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ERIC Number: EJ901002
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Oct
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0030-9230
A Field of Desire: Visions of Education in Selected Australian Silent Films
May, Josephine
Paedagogica Historica: International Journal of the History of Education, v46 n5 p623-637 Oct 2010
The 1920s was an ambivalent decade in Australia: on the one hand Australians were still reeling from the disastrous effects of the Great War and on the other they were witnessing unprecedented and exciting technological and social changes brought about by modernity. One of the most important modern technologies was the cinema, which Australians embraced enthusiastically from its introduction. In the silent era Australians produced a great many films, some of which concerned the vast enterprise of the schooling of children. This article considers the relationship between cinema, modernity and education in a small selection of Australian silent films. It argues that these silent film visions of education represented education as a field of desire. These examples of silent cinema about schooling mirrored back at audiences, and attempted to allay, their desires (and anxieties) about the state of nation in the interwar period as well as concerns about the shifting gender boundaries exemplified by the young, unmarried and mobile female teacher. The desired future was ordered, fit and healthy, disciplined, prepared for war, and underpinned by traditional gender roles: little boys were soldiers in waiting, little girls were mothers in waiting, and nubile female teachers were destined for marriage. (Contains 60 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia