CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

The Aesthetic Politics of Hollywood's Chain Gang in FDR's America

Margaret Hennefeld, University of Pennsylvania

Division: Humanities

Dept/Program: Comparative Literature

Document Type: Undergraduate Student Research

Mentor(s): Karen Beckman

Date of this Version: 03 April 2006

This document has been peer reviewed.

 

Abstract

Mervyn Leroy’s 1932 film I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang functioned within a complex network of New Deal propaganda. This thesis analyzes the close connection between the film and its 1930s Great Depression American historical context through close readings of its visual and narrative politics. I divide this project into three parts: Chapter 1 explores Southern racial and penal histories through the lens of Frankfurt school theory; Chapter 2 demonstrates the ways in which pre-Code Hollywood business strategies structure the film’s representations of gender and transgression; Chapter 3 theorizes the film’s use of montage and its New-Deal embedded temporal politics.

Discipline(s)

Comparative Literature

Suggested Citation

Hennefeld, Margaret, "The Aesthetic Politics of Hollywood's Chain Gang in FDR's America" 03 April 2006. CUREJ: College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal, University of Pennsylvania, http://repository.upenn.edu/curej/4.

Date Posted: 11 April 2006

This document has been peer reviewed.

 

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