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The Hidden Foundation

Cinema and the Question of Class

1996

David E. James and Rick Berg, editors

The Hidden Foundation

Argues that issues of class are central to film history.

Ranging from the earliest days of the cinema to the present, The Hidden Foundation reestablishes class as a fundamental aspect of film history. Featuring prominent film scholars and historians acting to inaugurate a new type of film studies, this volume is unique in its international scope, diversity of perspectives and methodologies, and the cultural, political, and historical sweep of its analysis.

Contributors: Paul Arthur, Jane Collings, Marianne Conroy, Jane Gaines, Douglas Kellner, Chuck Kleinhans, Bill Nichols, Lillian S. Robinson, Steven J. Ross, Esther C. M. Yau.

It has long been a source of amazement that a country so class conscious as the United States should pay so little attention to class structures and class ideologies in its culture. This new collection is very timely, indeed, and should demonstrate the urgency and immediate relevance of class issues for American film.

Fredric R. Jameson, The William A. Lane, Jr. Professor of French and Comparative Literature and Director of the Institute for Critical Theory at Duke University

The Hidden Foundation was first published in 1996.

Ranging from the earliest days of the cinema to the present, The Hidden Foundation reestablishes class as a fundamental aspect of film history. Featuring prominent film scholars and historians acting to inaugurate a new type of film studies, this volume is unique in its international scope, diversity of perspectives and methodologies, and the cultural, political, and historical sweep of its analysis.

The Hidden Foundation begins with a review of the history of class in social and political thought, going on to chronicle its disappearance from film and cultural studies. Avoiding dogma through a diversity of perspectives and political positions, subsequent essays employ a variety of conceptions of class. The topics considered here range from American and Soviet silent film through Chinese and American film in the fifties, to the restructuring of the working class that was a feature of films of the 1980s in both the United States and Britain. A particular strength of the collection is its treatment of race and gender in films about working-class women of color, including Imitation of Life, Salt of the Earth, and The White-Haired Girl.

Representing a commitment to revitalize the study of class as an essential aspect of film, The Hidden Foundation will be of interest to film buffs, historians, and anyone interested in issues of class in the United States and abroad.

Contributors: Paul Arthur, Montclair State U; Jane Collings, UCLA; Marianne Conroy, McGill U; Jane Gaines, Duke U; Douglas Kellner, U of Texas, Austin; Chuck Kleinhans, Northwestern U; Bill Nichols, San Francisco State U; Lillian S. Robinson, East Carolina U; Steven J. Ross, U of Southern California; Esther C. M. Yau, Occidental College.

David E. James is professor of critical studies in the School of Cinema-Television at the University of Southern California. Rick Berg teaches at Occidental College.

The Hidden Foundation

David E. James is professor of critical studies in the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California.

Rick Berg teaches in the School of Cinema-Television at the University of Southern California.

The Hidden Foundation

It has long been a source of amazement that a country so class conscious as the United States should pay so little attention to class structures and class ideologies in its culture. This new collection is very timely, indeed, and should demonstrate the urgency and immediate relevance of class issues for American film.

Fredric R. Jameson, The William A. Lane, Jr. Professor of French and Comparative Literature and Director of the Institute for Critical Theory at Duke University

David James and Rick Berg are to be commended for editing an anthology which opens up further areas of inquiry.

Cineaste