academia vivien leigh

Mission: Accomplished!

Vivien Leigh International Star

As you may or may not know, I spent the entire summer researching, writing, editing and re-writing my MA dissertation. Four months, 54 sources and nearly 16,000 words later, I’m finally finished. It’s been printed, bound and submitted! Although I feel a bit nervous as to my prospective mark, I’m actually really proud of the research and work I’ve done. My supervisor gave my confidence a little boost during the draft stage when she said that I was contributing something important to British cinema studies. I decided to pair vintage archival material with current discourses on stardom, nation and aging women in Hollywood cinema in order to explore what Vivien’s career revealed about both the British and Hollywood film industries in which she operated. I also chose not to focus on Gone with the Wind because it’s been done to death, but it is a connecting thread throughout the chapters. Although it wasn’t written from the perspective of fandom, I hope my admiration for Vivien came through as I picked her career apart in order to reclaim her as a star and interpretive performer–as more than just Scarlett O’Hara.

It’s quite exciting to feel like I’ve charted new territory!

And now that this is done, regular site updates will resume 🙂

Kendra has been the weblady at since 2007. She lives in Yorkshire and is the author of Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait, and co-author of Ava Gardner: A Life in Movies (Running Press). Follow her on Twitter @kendrajbean, Instagram at @vivandlarrygram, or at her official website.

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Comments (17)

  1. Congratulations, Kendra! What a huge relief this must be for you! I would really love to read your dissertation … will you eventually put it on your blog? Can’t wait for your regular blog posts to resume — I’ve missed them! Enjoyed your last one about the museum in Topsham very much.

    Now that you’ve completed your dissertation, what comes next for you? Are your studies in London coming to an end? All the best to you as always … DAVID

    1. Thank you! Yes. It is quite a relief, but the year went by so fast and now its over and it feels anti-climactic. I don’t know if I will put it on the blo. I’m going to do some editing and try and submit a couple chapters to some film journals.

      Next is a job and re-joining the real world!

      1. Aww thank you so much! I kind of fell of the blogosphere for a bit, but I’m back now and am absolutely in awe of how gorgeous and just truly elegant and professional this site looks. Really wonderful work! <3

  2. Compliments for your accomplishments and all my best wishes . Needless to say, I’d love to read your dissertation and to see it published .

  3. Congratulations, Kendra! How wonderful it must have been to write about the one you love and get credits too! Will you defend your thesis at your graduation ceremony? Will it be published? Would love to read it….Thanks for keeping writing about our beloved Vivien and Larry, although they both are slipping more and more into the past, and for keeping their memory and legacy alive. Even though there’s not always time and opportunity for me to be involved in this and even contribute!, I find that you’re always here…so thank you so much! Please, don’t change…

    1. Hi Juliette,

      No, we don’t have to defend our theses as the MA level. I’m hoping I can get bits of it published somewhere but will have to see how it goes.

      Thanks, I’m glad you’re enjoying the site, and it’s great to know other people are out there who still enjoy talking about Larry and Viv!

  4. Congratulations Kendra! Even though I was in no way part of its creation I feel so proud of you. Weird? Ah well. It’s definitely something you can be proud about 🙂
    Feels like only yesterday when I read about your dissertation on your tumblr. Time does fly by.

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