Romance, revolution and regulation: colonialism and the US-Mexico border in American Cold War film.

Fuller, Stephanie (2013) Romance, revolution and regulation: colonialism and the US-Mexico border in American Cold War film. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

[thumbnail of 2013FullerSPhD.pdf]
Download (1MB) | Preview


The 1950s saw perhaps the largest number of American films set on and around the US-Mexico border of any period of the twentieth century. This thesis investigates why this concentration of films appeared at this point in time. It argues that rather than responding to the changes in policy and practice along the borderline that were taking place in the 1950s, these films engage with cold war politics as they explore the relationship between the United States and Mexico through ideas of romance, revolution and regulation. The thesis contributes to the growing field of cultural studies of the Cold War by contending that these movies engage with cold war discourses of colonialism. I argue that through images of the US-Mexico border, colonialism is interrogated and that the international boundary is thus produced as a site through which concerns about the United States’ place in the cold war world are articulated. While much existing scholarship has examined the relationship of specific genres such as science fiction, westerns and film noir to cold war politics, this thesis moves away from such generic constraints to focus on films of different genres which feature representations of the US-Mexico border. The thesis’ central contribution therefore lies in its assertion that a study which is attentive to cinematic space and focused on a particular cinematic location can provide new ways of understanding cold war culture, and that American cinematic engagement with the Cold War is not limited to or defined by generic frameworks.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Film,Television and Media
Depositing User: Users 5605 not found.
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2014 08:54
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2018 01:38

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item