Tom Rice is a Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at University of St Andrews and is the author of White Robes, Silver Screens: Movies and the Making of the Ku Klux Klan (Indiana University Press, 2015). The book examines the integral role of cinema in the formation, development and demise of the Ku Klux Klan between 1915 and 1944. Through a range of sources – including Klan newspapers, censorship files, and personal papers – the book explores the ways in which the Klan used, produced and protested against film in order to recruit members, generate publicity and define itself as a traditional, Protestant American organisation.
Rice is currently working on his next monograph – provisionally entitled 'Watching Empire Dissolve: Through the Lens of the Colonial Film Units' – a study of the Colonial Film Units, which produced, distributed and exhibited film across the British colonies from the 1930s until independence in the 1960s. In so doing, the book will examine the integral role that film would play in administering, controlling and visualising a rapidly changing Empire. The book aims to provide a new historical perspective on the last decades of the British Empire – through the war and civil unrest to political independence – while also offering a fresh exploration of British, and global, cinema.
Rice previously worked as the senior postdoctoral researcher on a major 3 year AHRC funded project, entitled Colonial Film: Moving Images of the British Empire (2007-2010). He wrote extensive historical essays on more than 200 films and production companies, which can be found at www.colonialfilm.org.uk. These essays cover a broad range of geographical areas, periods and genres including, for example, British sponsored documentaries, war propaganda, amateur films, African health films, Indian newsreels, and early travelogues. He has spoken on aspects of this research in America, India and Hong Kong, and has helped organise film seasons, conferences and educational programmes utilising the colonial film materials.
He is also Co-Director (with Dr Joshua Yumibe) of Cinema St Andrews, an archival research project established in 2011. For more information go to http://cinemastandrews.org.uk.