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Jean Mudge Productions: Films, Videos & Books About Historic America



JEAN MUDGE PRODUCTIONS (JMP) has been making documentary films and videos as well as producing books and articles on notable American subjects for over thirty years. Its award-winning series on Early American Writers has been shown on PBS and is still in distribution.

JMP has grown with the professional interests of Jean Mudge in the interdisciplinary field of American Studies. After graduating from Stanford University in a Humanities Honors Program, she earned a master’s degree in Early American Culture as a Winterthur Fellow at the University of Delaware and the Henry F. du Pont Winterthur Museum. After starting a family, she returned to the field as a Danforth Fellow, studying for her doctorate in American Studies at Yale University.

JMP’s films and videos draw upon Mudge’s background in history, literature, and art history, particularly a series on early American writers.  Her film, “Emily Dickinson: A Certain Slant of Light,” was made while she was the first resident-curator of the Dickinson Homestead, owned by Amherst College. There, she also wrote the book, Emily Dickinson and the Image of Home.

JMP’s books also reflect Mudge’s interdisciplinary training. Her two studies of Chinese export porcelain combine history and art history to show the chinaware as a colorful symbol of the historic contact between East and West. The Dickinson book and a new study, The Poet and the Dictator: Lauro de Bosis Resists Fascism in Italy and America, include literary criticism. And the de Bosis story discusses the history of modern Italy, including Fascism, as well as early aviation.

Mudge’s book, Mr. Emerson’s Revolution, which explores Ralph Waldo Emerson’s complex rise as one of America’s most germinal nineteenth-century reformers, is available online and in print (paper and hardcover) by Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.
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Recently, Mudge wrote the script for a documentary produced by Recombinant Films LLC, “Beating Superbugs Better.” Leading experts, along with patients and vivid graphics, tell how global interdisciplinary efforts are meeting the challenge of antibiotic resistance. The film, recipient of many laurels at leading world festivals, is now streaming on YouTube and other channels via A leading Scandinavian scientist heralds the film as the best he’s seen on the subject. And an American involved in superbug research recommends it be included in all U.S. science curriculums at any level.

Overlapping this film, Mudge has recently written a book about an early 20th century San Francisco Bay Area landscape artist, “Discovering Charlotte Hersey Colby.” Colby was Mudge’s great-aunt and the grand-aunt of her cousin, Katharine Hermann, her research collaborator. The book is privately published, but is obtainable through Mudge and Hermann.