Art, Feminism, and the 1950s: A Mona Lisa Smile-Inspired Reading List

Mona Lisa Smile

Hello chums! Yesterday evening I finished watching Mona Lisa Smile (2003), which is a film I had never heard of before I stumbled across it on Netflix. Set in the 1950s, Mona Lisa Smile follows Katherine Ann Watson (Julia Roberts), who is considered a rather bohemian and modern woman, as she accepts a position teaching art history at Wellesley College, an ultra-conservative, all-girls institution in Massachusetts. Most of the girls at Wellesley are just there to bide their time until they are married, an idea which Katherine Watson disagrees with completely. The plot of the movie focuses around how Katherine Watson teaches her students to not only to expand their horizons when it comes to thinking about art, but she also teaches them that they can aspire to be more than just wives and mothers.

I thought this movie was completely wonderful – the 1950s New England setting was gorgeous, the cast was incredible (including not only Julia Roberts but other well-known names such as Kirsten Dunst, Julia Stiles, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Ginnifer Goodwin), the writing was clever, and the feminist undertones were, in my opinion, very well-done. This move encompassed so many of my own interests – art history, feminism, academia, and America during the 1950s – that I thought it might be fun to put together a reading list inspired by the film. You can still enjoy all of these books even if you haven’t seen the film, but I hope that if you have this list might serve as a place where you can continue to explore some of the themes of the movie. Without further ado, let’s get into the list. 🙂 Continue reading “Art, Feminism, and the 1950s: A Mona Lisa Smile-Inspired Reading List”

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Musings on Writing, Anxiety, and My Blogging Hiatus

Writing Post1

My, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? Hello old friends, I hope you’re all doing marvelously. About three weeks ago I finished my freshman year of college (woo!) and, as I tend to do when anything major comes to an end, I’ve been feeling very introspective lately. Part of this has been related to my schoolwork, obviously, as in thinking about what I liked and what I didn’t, what I did well at and areas where I think I should improve. Another major part of this, however, has been thinking about the things I do for fun, particularly book blogging, because during the last couple of months I became completely consumed by school work, neglecting those activities like reading and writing that I love so dearly. And while school is important, the things we enjoy are also important, and finding a balance between work and play is something I need work on. Not just a little bit of work, a huge amount of work. Basically, I’m hopeless at it. Continue reading “Musings on Writing, Anxiety, and My Blogging Hiatus”

Life Update (Or, Ramblings on Life, University, and Where I’ve Been)

August Review (1).pngHello lovely readers! Remember me? I run a little corner of the internet where I like to ramble on about books every now and again. Sometimes I say something interesting, but most of the time I don’t really know what I’m doing, and that’s half of the fun. Not ringing any bells? It’s been a while, I know, so I’ll forgive you if you don’t remember me. Promise.

This post is going to be a little different from what I usually publish, but I wanted to write a little something to let you all know where I’ve been for the past couple months because, as you’ve probably noticed, it most definitely has not been in the blogosphere. Continue reading “Life Update (Or, Ramblings on Life, University, and Where I’ve Been)”