Synopses & Reviews
While Indigenous media have gained increasing prominence around the world, the vibrant Aboriginal media world on the Canadian West Coast has received little scholarly attention. As the first ethnography of the Aboriginal media community in Vancouver, Sovereign Screens
reveals the various social forces shaping Aboriginal media production including community media organizations and avant-garde art centers, as well as the national spaces of cultural policy and media institutions.
Kristin L. Dowell uses the concept of visual sovereignty to examine the practices, forms, and meanings through which Aboriginal filmmakers tell their individual stories and those of their Aboriginal nations and the intertribal urban communities in which they work. She explores the ongoing debates within the community about what constitutes Aboriginal media, how this work intervenes in the national Canadian mediascape, and how filmmakers use technology in a wide range of genresand#8212;including experimental mediaand#8212;to recuperate cultural traditions and reimagine Aboriginal kinship and sociality.and#160; Analyzing the interactive relations between this social community and the media forms it produces, Sovereign Screens offers new insights into the on-screen and off-screen impacts of Aboriginal media.and#160;
and#8220;Nowhere is Aboriginal media more active, more vibrant, and more significant than in Canada. . . . The efforts ofand#160;small, underfunded, ambitious, and creative groups of filmmakers in Vancouver make for an engaging story. . . . This is a clear, useful, and well-researched book.and#8221;and#8212;Michael Evans, author of Fast Runner: Filming the Legend of Atanarjuat and#160;and#160;
and#8220;[A] beautifully detailed ethnography of Vancouverand#8217;s growing Aboriginal media hub. . . . Dowell convincingly argues that Aboriginal media is an act of visual sovereignty.and#8221;and#8212;Jennifer Kramer, author of Switchbacks: Art, Ownership, and Nuxalk National Identity
"This important contribution to media and indigenous studies is destined to become required reading in these areas."and#8212;C. R. King, CHOICE
andldquo;Brandeacute;gent-Heald develops a long overdue and much needed comparative perspective on the twentieth-century history of films about the U.S. borders with Mexico and Canada. As it challenges notions of national and regional exceptionalism, Borderland Films is essential reading for anyone interested in border studies, North American history, scholarship on the Canada-U.S. border, hemispheric American studies, and film studies.andrdquo;andmdash;Claudia Sadowski-Smith, author of Border Fictions: Globalization, Empire, and Writing at the Boundaries of the United Statesand#160;and#160;
andldquo;This beautifully written, interdisciplinary analysis combines cutting-edge borderlands scholarship with a close analysis of a unique genre in the late Progressive Era American film industry. It examines the many ways that films about the northern and southern edges of the United States portrayed and explained racial tensions. It is an important and welcome addition to North American borderlands historiography.andrdquo;andmdash;Sheila McManus, author of The Line Which Separates: Race, Gender, and the Making of the Alberta-Montana Borderlands
andldquo;In Borderland Films, Dominique Brandeacute;gent-Heald analyzes a stunning array of moviesandmdash;from the familiar to the forgottenandmdash;produced during the industryandrsquo;s early years and set along the boundaries between the United States and its northern and southern neighbors, with particular attention to overlapping and diverging portrayals of race, gender, citizenship, and nation. Carefully argued and lucidly written, this is essential reading for those engaged in the telling of a truly continental history of North America.andrdquo;andmdash;Andrew Graybill, author of Policing the Great Plains: Rangers, Mounties, and the North American Frontier, 1875andndash;1910
In the early days of cinema, when actors were unbilled and unmentioned in credits, audiences immediately noticed Mary Pickford. Moviegoers everywhere were riveted by her magnetic talent and appeal as she rose to become cinema's first great star.
In this engaging collection, copublished with the Library of Congress, an eminent group of film historians sheds new light on this icon's incredible life and legacy. Pickford emerges from the pages in vivid detail. She is revealed as a gifted actress, a philanthropist, and a savvy industry leader who fought for creative control of her films and ultimately became her own producer. This beautifully designed volume features more than two hundred color and black and white illustrations, including photographs and stills from the collections of the Library of Congress and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Together with the text, they paint a fascinating portrait of a key figure in American cinematic history.
The concept of North American borderlands in the cultural imagination fluctuated greatly during the Progressive Era as it was affected by similarly changing concepts of identity and geopolitical issues influenced by the Mexican Revolution and the First World War. Such shifts became especially evident in films set along the Mexican and Canadian borders as filmmakers explored how these changes simultaneously represented and influenced views of society at large.
Borderland Films examines the intersection of North American borderlands and culture as portrayed through early twentieth-century cinema. Drawing on hundreds of films, Dominique Brandeacute;gent-Heald investigates the significance of national borders; the ever-changing concepts of race, gender, and enforced boundaries; the racialized ideas of criminality that painted the borderlands as unsafe and in need of control; and the wars that showed how international conflict significantly influenced the United Statesandrsquo; relations with its immediate neighbors. Borderland Films provides a fresh perspective on American cinematic, cultural, and political history and on how cinema contributed to the establishment of societal narratives in the early twentieth century.
About the Author
Kristin L. Dowell is anand#160;associate professor of anthropology at Florida State University. She is a visual anthropologist who has worked as a film curator at several Native film festivals. Her articles have appeared in the journalsand#160;American Anthropologistand#160;andand#160;Transformationsand#160;and in edited volumes, includingand#160;Native Art of the Northwest Coast: A History of Changing Ideas, winner of the 2015 Canada Prize in the Humanities.