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Black Cinema-Going SIGNED

Black Cinema-Going in New York of the Interwar Period

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 Black Cinema-Going project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the Black Cinema-Going project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "Black Cinema-Going" about.

audience    shaping    accessible    39    american    attended    whilst    diary    scholarly    manhatanittes    sparse    scalar    venues    homogenic    culturally    digital    white    black    data    manhattan    racially    concentration    investigation    uncover    posters    spectatorship    articles    stories    interwar    fan    press    news    scholarship    migrants    305    movie    played    concentrates    country    women    entries    lives    bias    fruitful    african    film    multidisciplinary    location    construction    plethora    written    operated    tool    visuals    form    historical    debates    photographs    itself    personal    creation    map    content    became    geographical    communities    scholars    roles    individuals    cinemas    race    theatres    interactive    dominant    format    domains    segregated    records    demographic    online    letters    explore    gender    local    construct    time    gateway    york    1930    richness    personalised    mass    census    culture    12    percent    seek    period    lived    correspondence    re    humanities    planning    narrativised    site    overlooks    cinema    culminate    drawing    1927    assuming    entertainment   

Project "Black Cinema-Going" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: GENT
postcode: 9000

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Belgium [BE]
 Total cost 160˙800 €
 EC max contribution 160˙800 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2017
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2018
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2018-05-01   to  2020-04-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITEIT GENT BE (GENT) coordinator 160˙800.00


 Project objective

This project aims to re-construct the experience of cinema-going in black communities of New York during the interwar period. In drawing on a plethora of multidisciplinary resources – personal correspondence, diary entries, cinema records, fan letters, local news stories and articles from historical black press – it will investigate the roles played by cinema, the dominant form of entertainment at the time, in shaping the lives of African-American women in Manhattan. New York is a fruitful site for the investigation of debates of race and mass entertainment because of the high concentration of black migrants and cinemas: 305 film venues operated in Manhattan in 1927, whilst other 39 were planning to open or were under construction. According to US census data, 12 percent of the Manhatanittes were black in 1930.

The study will culminate in the creation of an interactive, digital map of cinema-going, which will allow its users to experience the richness of black movie culture through personalised stories of women who attended movie theatres at the time. Produced in Scalar – with written content supported by visuals such as film posters, cinema programmes and photographs of the location – each geographical location will provide a gateway for the map users to explore the plethora of historical data in a more accessible, narrativised format. The map will be a freely available online tool, which will further advance the work of scholars working across all domains in humanities.

Existing, sparse scholarship on cinema-going in the early film period, concentrates itself with culturally dominant, white audience. In assuming a homogenic demographic, it overlooks the lived experience of African-American women in a racially segregated country. In looking at race and gender specific form of spectatorship, I seek to re-address this scholarly bias. The objective is to uncover how cinema-going became embedded in black communities, as well as in the lives of black individuals.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Agata Frymus
Imagining Chinatown: \'Broken Blossoms\' (1919) in Britain
published pages: 12-37, ISSN: 2035-7680, DOI:
Other Modernities no. 20, Special Issue: London a 2020-02-18
2021 Agata Frymus
Pocahontas and American Imperialism in Early Film, 1907-1910
published pages: , ISSN: 0009-7101, DOI:
JCMS (Inactive) (formerly Cinema Journal) vol. 60, no. 2 2020-02-18
2019 Agata Frymus
Jetta Goudal versus the Studio System: Star Labour in 1920s Hollywood
published pages: 36-53, ISSN: 0143-9685, DOI: 10.1080/01439685.2018.1478370
Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television 39/1 2020-02-18

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