About Us

Hello, and welcome to our website! We, NoRMMA, are a research network situated within the School of Arts at the University of Kent in Canterbury, UK. Founded in 2014, we particularly focus on the use of fan magazines for the purpose of film history research. As a group, we have organised a symposium (2014), an international conference (2015) and a series of public workshops (2017); currently, we are working on the Heritage Lottery-funded project Digitizing The War Illustrated, which will enable us to make a full run of the WW1-iteration of the magazine The War Illustrated available online in an open-access format. More information about each of these events can be found through their respective pages. For any further questions, please do drop us an email at normma.network@gmail.com, or find us on Facebook or Twitter

Here’s some more info about our founding members…

Tamar Jeffers-McDonald is Reader in Film at the University of Kent. Her interest in movie magazines began during the research for her monograph Hollywood Catwalk: Exploring costume and transformation in American Cinema(2010). Doris Day Confidential: Hollywood, Sex and Stardom (2013) posits that the well-known ‘girl next door’ and ‘perpetual virgin’ personae associated with the star were created by movie magazines. Current projects involve movie magazines and a range of issues: fashion tie-ins and marketing, layout and typography, in both Hollywood and non-Anglophone publications.

Lies Lanckman is a Lecturer in Film at the University of Hertfordshire. Her main focus is on Hollywood history in the 1920s and 1930s; particular research interests include stardom and fandom, film censorship, and the career of Norma Shearer. Her interest in film magazines focuses particularly on Hollywood-based magazines from the US and Europe dating from the 1910s to the 1940s, and the ways in which these deal with the personas of particular stars.

Sarah Polley‘s PhD research focused on star couples During Hollywood’s Studio Era – the 1920s-1950s. This encompasses the way American fan magazines contributed to stars’ images and reception in the United States. Cultural Studies’ theories of reading strategies inform this work. More general information on the fan magazine Industry itself, such as publisher’s histories and business connections, the employment of staff writers, as well as circulation figures (from such sources as Ayer and Sons), are also of interest to her. She is also eager to explore other related matters such as general interest American magazines of the early-mid Twentieth Century. Sarah is currently an Honorary Fellow at the University of Kent, after finishing her PhD in 2017.

Ann-Marie Fleming is a postgraduate researcher in Film at the University of Kent. Her main focus is on Hollywood stardom and marketing; particular research interests include gossip, star-focused advertising, copyright and Elvis Presley. Hollywood-based magazines are of particular interest because of their star construction and the tendency to ‘sell’ ideology through a star.

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