Reel Talks | Monitoring the Movies: The Fight Over Film Censorship in Early Twentieth-Century Urban America
Where: Bryant Park/Bryant Park Reading Room
Between 40th & 42nd Sts. and Fifth and Sixth Aves.
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Hosted by Scott Adlerberg, Resident Film Expert
Jennifer Fronc is a history professor and honors program director at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She is also a historian of twentieth-century United States; more specifically, her scholarship seeks to illuminate the role that private, non-state actors have played in social control and the production of social knowledge. Her first book, New York Undercover: Private Surveillance in the Progressive Era, examined how five different organizations, staffed by social activists, empowered themselves to police gambling, sexual behavior, interracial sociability, perceived juvenile delinquency, and radical political commitments in the two decades before World War I. Her second book, Monitoring the Movies: The Fight over Film Censorship in Early Twentieth-Century Urban America, begins from the premise that motion picture censorship was an important site at which multiple stakeholders negotiated the role of the state and the meaning of the First Amendment in early twentieth-century United States. It offers the first full-length study of the pioneering work of the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures (NB), a civic group founded in New York City in 1909, and its campaign against “legal” motion-picture censorship in the decades before industry self regulation prevailed, and the Production (Hays) Code was implemented.Buy tickets/get more info now