FLM 271 Race, Gender, & The Civil War in American Film

This course examines the complex and, often problematic, presentation in film of race and gender during The Civil War. We will begin with a study of the 1939 film, Gone With the Wind, and close with the 2019 biopic of Harriet Tubman, Harriet.  How did the earlier film influence the way we tell stories of slavery and resistance on the screen and in the culture? How does the later film re-position our focus toward the lived experiences of the enslaved, of the escaped, and, even, of the newly energized? We will alternate between examinations of film history/production and theoretical readings around gender, race, and slavery in the U.S. The course will pay particular attention to the experiences of free and enslaved black women and the roles of white women during slavery.