Sergeant Rutledge & John Ford's Liberal Gaze - A Talk by Claudia Calhoun
This work-in-progress examines Ford's integrationist Western, a drama that projected 1960s race relations backwards into a nineteenth-century frontier space in order to appeal to the sympathies of contemporary audiences. The project considers how the film participated in creating a cultural space in the postwar period in which liberal political goals were pursued through audiences’ empathetic realignments.
Claudia Calhoun is a historian of American media, currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Cinema Studies at NYU. Her research explores the ways in which society has been shaped by popular media, and how media form and content have been influenced by social change. Her book project looks at the radio and television police procedural Dragnet and its work as pedagogical site for postwar citizens.