MOSS Colloquium - James Mansell

Tuesday 27th November 2012 (16:30-18:00)

James Mansell (University of Nottingham)
'Documentary film and the aural politics of everyday life in early twentieth-century Britain'

Abstract: From iconic films such as Night Mail to lesser-known classics like Pett and Pott: A Fairy Story of the Suburbs, British documentary films of the 1920s, 30s and 40s are renowned for their imaginative use of music and sound effects. This paper examines the soundtracks of British documentary films from this period against the backdrop of a wider politics of sound in early twentieth-century Britain. Recreating the sounds of a factory, or of a far-off colony, was just as political as visualising it in an age increasingly sensitive to the noisy soundscape of modernity.

James Mansell is a Lecturer in the Department of Culture, Film and Media at the University of Nottingham. He is the co-editor of 'The Projection of Britain: A History of the GPO Film Unit' (BFI Books, 2011). He is currently working on a book entitled 'Sound and Selfhood in Early Twentieth-Century Britain'.

Department of Music

The University of Nottingham
Lakeside Arts Centre
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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