things.” She also co-directed her first documentary, Rendered Small, in 2017 and is currently completing a new documentary about the artist Vernon Pratt. Visit her website at marshagordon.org.