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dc.contributor.advisorAnderson, Katharine
dc.creatorLouson, Eleanor MacLeod
dc.description.abstractThe topic of this dissertation is wildlife film and its representation of animal behaviour. I identify a blue-chip renaissance of wildlife documentary filmmaking in the early twenty-first century featuring conventional natural history subject matter, stunning visuals, unprecedented costs, an extended rhetoric of authenticity, and an emphasis on novel footage of animal behaviour. The blue-chip renaissance is a fertile site for investigating wildlife films as hybrid objects, as these films inhabit a set of major conceptual tensions between nature and culture; entertainment and education; and authenticity and artifice. In a review of extant literature (Chapter 1) I examine how those conceptual boundaries have been permeable and productive for scholars of wildlife film and related topics in multiple disciplines, motivating this dissertations interdisciplinary approach. I argue in Chapter 2 that the blue-chip renaissances visual spectacle is not an entertaining impediment to education, but rather a route to immersion and affective knowing, drawing from the legacy of natural history display. In Chapter 3, I analyze working filmmakers attitudes about staging practices in wildlife documentaries, a controversial topic that influences their professional identity as storytellers and observers of nature. Chapter 4 offers a taxonomy of the representation within the blue-chip renaissance and its authoritative public demonstration of nature, arguing that these films model and simulate a variety of real and theoretical entities and processes. In Chapter 5, I show that the authenticity of the blue-chip renaissances portrayal of nature is predicated on the extensive use of behind-the-scenes making-of documentaries employing observational realism. I conclude by exploring the challenges of locating any definitive cultural impacts of wildlife films, and offer instead directions for further research into wildlife films as experienced science communication.
dc.rightsAuthor owns copyright, except where explicitly noted. Please contact the author directly with licensing requests.
dc.subjectWildlife conservation
dc.titleNever Before Seen: Spectacle, Staging, and Story in Wildlife Film's Blue-Chip Renaissance
dc.typeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation & Technology Studies - Doctor of Philosophy
dc.subject.keywordsdocumentary film
dc.subject.keywordshistory of biology
dc.subject.keywordsscience communication
dc.subject.keywordsblue-chip wildlife film
dc.subject.keywordsinformal learning
dc.subject.keywordsnatural history film
dc.subject.keywordsdocumentary filmmaker
dc.subject.keywordswildlife filmmaker
dc.subject.keywordsscience and technology studies

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