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American national identity and discourses of the frontier in early 20th century visual culture

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Date Issued:
2014
Summary:
This thesis examines the rise of image culture in the 1920’s and its impact on American national identity. I demonstrate that, perhaps surprisingly, the central figure in these debates was not a past or present prominent American but instead an indeterminate Other which is read in ambivalent ways and for varied purposes. It is the central claim of this project that in order to trace the modern American subject that emerges from the 1920s national rift, one must attend to the ways in which a felt need to view and position oneself in relation to “the Other” was essential to defining the nature and future of the nation. More specifically, I argue that the film Grass: A Nation’s Battle for Life (1925) offers a solution to this national divide by providing viewers a popular culture form of “evidence” of the Westerner’s capacity to exhibit both premodern and modern qualities.
Title: American national identity and discourses of the frontier in early 20th century visual culture.
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Name(s): Maldonado, Chandra Ann, author
Trapani, William, Thesis advisor
Florida Atlantic University, Degree grantor
Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters
School of Communication and Multimedia Studies
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Created: 2014
Date Issued: 2014
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 90 p.
Language(s): English
Summary: This thesis examines the rise of image culture in the 1920’s and its impact on American national identity. I demonstrate that, perhaps surprisingly, the central figure in these debates was not a past or present prominent American but instead an indeterminate Other which is read in ambivalent ways and for varied purposes. It is the central claim of this project that in order to trace the modern American subject that emerges from the 1920s national rift, one must attend to the ways in which a felt need to view and position oneself in relation to “the Other” was essential to defining the nature and future of the nation. More specifically, I argue that the film Grass: A Nation’s Battle for Life (1925) offers a solution to this national divide by providing viewers a popular culture form of “evidence” of the Westerner’s capacity to exhibit both premodern and modern qualities.
Identifier: FA00004214 (IID)
Degree granted: Thesis (M.A.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2014.
Collection: FAU Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection
Note(s): Includes bibliography.
Subject(s): Frontier and pioneer life -- United States -- Historiography
Frontier thesis
Grass: A Nation's Battle for Life (1925) (Motion picture)
Group identity -- Political aspects -- United States -- History -- 20th century
Nationalism -- United States -- History -- 20th century
Political culture -- United States -- History -- 20th century
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Sublocation: Digital Library
Links: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00004214
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00004214
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author, with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Host Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.