Babel and Babylon: spectatorship in American silent film 1 A Cinema in Search of a Spectator: Film-Viewer Relations before Hollywoodpage 23; 2 Early. Babel and Babylon: Spectatorship in American Silent Film. By Miriam Hansen. ( Cambridge: Harvard University Press, xii + pp. Babel and Babylon: spectatorship in American silent film / Miriam Hansen Topic: Silent films–History and criticism: Motion picture audiences–History.

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Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Spectatorshipp. In this process, Hansen argues, the cinema might also have provided the conditions of an alternative public sphere for particular social groups, such as recent immigrants and women, by furnishing an intersubjective context in which they could recognize fragments of their own experience.


As the cinema began to separate itself from the commercial entertainments in whose context films initially had been shown—vaudeville, dime museums, fairgrounds—a particular concept of its spectator was developed on the level of film style, as a means of predicting the reception of films on a mass scale.

After tracing the emergence of spectatorship as an institution, Hansen pursues the question of reception through detailed readings of a single film, D.

Babel and Babylon : spectatorship in American silent film / Miriam Hansen | Smithsonian Institution

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The digital Loeb Classical Library loebclassics. In Babel and BabylonMiriam Hansen offers an original perspective on American film by tying the emergence of spectatorship to the historical transformation of the public sphere. You could not be signed in. Ameerican Mayhew and the Principles of the American Revolution. Sign in via your Institution Sign in. Babel and Babylon recasts the debate on early American cinema—and by implication on American film as a whole.

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Babel and Babylon

Most users should sign in with their email address. Article PDF first page preview. Join Our Mailing List: In each case spectatorzhip classical construction of spectatorship is complicated by factors of gender and sexuality, crystallizing around the fear and desire of the female consumer. Close mobile search navigation Article navigation. An Environmental History since Campbell; Babel and Babylon: Email alerts New issue alert.

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Edward Lear is an apt character to think about at Christmas-time. Sign In or Create an Account. Spectatorship in American Silent Film.