Please join us this Friday, October 20th at 11: 00 AM in Cobb 311 for our second meeting of the Mass Culture Workshop. This week we’re happy to welcome Susan Courtney, Professor of Film and Media Studies and English at the University of South Carolina. She will be presenting on her exciting new book Split Screen Nation: Moving Images of the American West and South. Her presentation is titled “Vernacular Screen Forms of the American Paradox.”
The opening chapters of her new book are available for download here
Please email either Panpan [email@example.com] or Jenisha [firstname.lastname@example.org] for the password.
Refreshments will be provided.
We look forward to seeing you at the workshop!
Panpan and Jenisha
Vernacular Screen Forms of the American Paradox
I’m circulating the opening chapters of my new book, Split Screen Nation: Moving Images of the American West and South. An intersectional study of orphaned and popular screen media, this book investigates the history of divided feelings about the United States and its most paradoxical narratives through the lens of region. In the decades after World War II, it argues, such feelings animated a detectable opposition between the screen West and the screen South. Reading these vernacular screen forms in relation, the project aims to expand our understanding of their circulation across a diverse range of theatrical and non-theatrical material. Attentive to the diverse contexts of production and consumption at issue in its archive, Split Screen Nation does not jettison close analysis of audiovisual form, but rather by seeks to refine the kinds of historical insight we might extract with it.
Since my talk at UC the day before the workshop will focus on my work on atomic test films, I thought it might be nice to invite folks to consider some of the larger questions the book engages, so I’m sharing the introduction and the first chapter. Also, since the book uses short sections I call “teasers” before these chapters, to invite readers to easily dip into, and travel around in, some of its key examples, I’ve included two of these as well to offer a glimpse of the range of materials the book considers. It might be nice to discuss the range interventions—methodological and otherwise—laid out in the introduction. I’ve included chapter one as more of a supplement (for any who may be interested) that lets you see how I engage amateur film.
Susan Courtney is Professor of Film and Media Studies and English at the University of South Carolina, where she co-founded the Orphan Film Symposium. Her most recent book, Split Screen Nation: Moving Images of the American West and South (Oxford UP), came out earlier this year. Recent publications also include a series of guest columns in Flow: A Critical Forum on Media and Culture on teaching race and media studies today. Courtney is also the author of Hollywood Fantasies of Miscegenation: Spectacular Narratives of Gender and Race, 1903-1967 (Princeton UP).