Video Essay: Shirley Temple

Shirley Temple from Shelby Dill on Vimeo.

In the above video essay, I explore academic debates about Shirley Temple’s films and their representation of cosseting. Cosseting is defined by the OED as “to care for or protect in an overindulgent way”. On one side, academics argue Temple’s cosseting of the male characters in her films is a form of pedophilia. Other academics disagree, stating the above argument is “presentist” or lacks important historical context. I set out to determine where I stand in the debate.