Studies in the Historical Reception of American Cinema
By (author) Janet Staiger
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Interpreting Films by Janet Staiger
Book DescriptionEmploying a wide range of examples from Uncle Tom's Cabin and Birth of a Nation to Zelig and Personal Best, Janet Staiger argues that a historical examination of spectators' responses to films can make a valuable contribution to the history, criticism, and philosophy of cultural products. She maintains that as artifacts, films do not contain immanent meanings, that differences among interpretations have historical bases, and that these variations are due to social, political, and economic conditions as well as the viewers' constructed images of themselves. After proposing a theory of reception study, the author demonstrates its application mainly through analyzing the varying responses of audiences to certain films at specific moments in history. Staiger gives special attention to how questions of class, gender, sexual preference, race, and ethnicity enter into film viewers' interpretations. Her analysis reflects recent developments in post-structuralism, cognitive psychology, psychoanalysis, and cultural studies, and includes a discussion of current reader-response models in literary and film studies as well as an alternative approach for thinking about historical readers and spectators.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780691006161
(229mm x 152mm x 16mm)
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 3-Mar-1992
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Janet Staiger
Political Emotions, Hardback (April 2010)
Explores the contributions that the study of discourses, rhetoric, and framing of emotion make to understanding the public sphere, civil society and the political realm. This title examines why some sentiments are valued in public communication while others are judged irrelevant, and considers how sentiments mobilize political trajectories.
Convergence Media History, Paperback (July 2009)
Explores the ways that digital convergence has changed the field of media history. This title features essays that address a single medium - including film, television, advertising, sound recording, new media, and more - and connects that specific medium's history to larger issues for the field in writing multi-media or convergent histories.
Media Reception Studies, Paperback (July 2005)» View all books by Janet Staiger
Surveys the past century of scholarship on the ways in which audiences make meaning out of mass media. The book synthesizes social scientific, linguistic, and cultural studies approaches to film and television as communication media.
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