By Alison Landsberg
Interpreting motion pictures, tv dramas, fact exhibits, and digital indicates, between different well known texts, attractive the earlier examines the making and which means of background for daily audience. modern media can inspire advanced interactions with the previous that experience far-reaching outcomes for background and politics. audience adventure those representations for my part, cognitively, and physically, yet, as this ebook unearths, not only via determining with the characters portrayed.
Some of the works thought of during this quantity contain the flicks resort Rwanda (2004), sturdy evening and sturdy success (2005), and Milk (2008); the tv dramas Deadwood, Mad males, and Rome; the truth exhibits Frontier residence, Colonial residence, and Texas Ranch condominium; and the key Annex on-line, accessed during the Anne Frank condo site, and the Kristallnacht show, accessed during the Unites States Holocaust Museum web site. those mass cultural texts domesticate what Alison Landsberg calls an "affective engagement" with the prior, tying the viewer to an occasion or individual and fostering a feeling of intimacy that does greater than shipping the viewer again in time. have an effect on, she indicates, may also paintings to disorient the viewer, forcibly pushing her or him out of the narrative and again into his or her personal physique. through reading those particular renowned historical past codecs, Landsberg exhibits the original method they galvanize ancient considering and convey ancient wisdom, prompting a reconsideration of what constitutes heritage and an figuring out of the way historical past works within the modern mediated public sphere.
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Additional info for Engaging the Past: Mass Culture and the Production of Historical Knowledge
3 DeMille’s notion that film brings the past to life in a way that is impossible in a written history book is a claim still made in defense of the historical film. DeMille ends his discussion of Joan the Woman with what he sees as its “greatest dramatic flaw”—the use of the “historical flashback,” a narrative and editing device whereby characters in the present are flashed back to their lives at an earlier historical moment. The problem with this filmic technique, according to DeMille, is that “if you put an audience back into the fifteenth century, or any other distant time, and then at the end snap them back to the present with modern scenes, you are likely to lose the emotional impact of the main story.
In contrast to arguments that dismiss mediated bodily engagement with the past as purely presentist, lacking the sense of distance considered necessary to historical engagement, this book asks what such a mode of engagement with the past makes visible to viewers and what forms of knowledge or historical consciousness it makes possible. It theorizes the complicated question of whether one’s own body can be a site of knowledge about the past. Experiences, whether they are mediated or not, are felt and interpreted by the body and thus feel real.
In other words, for history on film to produce historical knowledge, it must make viewers aware that they are engaging in historical inquiry; it must make them conscious of what they are doing. TH EO R I Z I N G AF F ECTIVE E N GAG E M E NT I N TH E H I STO R I CAL F I LM 28 In his more recent work on the “history film,”9 Rosenstone has borrowed Alun Munslow’s concept of “historying”10 to underscore the fundamentally constructed nature of history. Whether presented in text or on screen, history is the result of putting the past into a narrative.