Hollywood and war: trauma in film after the First World War and the Vietnam War


Randell, Karen Mary (2003) Hollywood and war: trauma in film after the First World War and the Vietnam War. University of Southampton, School of Humanities, Doctoral Thesis , 207pp.

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Description/Abstract

This thesis examines war trauma in film; it is a comparative reading that aims to study the
relationship between films made after the First World War in the 1920s and films made
during and after the Vietnam War. I use thirteen focus film texts, some which explicitly
engage with war and some that do not. This thesis will argue that the production of these
particular films was inflected by the collective trauma that the wars produced in American
society. There was not, for example, an explicit combat film made for seven years after the
First World War and thirteen years after the Vietnam War. This gap, I will argue, is
symptomatic of the cultural climate that existed after each war, but can also be understood
in terms of the need for temporal space in which to assimilate the traumas of these wars.
An engagement with recent debates in Trauma Theory will be utilised to explore this
production gap between event and film, and to suggest that trauma exists not only within
the narratives of these focus films but also within the production process itself.
This thesis contributes significantly to recent debates in Trauma Studies. As it presents
film history scholarship, First World War and Vietnam veteran experiences and archive
newspaper research as compatible disciplines and uses the lens of trauma theory as a
methodological thread and tool of analysis.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion Pictures
D History General and Old World > D History (General)
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Humanities > English
ePrint ID: 50596
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2008
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 18:33
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/50596

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