1:30pm Tubac Presidio
Border Community Alliance in collaboration with Tubac Presidio State Historic Park invites you to join us for this special presentation by University of Arizona Professor Jennifer Jenkins on her recently published book, Celluloid Pueblo that has a special connection to the Santa Cruz Valley.
The five Cs of Arizona—copper, cattle, cotton, citrus, and climate—formed the basis of the state’s livelihood and a readymade roster of subjects for films. With an eye on the developing national appetite for all things western, Charles and Lucile Herbert founded Western Ways Features in 1936 to document the landscape, regional development, and diverse cultures of Arizona, the U.S. Southwest, and northern Mexico.
Celluloid Pueblo tells the story of Western Ways Features and its role in the invention of the Southwest of the imagination. Active during a thirty-year period of profound growth and transformation, the Herberts created a dynamic visual record of the region, and their archival films now serve as a time capsule of the Sunbelt in the mid-twentieth century. Drawing upon a ten-year career with Fox, Western Ways owner-operator Charles Herbert brought a newshound’s sensibility and acute skill at in-camera editing to his southwestern subjects. The Western Ways films provided counternarratives to Hollywood representations of the West and established the regional identity of Tucson and the borderlands.
Jennifer L. Jenkins’s broad-sweeping book examines the Herberts’ work on some of the first sound films in the Arizona borderlands and their ongoing promotion of the Southwest. The book covers the filmic representation of Native and Mexican lifeways, Anglo ranching and leisure, Mexican missions and tourism, and postwar borderlands prosperity and progressivism. The story of Western Ways closely follows the boom-and-bust arc of the midcentury Southwest and the constantly evolving representations of an exotic—but safe and domesticated—frontier.
Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the presentation.
Jennifer Jenkins is Professor of English and Director of the Bear Canyon Center for Southwest Humanities at the University of Arizona. She works at the intersections of literature, film, archives, and Southwest studies.
Tickets: $20 (BCA members $15) at event. Seating is limited, please call Tubac Presidio at 520-398-2252 for reservations.
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