American Archives: Gender, Race, and Class in Visual Culture / Edition 1

American Archives: Gender, Race, and Class in Visual Culture / Edition 1

by Shawn Michelle Smith
     
 

"An imaginative, responsible, and very timely work. Shawn Michelle Smith brings into focus important connections between the development of photographic techniques and eugenic strategies in the articulation of a white middle-class identity. Her material explanation of how these cultural strategies came into existence is suggestive and exciting. This is a first-rate

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Overview

"An imaginative, responsible, and very timely work. Shawn Michelle Smith brings into focus important connections between the development of photographic techniques and eugenic strategies in the articulation of a white middle-class identity. Her material explanation of how these cultural strategies came into existence is suggestive and exciting. This is a first-rate book that will be read widely in the fields of English and cultural studies, American studies, and women and gender studies."—Priscilla Wald, University of Washington

"A brilliant and important book. . . . The way it treats its visual evidence shows an eye so deeply schooled in American cultural history and so sensitive to the nuances and value of close reading that the visual material itself becomes transubstantiated into critical theory. I have been waiting for years for a book like this to come along."—Laura Wexler, Yale University

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691004785
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
11/29/1999
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
302
Product dimensions:
6.11(w) x 9.24(h) x 0.84(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Acknowledgments xii

Introduction American Archives 3

Chapter One Prying Eyes and Middle-Class Magic in The House of the Seven Gables 11

"Magnetic" Daguerreotypes and the Masculine Gaze 12

Evil Eyes and Feminine Essence 19

Making the House a Home 24

The Public Private Sphere 26

Chapter Two The Properties of Blood 29

The Blood That Flows in Subterranean Pipes 31

Blood, Character, and Race 41

The Spectacle of Race 45

Seeing Bloodlines 47

Chapter Three Superficial Depths 51

The Portrait and the Likeness. Photographing the Soul 55

Class Acts: Real Things and True Performances 62

The Criminal Body and the Portrait of a Type 68

Consuming Commodities: Gender in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction 93

Chapter Four "Baby's Picture Is Always Treasured": Eugenics and the Reproduction of Whiteness in the Family Photograph Album 113

Mechanically Reproducing Baby 115

Reproducing Racial Inheritance 122

Sentimental Aura and the Evidence of Race 132

Chapter Five America Coursing through Her Veins 136

From the Bonds of Love to Bloodlines 137

America's White Aristocracy 141

In the Name of White Womanhood 144

"A Heritage Unique in the Ages" 150

Chapter Six Photographing the "American Negro": Nation, Race, and Photography at the Paris Exposition of 1900 157

Racialized Bodies, National Character, and Photographic Documentation 158

Making Americans 167

Conserving Race in the Nation 177

Chapter Seven Looking Back: Pauline Hopkins's Challenge to Eugenics 187

Envisioning Race: Bodies on Display in Hagar's Daughter "Sons of One Father" 194

Excavating the Hidden Self 198

Visions beyond the Color Line 203

Chapter Eight Reconfiguring a Masculine Gaze 206

Visions of Commodified Identity in Consumer Culture 207

Conspicuous Consumption under a Masculine Gaze: Rethinking Gender in Sister Carrie 210

Parting Glances 220

Afterimages A Brief Look at American Visual Culture in the 1990s 222

Notes 227

Bibliography 271

Index 291

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