Arranged chronologically, Film Histories is a wide-ranging anthology that covers the history of film from 1885 to the present. Each chapter contains an introduction by the editors on key developments within the respective period, followed by a classic piece of historical research about that period. Various approaches to film history are taken by the authors of the articles, exposing readers to different forms of historical research. Topics include: the history of audiences, exhibition, marketing, censorship, aesthetic history, political history, and historical reception studies.
Film Histories concentrates on the so-called historical turn in film studies, demonstrating that film history is about more than simply key films, directors, and movements. Also included is a preface explaining the structure and organization of the book. The contents are divided into sections on American and non-American research, thus designed to reach a wide student audience at the undergraduate level. Chapter introductions provide an overview of international developments in film.