Penelope Martindale L&S Arts & Humanities
Baseball as a Site of Gender Renegotiation in American Film
Baseball occupies a unique space in American culture as a phenomenon rich in meaning for individuals and the nation alike. The game is a symbol of American virtue, grit, and skill, a game played by good, hard-working American men who know and love it, at least in popular imagination. Film is crucial to the maintenance of this myth; however, baseball films falter when it comes to those who are not men. There are no women in the major leagues, and yet, images of women who are curious and enthusiastic about baseball who have exemplary knowledge and skill are not entirely absent from cinema. Thus, this project aims to examine exactly what happens when women and baseball are in the same film, how baseball in and of itself can be a site where women and non-men negotiate their gender and grant their skills and presences legitimacy, and how film techniques can be used for this legitimization.