After World War II, U.S. documentarians engaged in a rigorous
rethinking of established documentary practices and histories.
Responding to the tumultuous transformations of the postwar
era--the atomic age, the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War,
the emergence of the environmental movement, immigration and
refugee crises, student activism, the globalization of labor, and
the financial collapse of 2008--documentary makers increasingly
reconceived reality as the site of social conflict and saw their
work as instrumental to struggles for justice. Examining a wide
range of forms and media, including sound recording, narrative
journalism, drawing, photography, film, and video, this book is a
daring interdisciplinary study of documentary culture and practice
from 1945 to the present. Essays by leading scholars across
disciplines collectively explore the activist impulse of
documentarians who not only record reality but also challenge their
audiences to take part in reality's remaking.
In addition to the editors, the volume's contributors include
Michael Mark Cohen, Grace Elizabeth Hale, Matthew Frye Jacobson,
Jonathan Kahana, Leigh Raiford, Rebecca M. Schreiber, Noah Tsika,
Laura Wexler, and Daniel Worden.