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Making Room on the Bookshelf

Race under Reconstruction in German Cinema: Robert Stemmle’s Toxi

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In her book, Race under Reconstruction in German Cinema: Robert Stemmle’s Toxi, Cinema Studies Professor Angelica Fenner investigates postwar racial formations via a pivotal film by one of the era’s most popular directors. Toxi’s release in 1952 coincided with the enrolment in West German schools of roughly 500 Afro-German children fathered by American occupation soldiers. The film addresses integration at a time when the American civil rights movement was encountering violent resistance. Through a Cultural Studies approach, Fenner traces continuities in perceptions of ”blackness” to Nazi and Wilhelmine Germany, as well as to postwar American social science discourse and cultural icons Uncle Tom’s Cabin,Birth of a Nation, and Shirley Temple films.

Race Under Reconstruction (U of T Press, 2011) can be purchased ONLINE.

 

Funny Pictures: Animation and Comedy in Studio-Era Hollywood.

funny pictures charlie keil Professor Charlie Keil, Director of the Cinema Studies Institute has co-edited Funny Pictures: Animation and Comedy in Studio-Era Hollywood with Daniel Goldmark. This collection of essays explores the link between comedy and animation in studio-era cartoons, from filmdom’s earliest days through the twentieth century. Written by a who’s who of animation authorities, Funny Pictures offers a stimulating range of views on why animation became associated with comedy so early and so indelibly, and illustrates how animation and humor came together at a pivotal stage in the development of the motion picture industry. To examine some of the central assumptions about comedy and cartoons and to explore the key factors that promoted their fusion, the book analyzes many of the key filmic texts from the studio years that exemplify animated comedy.

Funny Pictures also looks ahead to show how this vital American entertainment tradition still thrives today in works ranging from The Simpsons to the output of Pixar.

Funny Pictures (University of California Press, 2011) can be purchased ONLINE.

 

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