- Core Course: Moving images, technologies, forms, receptions
- Reading Films
- Ancient Rome on Film
- Film Exhibition
- The French New Wave
- Genre in Italian Cinema
- Hollywood Genres
- New Argentine Cinemas
- Russian Cinema: Epochs and Genres
- Theories and Practices of Film
- Weimar and Nazi Film
- Intercollegiate Modules (2013-14)
- Public Nightmares: Screening Cold War Anxieties
- Cinema and the British City
- Documentary Film and the Anthropological Eye
To speed up the application process, please enclose/ upload with your application a sample of your academic writing of a minimum of 4 pages.
Public Nightmares: Screening Cold War Anxieties
Course code: HISTGF02
The 1950s and
1960s were decades in which a threatening Soviet Union, the possibility of
nuclear annihilation and issues of national and personal identity became the
focus of significant public anxieties in Britain and America. These fears soon
began to inform the output of the two nations’ film industries. However, the
films themselves were rarely simplistic reflections of contemporaneous
anti-nuclear or anti-Soviet sentiment. Instead, they engaged in a complex
negotiation between contrasting attitudes towards a range of Cold War concerns.
Locating them within their socio-political contexts can expose how cinema
expressed, produced and challenged ordinary people's understanding of the
political and scientific developments taking place in the world around them.
This course encourages students to explore these connections by asking what
light can shed science fiction, horror and spy films on the key debates of the
Course Tutor: Dr Matthew Jones
Assessment: One essay of up to 5,000 word essay
It Came from Outer Space (1953)
The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953)
The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961)
It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955)
North by Northwest (1959)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1953)
Quatermass II (1955)
The Trollenberg Terror (1958)
Fiend Without a Face (1958)
Initial general bibliography
Bellin, Joshua David. 2005. Framing Monsters: Fantasy Film and Social Alienation. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press.
Biskind, Peter. 2001. Seeing is Believing: How Hollywood Taught Us to Stop Worrying and Love the Fifties. London: Bloomsbury. Chapter 3.
Booker, M. Keith. 2001. Monsters, Mushroom Clouds and the Cold War: American Science Fiction and the Roots of Postmodernism, 1946-1964. Westport, CT: Greenwood.
Booker, M. Keith. 2005. ‘Science Fiction and the Cold War’, in David Seed (ed.) 2005. Companion to Science Fiction. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing: 171-184.
Brinson, Susan L. 2004. The Red Scare, Politics, and the Federal Communications Commission, 1941-1960. Westport, CT: Praeger.
Chapman, James, Mark Glancy and Sue Harper, (eds) 2007b. The New Film History: Sources, Methods, Approaches. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.
Conrich, Ian. 1999. ‘Trashing London: The British Colossal Creature Film and Fantasies of Mass Destruction’, in Hunter, I. Q., (ed.) 1999. British Science Fiction Cinema. Abingdon: Routledge: 88-98.
Davis, Tracy C. 2007. States of Emergency: Cold War Nuclear Civil Defense. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
Defty, Andrew. 2004. Britain, America and Anti-Communist Propaganda: The Information Research Department. Abingdon: Routledge.
Elsaesser, Thomas. 1986. ‘The New Film History’, Sight and Sound. Vol.55, No. 4. Autumn. pp.246-51.
Gianos, Phillip L. 1998. Politics and Politicians in American Film. Westport, CT: Praeger.
Giglio, Ernest. 2007. Here’s Looking at You: Hollywood, Film and Politics. 2nd edn. New York, NY: Peter Lang Publishing.
Halliwell, Martin. 2007. American Culture in the 1950s. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Harper, Sue and Vincent Porter. 2003. British Cinema of the 1950s: The Decline of Deference. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Hendershot, Cyndy. 1999. Paranoia, the Bomb and 1950s Science Fiction Films. Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green State University Popular Press.
Hendershot, Cyndy. 2001. I Was a Cold War Monster: Horror Films, Eroticism and the Cold War Imagination. Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green State University Popular Press.
Henrikson, Margot A. 1997. Dr. Strangelove’s America: Society and Culture in the Atomic Age. Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press.
Hunter, I. Q., (ed.) 1999b. British Science Fiction Cinema. Abingdon: Routledge.
Jancovich, Mark. 1996. Rational Fears: American Horror in the 1950s. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Jones, Darryl, Elizabeth McCarthy and Bernice M. Murphy, (eds) 2011. It Came From the 1950s!: Popular Culture, Popular Anxieties. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.
Mann, Katrina. 2004. ‘“You’re Next!”: Postwar Hegemony Besieged in “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”’, Cinema Journal. Vol. 44, No. 1. Autumn. pp. 49-68.
Medhurst, Martin J., Robert L. Ivie, Philip Wander and Robert L. Scott, (eds) 1997. Cold War Rhetoric: Strategy, Metaphor and Ideology. East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press.
Phillips, Kendall R. 2005. Projected Fears: Horror Films and American Culture. Westport, CT: Praeger.
Redmond, Sean, (ed.) 2004. Liquid Metal. London: Wallflower Press.
Shaw, Tony. 2006. British Cinema and the Cold War: The State, Propaganda and Consensus. London: I.B. Tauris.
Skal, David J. 1993. The Monster Show: A Cultural History of Horror. London: Plexus.
Stokes, Melvyn and Richard Maltby, (eds) 2004. Hollywood Abroad: Audiences and Cultural Exchange. London: BFI.
Street, Sarah. 2002. Transatlantic Crossings: British Feature Films in the United States. London: Continuum International.
Swann, Paul. 1987. The Hollywood Feature Film in Postwar Britain. Beckenham: Croom Helm.
Vieth, Errol. 2001. Screening Science: Contexts, Texts, and Science in Fifties Science Fiction Films. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press.
Young, William H. and Nancy K. Young. 2004. American Popular Culture Through History: The 1950s. Westport, CT: Greenwood.
For students with no prior experience in film studies, you should look at the following to give you a general induction to the subject:
Introductions to Film Studies
· Bordwell, David and Kristin Thompson. 2012. Film Art: An Introduction. New York: McGraw-Hill. 10th ed.
· Dix, Andrew. 2008. Beginning Film Studies. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
· Hayward, Susan. 2012. Cinema Studies: The Key Concepts. Abingdon: Routledge. 4th ed.
Introductions to Film History and New Film History
· Chapman, James, Mark Glancy and Sue Harper (eds). 2009. The New Film History: Sources, Methods, Approaches. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan
· Guynn, William (ed.). 2011. The Routledge Companion to Film History. Abingdon: Routledge