Faculty Book: David A. Gerstner
David A. Gerstner
Manly Arts: Masculinity and Nation in Early American Cinema
(Duke University Press, 2006)
Gerstner fathoms the decisive part played by film in constructing a masculine ideal of American life in his reassessments of such early movies as Manhatta (1921) by J. Stuart Blackton and Theodore Roosevelt; Within Our Gates (1920) by Oscar Micheaux; and Cabin in the Sky (1943) by Vincente Minnelli. He explains how filmmakers forged a national aesthetic that equated democracy with masculinity. Gerstner observes the emergence of an aesthetic of cultural excess that united white and African American cultural enterprises—commonly gay—and problematized the equation of national arts with masculinity. David A. Gerstner is an associate professor of cinema studies at the College of Staten Island and on the doctoral faculty in theatre at the Graduate Center.
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Submitted on: FEB 13, 2006