History Department
History Department

Gender Symp.: "Reel South(s): Race, Region, & the American Film Industry in the Era of Black Civil Rights (1955-75)" by Jackie Pinkowitz, University of Texas at Austin

Fri, December 1, 2017 | GAR 1.102

12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

The History Department’s Symposium on Gender, History, and Sexuality Presents:

"Reel South(s): Race, Region, & the American Film Industry in the Era of Black Civil Rights (1955-75)"

Jackie Pinkowitz
Ph.D. Candidate, Media Studies, in the Department of Radio, Television and Film
The University of Texas at Austin

This project uses the Southern imaginary to critically interrogate how the commercial American film industry responded to the racial and cultural anxieties as well as the industrial transformations and destabilizations of the civil rights era, attempting to negotiate through popular film the period’s rapidly shifting and increasingly contentious meanings of race, region, and nation. It explores the conflicted and evolving logics, strategies, and processes that marked the industry’s transition from the studio era to the New Hollywood by considering the ways in which the studios and a proliferating number of alternatives – including independent and exploitation films and foreign imports – variously responded to the twinned problems of race and region. In particular, I examine how whiteness, blackness, and the U.S. South were mutually informed and co-produced in the production and promotion of different generic cycles within this expanding landscape of popular film, thereby collectively participating in and contributing to dominant conceptions of race, place, gender, and sexuality at a time when all were being actively renegotiated. Thus, this project ultimately explores not only the industrial and discursive function which the Southern imaginary served for the American film industry, but also the ideological and cultural work which the resultant cinematic constructions of race, gender, and region performed at specific moments throughout this tumultuous era.

About the Symposium on Gender, History, and Sexuality:

Sponsored by: ​Symposium on Gender, History, and Sexuality, in the Department of History

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