Reframing the Past traces what historians have written about film and television from 1898 until the early 2000s. Mia Treacey argues that historical engagement with film and television should be reconceptualised as Screened History: an interdisciplinary, international field of research to incorporate and replace what has been known as ‘History and Film’. It draws from the fields of Film, Television and Cultural Studies to critically analyse key works and connect past scholarship with contemporary research.
Reconsidered as Screened History, the works of Pierre Sorlin, Marc Ferro, John O’Connor, Robert Rosenstone and Robert Toplin are explored alongside lesser known but equally important contributions. This book identifies a number of common themes and ideas that have been explored by historians for decades: the use of history on film and television as a way to teach the past; the challenge of filmic and televisual history to more traditional historiography; and an ongoing battle to find an ‘appropriate’ historical way to engage with Film Studies and Theory. Screened History offers an approach to exploring History, Film and Television that allows room for future developments, while connecting them to a rich and diverse body of past scholarship.
Combining a narrative of historical research on film and television over the past century with a reconceptualisation of the field as Screened History, Reframing the Past is essential reading both for established scholars of History and Film, Film History and other related disciplines, and to students new to the field.
"Treacey not only provides a much-needed and fascinating account of how for more than a century historians and critics have thought about the problems and possibilities of history in the visual media, she also makes a brilliant argument in favor of pulling together and reconceptualizing this sprawling, interdisciplinary area of study under the single title of Screened History."
— Robert A. Rosenstone, Professor Emeritus of History, California Institute of Technology
"A rich and illuminating study, Reframing the Past is a vital contribution to the study of historical representation in film. In vivid, compelling prose, Mia Treacey details the long running debate about film as a form of historical thinking, and fills in the forgotten chapters of this fundamentally important story. An original and field-defining work."
— Robert Burgoyneon, author of The Hollywood Historical Film
Acknowledgements Abbreviations Preface 1.A history without a past 2. Lost frames and faded footage: 1898-1949 3. History on the large and small screen: 1950-1969 4. Final frames and the rise of America: 1970-1979 5. Reruns and new releases: 1980-1989 6. A tale of two Roberts: 1990-1999 7. Screened History in the digital age: 2000 & beyond Epilogue Bibliography Index