Screening Race in American Nontheatrical Film

Screening Race in American Nontheatrical Film
Book Pages: 448 Illustrations: 134 illustrations Published: November 2019

African American Studies and Black Diaspora, Critical Ethnic Studies, Media Studies > Film

Although overlooked by most narratives of American cinema history, films made for purposes outside of theatrical entertainment dominated twentieth-century motion picture production. This volume adds to the growing study of nontheatrical films by focusing on the way filmmakers developed and audiences encountered ideas about race, identity, politics, and community outside the borders of theatrical cinema. The contributors to Screening Race in American Nontheatrical Film examine the place and role of race in educational films, home movies, industry and government films, anthropological films, and church films, as well as other forms of nontheatrical filmmaking. From filmic depictions of native Americans and films by 1920s African American religious leaders to a government educational film about the unequal treatment of Latin American immigrants, these films portrayed—for various purposes and intentions—the lives of those who were mostly excluded from the commercial films being produced in Hollywood. This volume is more than an examination of a broad swath of neglected twentieth-century filmmaking; it is a reevaluation of basic assumptions about American film culture and the place of race within it.

Contributors. Crystal Mun-hye Baik, Jasmyn R. Castro, Nadine Chan, Mark Garrett Cooper, Dino Everett, Allyson Nadia Field, Walter Forsberg, Joshua Glick, Tanya Goldman, Marsha Gordon, Noelle Griffis, Colin Gunckel, Michelle Kelley, Todd Kushigemachi, Martin L. Johnson, Caitlin McGrath, Elena Rossi-Snook, Laura Isabel Serna, Jacqueline Najuma Stewart, Dan Streible, Lauren Tilton, Noah Tsika, Travis L. Wagner, Colin Williamson


Screening Race in American Nontheatrical Film illuminates what is hidden right in front of us. Like cable or YouTube today, nontheatrical films have left evidence of a broader expression beyond commercial films, and examining them through the lens of race gives us a peek into a less homogenous and more realistic world. This collection of essays reminds us to reclaim this space as culturally valuable and, in a sense, take the power back by shifting perspective to explore an over-looked reality, not a marginal one.” — Shola Lynch, Curator, Moving Image and Recording Sound Division, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture of The New York Public Library


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Allyson Nadia Field is Associate Professor of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago.

Marsha Gordon is Professor of Film Studies at North Carolina State University.

Jacqueline Najuma Stewart is Professor of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago.

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Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-0476-9 / Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-0414-1