Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

I am grateful to the friends and colleagues who informally helped with my research and to those who officially served as my research assistants: Cherish Forsman, Menaka Kannan, Rodderick Benton, Sheena Gardner, and Bianca Gonzales-Sobrino. I thank them for their assistance with data collection and...

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1. The Savior Trope and the Modern: Meanings of Whiteness

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pp. 1-17

As she accepted the 2010 Oscar for Best Actress for her role as Leigh Anne Tuohy in the 2009 film The Blind Side, Sandra Bullock gushed, “There’s no race, no religion, no class system, no color, nothing, no sexual orientation that makes us better than anyone else. We are all deserving...

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2. White Savior Films: The Content of Their Character

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pp. 18-71

For centuries, magicians, messiahs, and martyrs have played the role of helpful guides and aides to embattled protagonists in an array of mythological tales. Athena’s assistance to Odysseus, Merlin’s shepherding of King Arthur, Mephistopheles’s supervision of Faust, and Dante’s use of Virgil...

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3. Reviewing Whiteness: Critics and Their Commentary

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pp. 72-124

In July 2000 the film critic David Manning hit the scene. In the Ridgefield Press, a small Connecticut weekly, Manning praised Columbia Pictures films such as Hollow Man, The Patriot, and A Knight’s Tale. In his review of A Knight’s Tale, he branded relatively unknown actor Heath Ledger as “this year’s hottest...

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4. Watching Whiteness: Audience Consumption and Community

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pp. 125-159

On January 21, 2012, director Craig Zobel debuted his film Compliance at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. The film tells the story of a robbery of a fast food eatery in which a man posing as a police officer falsely accuses an employee of theft and forces her to perform a sex...

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5. The Significance of White Saviors in a “Postracial” World

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pp. 160-174

In late 2012 and early 2013—a century and a half since Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and the beginning of the slow demise of de jure chattel slavery—Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln (2012) and Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained (2013) were released. Lincoln grossed over $182 million (over...

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Appendix A: Data and Methodology for Content Analysis of Film

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pp. 175-184

To discover more consistent and illuminating aspects about the white savior film in modern cinema, I adopted a research design that incorporated the strengths of traditional content analysis and mitigated its weaknesses. While conventional quantitative-based content analysis has its merits, including the ease of reporting numerical correlations as findings...

Appendix B: Data and Methodology for Film Reviews

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pp. 184-189

Appendix C: Data and Methodology for Film Audiences

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pp. 189-192

References

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pp. 193-210

Index

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pp. 211-219

About the Author

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p. 220