Added: January 2, 2016 – Last updated: January 2, 2016


Author: Deborah E. Barker

Title: Reconstructing Violence

Subtitle: The Southern Rape Complex in Film and Literature

Place: Baton Rouge, LA

Publisher: Louisiana State University Press

Year: 2015

Pages: 288pp.

Series: Southern Literary Studies

ISBN-13: 9780807160626 (cloth) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat | ISBN-13: 9780807160633 (PDF) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat | ISBN-13: 9780807160640 (EPUB) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat | ISBN-13: 9780807160657 (mobi) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century | American History: U.S. History | Representations: Films / Cape Fear, Sanctuary, The Story of Temple Drake, A Time to Kill, To Kill a Mockingbird, Touch of Evil


Link: Amazon (Limited Preview)


Author: Deborah E. Barker, Department of English, University of


  Chapter 1.
Confederate Abjection in D. W. Griffith's Early Civil War Films and Thomas Dixon's Clansman (1905)
  Chapter 2.
Taking the South Out of the Southern Rape Complex in The Story of Temple Drake (1933)
  Chapter 3.
Believing in Mammy: Sanctuary (1961), the Movie
  Chapter 4.
The Power of the False in Touch of Evil (1958)
  Chapter 5.
"A Man Like that Doesn't Deserve Civil Rights": Systematic Violence in Cape Fear (1962)
  Chapter 6.
"Blind Spots": The Visual Logic and Historical Context of To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
  Coda: A Time to Kill (1996) and Post-Civil Rights Variations on the Southern Rape Complex
  Works Cited


»In this bold study of cinematic depictions of violence in the south, Deborah E. Barker explores the ongoing legacy of the “southern rape complex” in American film. Taking as her starting point D. W. Griffith’s infamous Birth of a Nation, Barker demonstrates how the tropes and imagery of the southern rape complex continue to assert themselves across a multitude of genres, time periods, and stylistic modes.
Drawing from Gilles Deleuze’s work on cinema, Barker examines plot, dialogue, and camera technique as she considers several films: The Story of Temple Drake (1933), Sanctuary (1958), Touch of Evil (1958), To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), and Cape Fear (1962). Placing this body of analysis in the context of the historical periods when these films appeared and the literary sources on which they are based, Barker reveals the protean power of cinematic racialized violence amid the shifting cultural and political landscapes of the South and the nation as a whole.
By focusing on familiar literary and cinematic texts—each produced or set during moments of national crisis such as the Great Depression or the civil rights movement—Barker’s Reconstructing Violence offers fresh insights into the anxiety that has underpinned sexual and racial violence in cinematic representations of the South.« (Source: Louisiana State University Press)

Wikipedia: History of the Americas: History of the United States | Film: Cinema of the United States / Cape Fear (1962 film) Sanctuary (1961 film) The Story of Temple Drake A Time to Kill (1996 film) To Kill a Mockingbird (film) Touch of Evil