Northwestern University

Sat 10:30 AM

All About Bette: A Conference on the Cultural Legacy of Bette Davis

When: Saturday, October 6, 2018
10:30 AM - 8:30 PM  

Where: Scott Hall, Guild Lounge, 601 University Place, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Cost: This event is free and open to the public, but you must register.

Contact: Julia Stern   847.491.7294

Group: English Department

Category: Lectures & Meetings

More Info


ATTN: From 6:00pm - 8:30pm the conference will meet at an alternative location*

Evanston Public Library

1703 Orrington Avenue

Evanston, IL 60201


Join us in a two-day conference about all things Bette Davis, from the industries that created her, to the actress herself as an industry. An actress unafraid to play unlikeable women, Davis regularly wrested directorial and production power away from men, earning her the title of “the Fourth Warner brother” and transforming her from star to auteur. While there is a significant body of work on Davis in film and media scholarship, she has made only a few appearances in literary and cultural studies, primarily in feminist and queer discussions of this period, as in Lauren Berlant’s and Theresa de Lauretis’s readings of Now, Voyager.

Bringing together an international group of media, film, gender, literature, and arts scholars, this conference seeks to build on that work, exploring the many ways in which Davis was central to mass and popular culture during Hollywood’s Golden Age.

Keynote, Friday, October 5 by Martin Shingler, Senior Lecturer in Film and Radio, University of Sunderland, UK

Additionally, we are pleased to announce a forum and talk with Kathryn Sermak, personal assistant to Bette Davis for the last decade of her life, co-founder of The Bette Davis Foundation and co-executor of The Bette Davis Estate, author of Miss D. and Me(Hachette Books, 2017). Ms. Sermak will be addressing the conference on Saturday at 4pm.

Join us for a viewing and panel discussion of the film Old Acquaintance at the Evanston Public Library, Saturday, October 6 at 6pm.

For more information, including a scedule of events, go to

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