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Reading: The place of space in film historiography


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The place of space in film historiography


Robert C. Allen

About Robert

Robert C. Allen is James Logan Godfrey Professor of American Studies, History, and Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the co-author (with Douglas Gomery) of Film History: Theory and Practice (1985) and the author or editor of seven other books on film, media, and popular entertainment. He published his first research article on the history of moviegoing in the U.S. in 1979.

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This essay applies recent theoretical work on the concept of space by scholars in social and cultural geography to the history of the social experience of moviegoing. In it the author argues that the spatiality of the experience of cinema needs to be foregrounded in film history and he uses his research on the history of moviegoing in the American South during the so-called 'Jim Crow' period of racial apartheid (1890-1965) to demonstrate what a re-theorized notion of cinema spatiality might add to film historiography more generally.

How to Cite: Allen, Robert C.. 2006. “The Place of Space in Film Historiography”. TMG Journal for Media History 9 (2): 15–27. DOI:
Published on 01 Dec 2006.


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