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Grant number like: FT-57192-09

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Jennifer Horne
Regents of the University of California, Santa Cruz (Washington, DC 20064-0001)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2009 – 7/31/2009

Civic Cinema: Spectatorship, Citizenship, and American Silent Film

"Civic Cinema: Spectatorship, Citizenship, and American Silent Film," is a monographic study of American film culture from 1905 to 1929 focusing on the little-known use of films by social reformers, educators, cultural institutions, and clubs and civic associations. The book expands our understanding of active spectatorship in the pre-sound era by presenting archival evidence of film's role in Americanization, anti-suffrage education, and anti-segregationist social work in the Progressive Era. Case studies are drawn from the American Red Cross, the Boy Scouts of America, the United Way campaigns, women's clubs, the National Board of Review, and leading public libraries of the day. Presenting new archival evidence and the textual analysis of rare films, this book contributes both to film study and to the history of civic participation in the United States and will illustrate how deeply held ideas about everyday political life and cultural belonging influenced the shape of early cinema.