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Picture of Americanization of History

Americanization of History

Conflation of Time and Culture in Film and Television

Editor(s): Kathleen McDonald
Contributors: Greg Metcalf, Robson Olivios, Brennan M. Thomas, Iian Mitchell Smith, Daniel Gremmler, Nicholas Moll,

Book Description

This collection of essays searches for how history and literature translate into filmic texts that then reflect the time and place of the translation. Major motion pictures as well as television movies and series are the sites of this exploration. The opening essay surveys what films tell us it means to be set in a medieval time, while the second looks at one of the most powerful movie studios since the earliest days of movie-making, Walt Disney Studios. The second section investigates classic Americana by delving specifically into the hegemonic power of Walt Disney Studios, by considering the union between the American pastime of baseball and the great white way of Broadway, and by discovering the constantly morphing relationship of the icons of the Wild West. Section three looks at characters living outside of roles considered socially appropriate in their world: vampire slayers, mobsters, and those with multiple personalities. The fourth section studies how present-day mores of power and beauty control revisions of historically-based stories through issues of vengeance, race, sexuality, and the notion of beauty itself. The final section takes up the question of what it means to historicize the present moment, and analyzes the current period via a very popular and long-running show’s depiction of sexuality as accepted or rejected within a paradigm that appears not merely to tolerate, but actively to promote, deviance. The last essay questions the very concepts of time and history themselves. The articles do not reach one conclusion regarding this topic, but instead provide a variety of perspectives which help to theorize the issue for the discerning reader.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-2579-5
ISBN-10: 1-4438-2579-4
Date of Publication: 01/01/2011
Pages / Size: 305 / A5
Price: £44.99


Kathleen McDonald took her PhD in English Literature from the University at Albany, State University of New York, USA, in 2005. She has been an Assistant Professor of English at Norwich University in Vermont since that time. Her areas of interest include women’s private writing in Eighteenth-Century America, the American mystery novel, and, of course, the intersection of history and popular culture in film and literature, as evidenced in this collection.