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American Studies

Depression

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Full-Text Articles in Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies

"Propaganda For Democracy": The Vexed History Of The Federal Theatre Project, Karen E. Gellen Jun 2017

"Propaganda For Democracy": The Vexed History Of The Federal Theatre Project, Karen E. Gellen

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My thesis explores and analyzes the Federal Theater Project’s cultural and political impact during the Depression, as well as the contested legacy of this unique experiment in government-sponsored, broadly accessible cultural expression. Part of the New Deal’s Works Projects Administration, the FTP aimed to provide jobs for playwrights, actors, designers, stagehands, and other theater professionals on relief in the stark period from 1935 to 1939. But the project became a nationwide political and artistic flashpoint, spurring fierce debate over the leadership, politics and impact of this “people’s theater.” The FTP gave professional theater an unprecedented reach into ...


The Literary Legacy Of The Federal Writers' Project, Sara Rendene Rutkowski Feb 2015

The Literary Legacy Of The Federal Writers' Project, Sara Rendene Rutkowski

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Established by President Roosevelt in 1935 as part of the New Deal, the Federal Writers' Project (FWP) put thousands of unemployed professionals to work documenting American life during the Depression. Federal writers--many of whom would become famous, including Ralph Ellison, Nelson Algren, Saul Bellow, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, Margaret Walker, and Dorothy West--collected reams of oral histories and folklore, and produced hundreds of guides to cities and states across the country. Yet, despite both the Project's extraordinary volume of writing and its unprecedented support for writers, few critics have examined it from a literary perspective. Instead, the FWP ...