11 photographs, 2 illustrations, index
The concept of North American borderlands in the cultural imagination fluctuated greatly during the Progressive Era as it was affected by similarly changing concepts of identity and geopolitical issues influenced by the Mexican Revolution and the First World War. Such shifts became especially evident in films set along the Mexican and Canadian borders as filmmakers explored how these changes simultaneously represented and influenced views of society at large.
Borderland Films examines the intersection of North American borderlands and culture as portrayed through early twentieth-century cinema. Drawing on hundreds of films, Dominique Brégent-Heald investigates the significance of national borders; the ever-changing concepts of race, gender, and enforced boundaries; the racialized ideas of criminality that painted the borderlands as unsafe and in need of control; and the wars that showed how international conflict significantly influenced the United States’ relations with its immediate neighbors. Borderland Films provides a fresh perspective on American cinematic, cultural, and political history and on how cinema contributed to the establishment of societal narratives in the early twentieth century.
Dominique Brégent-Heald is an associate professor of history at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Her articles have appeared in Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies, American Review of Canadian Studies, Western Historical Quarterly, Journal of the Canadian Historical Association, and Journal of American Culture.
1. Constructing the Filmic Borderlands
2. Liminal Borderlands
3. Racialized Borderlands
4. Gendered Borderlands
5. Crime and Punishment
6. Revolution and War