December 2, 2003 Multimedia History is Subject of Jan. 9 Discussion on Documentary Films and Digital Presentations of the Long Bow Group

Program Is Offered in Connection with Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association

Contact: Miriam Hauss, American Historical Association (202) 544-2422, Ext. 103
Contact: Helen Dalrymple, Library of Congress (202) 707-1940

The documentary films and digital presentations of the award-winning Long Bow Group will be discussed at a special annual meeting session of the American Historical Association (AHA) to be held from 9 to 11 a.m. on Jan. 9, in the Mumford Room, sixth floor of the Library of Congress Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. The event is co-sponsored by the Library's John W. Kluge Center and the American Historical Association.

Jonathan D. Spence, China historian and president-elect of the AHA, will moderate the session, during which filmmakers Carma Hinton and Richard Gordon (of the Long Bow Group) and historian Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom (Indiana University) will make presentations. Vanessa Schwartz and William G. Thomas will comment.

Hinton and Gordon's films, which have been shown on public television networks and at film festivals in many parts of the world, include "The Gate of Heavenly Peace," a 1995 documentary that won a Peabody Award as well as two prizes at the Banff Television Festival. Their most recent production is "Morning Sun," a just-completed film about the Cultural Revolution. They will introduce and show excerpts from both films. The two filmmakers are currently collaborating with Indiana University's East Asian Studies Center and Digital Library Program on a MultiMedia Encyclopedia of 20th century China, which Wasserstrom will demonstrate.

Carma Hinton was born in Beijing in 1949, where she lived until she was 21. She is a scholar as well as a filmmaker and holds a doctorate in art history, which she earned at Harvard University.

Richard Gordon's credits include, in addition to his activities at Long Bow, work for National Geographic and PBS/NOVA. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Rockefeller Intercultural Film/Video Fellowship.

Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom is a professor of history and the director of the East Asian Studies Center at Indiana University. A frequent contributor to general interest periodicals as well as academic journals, his books include "Student Protests in Twentieth-Century China" (1991). He has served as a consultant to the Long Bow Group on its last two films and is working closely with them on the multimedia encyclopedia.

Vanessa Schwartz is associate professor of history at the University of Southern California and is a specialist in the popular culture of modern Europe. Among her publications are two co-edited volumes, "Cinema and the Invention of Modern Life" (1995) and "Spectacular Realities: Early Mass Culture in Fin-de-siecle Paris" (1998).

William G. Thomas is the director of the Virginia Center for Digital History. He is a specialist both in American history and the issues raised by using new media to explore the past. He is the co-author (with Edward L. Ayers) of "The Difference Slavery Made: Two American Communities in 1860 and the Coming of the Civil War," an essay that will appear in the December 2003 issue of the American Historical Review. He is also part of the team responsible for the digital history project "The Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the American Civil War" (

A generous endowment from John W. Kluge in 2000 enabled the Library of Congress to establish the John W. Kluge Center, to bring together the world's best thinkers to stimulate, energize and distill wisdom from the Library's rich resources and to interact with policymakers in Washington, D.C. The center houses five senior Kluge Chairs as well as a number of postdoctoral fellows. In addition, it sponsors a number of programs that highlight research in the humanities and culture. For information about the fellowships, grants and programs offered by the John W. Kluge Center, contact the Office of Scholarly Programs, Library of Congress, 101 Independence Avenue S.E, Washington, DC 20540-4860; telephone (202) 707-3302, fax (202) 707-3595, or visit the Web at


PR 03-202
ISSN 0731-3527