Contesting Identities: Sports in American Film

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9780252073540: Contesting Identities: Sports in American Film

Since the earliest days of the silent era, American filmmakers have been drawn to the visual spectacles of sports and their compelling narratives of conflict, triumph and individual achievement. In this text, Aaron Baker examines how these cinematic representations have evolved over time.

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Book Description:

Since the earliest days of the silent era, American filmmakers have been drawn to the visual spectacles of sports and their compelling narratives of conflict, triumph, and individual achievement. In Contesting Identities Aaron Baker examines how these cinematic representations of sports and athletes have evolved over time--from The Pinch Hitter and Buster Keaton's College to White Men Can't Jump, Jerry Maguire, and Girlfight.

 Baker shows that even as sports films tackle socially constructed identities such as class, race, ethnicity, sexuality, and gender, they ultimately underscore transcendence of these identities through self-reliance. In addition to discussing the genre's recurring dramatic tropes, Baker also looks at the social and cinematic impacts of real-life sports figures from Jackie Robinson and Babe Didrikson Zaharias to Muhammad Ali and Michael Jordan.         

About the Author:

Aaron Baker is director of graduate studies for the Humanities Program at Arizona State University. He is the editor of Out of Bounds: Sports, Media, and the Politics of Identity.

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