RSE Small Grant for Tyler Parks

12 February 2024

Dr Tyler Parks, lecturer in Film Studies, has won a Royal Society of Edinburgh Small Grant for his project 'Infrastructural Cinema and the Remaking of the American West: Filmmaking at the United States Bureau of Reclamation, 1930-1965'.

The project focuses on the production, distribution, and exhibition of films made to promote and inform the public about three largescale 20th-century water projects: Hoover Dam, the Central Valley Water Project, and Glen Canyon Dam. It aims to understand how the films reflect cultural imperatives to "improve" nature through infrastructural projects, as well as to contextualise the Bureau's filmmaking activities in relation to its struggles with rival government institutions, the scepticism of East-Coast politicians, and environmental groups.

The grant will support a trip to the National Archives and Records Administration in College Park, Maryland to explore both films and paper materials connected to the Bureau's filmmaking.