Profs & Pints: The 1930s Hollywood Right
Profs and Pints presents: The 1930s Hollywood Right with Michael S. Shull, lecturer in film studies at The George Washington University.
It's hard to get online these days without being exposed to the use of auto-visual mass media by America's Right. Videos that attack liberals, trot out various government conspiracy theories, or present conservatives as innocent victims of a biased mainstream media routinely pop up on Facebook feeds. They were a big factor in the 2018 elections.
Most discussions of the origins of conservative American propaganda start with the Nixon years, or even later. In fact, it was during the Depression decade of the 1930s that America's Right perfected on the silver screen the modern mass-media tactics that it now uses on multiple platforms. Motivated by fear and ignorance related to New Deal progressivism, they warned of leftist threats to America during the so-called Red Decade."
Dr. Shull will discuss this phenomenon using examples from popular 1930s movies. Among them is a seemingly innocuous comedy featuring a heartland American familys cultural misadventures in Europe, Mama Steps Out, released by MGM in 1937. Its screenplay was written by Right-Wing darling Anita Loos.
His talk will discuss how the propaganda tactics finely tuned then are still being used now to chip away at women's rights, civil rights, and various vestiges of the New Deal. His talk is likely to be a real eye-opener for political junks, film buffs, and media professionals in search of an intellectual challenge to go with their beer. Dr. Shull has taught film at GWU for the last ten years and is working on a book titled The Grand Delusion: Hollywoods Class Wars, 1930-1941. (Advance tickets $12. Doors: $15, save $2 with student ID).
The Bier Baron Tavern (View)
1523 22nd St NW
Washington, DC 20037
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