The Persistence of Whiteness investigates the representation and narration of race in contemporary Hollywood cinema. Ideologies of class, ethnicity, gender, nation and sexuality are central concerns as are the growth of the business of filmmaking. Focusing on representations of Black, Asian, Jewish, Latina/o and Native Americans identities, this collection also shows how whiteness is a fact everywhere in contemporary Hollywood cinema, crossing audiences, authors, genres, studios and styles.
Bringing together essays from respected film scholars, the collection covers a wide range of important films, including Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, The Color Purple, Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings. Essays also consider genres from the western to blaxploitation and new black cinema; provocative filmmakers such as Melvin Van Peebles and Steven Spielberg and stars including Whoopi Goldberg and Jennifer Lopez.
Daniel Bernardi provides an in-depth introduction, comprehensive bibliography and a helpful glossary of terms, thus providing students with an accessible and topical collection on race and ethnicity in contemporary cinema.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Race and Contemporary Hollywood Cinema Part 1: Generic History Manifest Myth-Making: Texas History in the Movies Charles Ramírez Berg Mapping the Beach: Beach Movies, Exploitation Film and Geographies of Whiteness Josh Stenger Boyz, Boyz, Boyz: New Black Cinema and Black Masculinity Keith M. Harris Part 2: Anthropomorphism Star Wars Episodes I-VI: Coyote and the Force of White Narrative Gabriel S. Estrada (Nahuatl) The Whiteness of the Rings Sean Redmond Neo Abolitionists, Colorblind Epistemologies and Black Politics: The Matrix Trilogy Tani Dianca Sanchez Part 3: Blood & Bodies Vampires of Color and the Performance of Multicultural Whiteness Dale Hudson The Naked and the Dead: The Jewish Male Body and Masculinity in Sunshine and Enemy at the Gates Susan Hunt & Peter Lehman Framing Jennifer Lopez: Mobilizing Race from the Wide Shot to the Close-Up Priscilla Peña Ovalle Part 4: Desire to Desire Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner with Eldridge Cleaver & the Supreme Court, or Reforming Popular Racial Memory with Hepburn and Tracy Susan Courtney Master-Slave Sex Acts: Mandingo and the Race/Sex Paradox Celine Parreñas Shimizu The Tragedy of Whiteness and Neo-Liberalism in Brad Kaaya’s ‘O’/Othello Deborah Elizabeth Whaley Romeo Must Die: Interracial Romance in Action Gina Marchetti Part 5: Provocateurs The Dark Side of Whiteness: Sweetback and John Dollard’s Idea of The Gains of the Lower Class Negroes Thomas Cripps Black Like Him: Steven Spielberg’s The Color Purple Lester D. Friedman Crossover Diva: Whoopi Goldberg and Persona Politics Bambi L. Haggins Surviving in Living Color with Some White Chicks: Whiteness in the Wayans’ (Black) Minds Beretta E. Smith-Shomade Glossary to Terms
Daniel Bernardi is an Associate Professor in the Department of Transborder Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies at Arizona State University. He is the author of Star Trek and History: Race-ing Toward a White Future (1998) and the editor of The Birth of Whiteness: Race and the Emergence of US Cinema (1996) and Classic Hollywood, Classic Whiteness (2002).