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dc.contributor.advisorFalicov, Tamara
dc.contributor.authorSanchez, Courtney Aspen
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation is about cinema culture, modern femininity, and Mexico City between 1917 and 1931. It is a story about movie makers, movie spectators, and the movie texts that mediated between them. It is a study of on-screen divas, pelonas, and indigenas. It is also an account of an era that began with end of revolutionary bloodshed and ended with the beginning of Mexican sound cinema. The confluence of Mexican cultural nationalism and transnational modernity during this period prompted robust discourse around the categories “woman,” “women,” and “feminine,” which meant that these terms were under constant revision at the same time that Mexican silent cinema culture was developing a foundation for the subsequent Golden Age (1940-1950). Accordingly, the discursive history that follows aims to elucidate the reciprocal relationship between women and silent cinema culture in Mexico City during the immediate postrevolution era. While scholars of North American cinema have revealed that women played a more powerful role in film culture during the silent era than any other time since, and though studies of Latin American cinema have recently begun to interrogate the specific characteristics of silent cinema in the region, the assumption that Mexican gender ideologies barred women from participation in silent film culture persists. Moreover, Mexican silent film culture is often dismissed or bracketed from discussions of later cinematic developments in that country on the assumption that, because few silent films were made in Mexico, the influence of the era was similarly constrained. How, then, did women engage with the movies as spectators, filmmakers, and characters on screen? How did this engagement interface with Mexican gender ideals, and how did it help guide the development of Mexican cinema? The discourses that articulated postrevolution cinema culture spoke also to the gendered balance of social and political power in modern Mexico, so my project joins a growing body of work that appraises the role of women and the significance of popular culture in the elaboration of Mexican modernity. Ultimately, my comparison of different aspects of cinema culture underscores the ambivalence that characterized postrevolution Mexico City – while cinema culture granted women new opportunities to participate in public life and to fashion their own identities, cinema also created representations and desires that channeled postrevolution ideas about women in a direction favorable to state power.
dc.format.extent240 pages
dc.publisherUniversity of Kansas
dc.rightsCopyright held by the author.
dc.subjectFilm studies
dc.subjectLatin American studies
dc.subjectWomen's studies
dc.subjectCinema culture
dc.subjectDiscursive History
dc.subjectMexico City
dc.subjectPostrevolution Mexico
dc.subjectWomen's History
dc.titleEn La Sombra: Cinema Culture and Modern Women in Mexico City, 1917-1931
dc.contributor.cmtememberBaskett, Michael
dc.contributor.cmtememberPreston, Catherine
dc.contributor.cmtememberRosenthal, Anton
dc.contributor.cmtememberWilson, Ronald
dc.thesis.degreeDisciplineFilm & Media Studies

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