How has the history of American cinema been written? And why? To what extend has film historiography been driven by larger trends in the theorization of history? By new archival discoveries? By technologies of film viewing? And by the internal logic of the field itself? Why, for example, is early cinema (pre-1907) an invention of the 1980s? Why has there been a recent explosion of interest in the so-called New Hollywood? We will look at the impact of auteur theory, audience studies, and media policy, among other topics. If you don’t know much about film history, this is also a good place to learn that history even as we interrogate the methods of its production.