Professor Emeritus Richard Abel Publishes New Essay in The Routledge Companion to New Cinema History
Richard Abel recently published the essay, “Reading Newspapers and Writing American Silent Cinema History,” in The Routledge Companion to New Cinema History (Daniel Biltereyst, Richard Maltby, and Philippe Meers, eds., Routledge, 2019). This essay takes up the continuing impact that newspapers had in shaping early American film culture and prompts Abel to propose at least three categories of relevant issues and questions. First, what should we be seeking to know about the cities and towns in which newspapers were a daily ritual for most people, and how might we go about that? Second, what should we try to learn about the newspapers themselves—i.e., their owners and publishers, their appearance as morning or evening editions, their circulation? Third, what should we want to know about how newspapers framed their coverage of motion pictures—i.e., through Sunday pages, daily columns, and paid advertising—and who edited and/or wrote those “menu items” for readers?