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Reel Schools

Schooling and the Nation in Australian Cinema

Josephine May

Reel Schools takes a fresh look at the history of Australian schooling through the lens of Australian cinema from the silent era until 2010. In exploring the relationship between cinematic representation and educational history, Josephine May shows how numerous Australian feature and documentary films offer access to powerful vernacular imaginings about school education in Australia.
May argues that the cinematic school is a pervasive metaphor for the Australian nation. She demonstrates that, while Australian films about schooling have consistently commented on the relationship of schooling to the Australian class structure, they also increasingly explored gender, race and ethnicity at school, especially after the 1970s. From then on the egalitarian dream of school education and the nation’s capacity to generate meaningful futures for the young became increasingly contested.


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illustration: Appleyard College in Picnic at Hanging Rock. Lobby Card, copyright permission kindly provided by James Mcelroy. Still provided by National Film and Sound Archive, title Number 429236-12. Cover design: thomas grütter, Peter Lang Ag ISBN 978-3-0343-0632-4 pb. ISBN 978-3-0351-0443-1 eBook © Peter Lang Ag, International Academic Publishers, Bern 2013 Hochfeldstrasse 32, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland, All rights reserved. All parts of this publication are protected by copyright. Any utilisation outside the strict limits of the copyright law, without the permission of the publisher, is forbidden and liable to prosecution. this applies in particular to reproductions, translations, microfilming, and storage and processing in electronic retrieval systems. Printed in Switzerland Bibliographic information published by die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie; detailed bibliographic data is available on the Internet at ‹›. British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data: A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library, great Britain Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data May, Josephine, 1950- Reel schools : schooling and the nation in Australian cinema / Josephine May. pages cm Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-3-0343-0632-4 1. Schools in motion pictures. 2. education in motion pictures. 3. Nationalism in motion pictures. 4. Motion pictures–Australia–History and criticism. I . title. PN1995.9.S253M39 2013 791.43'6558–dc23 2012044441

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