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Suffrage and the Silver Screen


Amy Shore

In the 1910s, the American woman suffrage movement became a modern mass movement by using visual culture to transform consciousness and gain adherents. As part of this transformation, suffrage organizations produced several films and related cinematic projects, including four full-length, nationally distributed feature productions. This activist use was one of the first instances in the United States that a social movement recognized and harnessed the power of cinema to transform consciousness and, in turn, the social order. Suffrage and the Silver Screen discusses how the suffrage movement accomplished this formidable goal through analysis of the local and national uses of cinema by the movement. Amy Shore argues that these works must be considered as part of a political filmmaking tradition among feminists. The book contextualizes the films within the politics and practices of the suffrage organizations that produced them in order to understand and assess the strategic role of these films. By examining these works, the history of both suffrage and cinema is necessarily reconsidered and expanded. Suffrage and the Silver Screen is an essential resource for those studying early cinema, women and cinema, the woman suffrage movement, and the use of visual media in social movements.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Shore, Amy.Suffrage and the silver screen / Amy Shore.pages cm. — (Framing film: the history and art of cinema; vol. 16)Includes bibliographical references and index.1. Suffrage in motion pictures. 2. Feminist films—United States—History and criticism. I. Title.PN1995.9.S7555S56 791.43’6581—dc23 2013007667ISBN 978-1-4331-1781-7 (hardcover)ISBN 978-1-4539-1124-2 (e-book)ISSN 1524-7821

Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek.Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “DeutscheNationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data is availableon the Internet at

Cover image: “Suffragists prepare a billboard to publicize a march in Washingtonto demand votes for women.” (Library of Congress, Harris & EwingCollection Reproduction Number LC-DIG-hec-04041)

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