Althea Wasow

"Cops" 1897

My dissertation, “Criminality, Capitalism, Critique: Silent Film and Its Afterlives,” examines silent film through the prisms of criminality and capitalism, analyzing the ways in which the emerging institutions of modern policing and motion-pictures corroborated and subverted one another’s projects from the late nineteenth century to the early twentieth century. I focus on silent films that register the imbrication of the police and moving-pictures as they were consolidated into dominant social institutions with increasingly standardized practices. “’Cops’ 1897,” the first chapter, traces continuities and ruptures between early silent films that focus on the policing of Asian and Asian American communities and other “reality” moving-image media that engage policing and racial difference, including “Cops,” the long-running television program.