The “Modern Child” and the Moving Image: Studying Children and Cinema during the Cold War
Alice Lovejoy looks at the history of a series of institutions founded during the Cold War to both study children’s relationship to the moving image and produce media for young audiences in order to consider an enduring question in media theory and practice: how have adult understandings of childhood’s social and psychological dimensions, in particular children’s perception, shaped moving-image aesthetics, theory, and culture? Using examples from France, Iran, and Yugoslavia—including research by sociologist Edgar Morin and “film pedagogue” Miroslav Vrabec, and films by directors Abbas Kiarostami and Dušan Vukotić—Lovejoy traces the links between social-scientific investigations of the “modern child” and formal techniques frequently associated with the avant-garde.
Alice Lovejoy is an associate professor in the Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature and the Moving Image Studies program at the University of Minnesota, and a former editor at Film Comment. Her book Army Film and the Avant Garde: Cinema and Experiment in the Czechoslovak Military was awarded the MLA’s 2018 Scaglione Prize for Studies in Slavic Languages and Literatures, and her essays have appeared in Screen and The Moving Image, and the volumes Cinema’s Military-Industrial Complex and Opening Bazin. She is at work on two book projects. One examines postwar children’s media institutions; the other, tentatively entitled Tales of Militant Chemistry: A History of Raw Film Stock, examines film and photographic stock in the context of the international chemical industry.
Co-presented by the Department of Cinema and Media Studies.