This short essay sketches the career of Anita Uada Maris Boggs, cofounder of the Bureau of Commercial Education, a charitable organization that from the 1910s through the 1930s circulated a library of sponsored films. I argue that Boggs's absence from film historiography has been doubly determined: first by the relative invisibility of educational film, and second by ideologies of gender that obscured women's work in the film industry, broadly construed, behind that of their male collaborators.
Anita Maris Boggs: Historical Invisibility and Gender in the History of Sponsored and Educational Film
Laura Isabel Serna is assistant professor of Critical Studies at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts. She is the author of Making Cinelandia: American Films and Mexican Film Culture before the Golden Age (Duke University Press, 2014). She has published essays on border cinema, silent film in Latin America, and stardom and race in journals such as Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, The Americas, and Film History. Currently she is working on a monograph about film distribution and production in the Caribbean during the silent era, including the production and distribution of “useful” films.
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Laura Isabel Serna; Anita Maris Boggs: Historical Invisibility and Gender in the History of Sponsored and Educational Film. Feminist Media Histories 1 April 2015; 1 (2): 135–143. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fmh.2015.1.2.135
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