Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

In Local Hands: Participatory Media in the 1960s
by Tilton, Lauren Craig, Ph.D., Yale University, 2016, 211; 10584961
Abstract (Summary)

In Local Hands examines how and why a range of actors including youth educators, Hollywood's actors of color, grassroots organizers, and radical media makers sought control of media in order for silenced and marginalized communities across the United States to be seen and heard on their terms in the 1960s and early 1970s. They criticized and challenged the dominance of the commercial media - whether feature film studios, TV networks, or the emerging cable system - by white men, instead developing theories and infrastructure that would enable marginalized communities to create media products about themselves. Rather than stay to corporate media, they argued for personal and community access, control, and distribution of media production as a form of empowerment and a mechanism for social change, a strategy and belief I call participatory media. It was a belief that cultural production about a specific community must be controlled and created by that community. White eyes could not capture the authentic, unfiltered black experience as African Americans could and vice versa for example. As communities across the country tired of being ignored and misrepresented, they insisted upon the right to create media that communicated their visions of themselves, their place in the body politic, and their agenda for social transformation. By reframing the media activism of the 1960s as participatory media, we can look more closely at how people conceptualized media participation and activism, expand who participated in changing the moving image culture of the United States, and track how it became a strategy critical to the era's radical politics.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Wexler, Laura, Musser, Charlie
School: Yale University
School Location: United States -- Connecticut
Source: DAI-A 78/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: American studies, American history, Film studies
Keywords: Media Studies, Public Humanities
Publication Number: 10584961
ISBN: 978-1-369-63544-7
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