Gender on Ice: American Ideologies of Polar Expeditions

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'In this book, Bloom takes what might seem a very localized subject and shows how it opens up to all the central questions today in cultural studies around gender, nationhood, the politics of imperialism, race, male homosocial behavior, and the sociality of science. Gender on Ice has an eloquence and elegance that positively refreshing and the prose is stylish, engaging, and direct.' -Dana Polan, University of Pittsburgh
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Overview

'In this book, Bloom takes what might seem a very localized subject and shows how it opens up to all the central questions today in cultural studies around gender, nationhood, the politics of imperialism, race, male homosocial behavior, and the sociality of science. Gender on Ice has an eloquence and elegance that positively refreshing and the prose is stylish, engaging, and direct.' -Dana Polan, University of Pittsburgh
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Bloom makes a good case for her intriguing central thesis, that both Robert Peary and Robert Falcon Scott rendered accounts of their respective polar expeditions in terms that inflated the heroism of their deeds and exemplified ``the particular imperial and masculinist ideologies that each characterized.'' Of the two, only Peary receives extended scrutiny as Bloom examines his unwillingness to share the glory with Matthew Henson (the black explorer who accompanied him); the question of whether or not he actually reached the North Pole; and his relationship with the National Geographic Society, which provided funding for his venture and promoted the myth of Peary as white male hero. Also interesting, but less effectively integrated, is Bloom's discussion of National Geographic magazine's ``colonial discourse of women and development.'' Although the author offers many astute observations, the text is marred by her own prejudices, which keep her from recognizing that women can be exploitive colonialists and allow her to see Peary as ``simply incompetent'' in failing to reach the Pole while not tagging Henson--who apparently deserves credit but not blame--in the same way. Bloom is a Mellon postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University. (Oct.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816620913
  • Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1993
  • Series: American Culture Series
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Lisa E. Bloom
Lisa Bloom is a visiting scholar at the Center for the Study of Women at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is an author and teacher whose interdisciplinary research and pedagogical interests cut across numerous fields including feminist studies, media and film studies, cultural studies, visual culture and the history of art. She is the author of Gender on Ice: American Ideologies of Polar Expeditions (University of Minnesota Press, 1993), and an edited anthology entitled With Other Eyes: Looking at Race and Gender in Visual Culture (University of Minnesota Press, 1999). Her third book is titled, Jewish Identities in U.S. Feminist Art: Ghosts of Ethnicity (Routledge, London, 2006). Her articles have appeared in The Scholar and the Feminist, n.paradoxa, Media N-Journal, NKA: Journal of Contemporary African Art, and Configurations; exhibition catalogues on Isaac Julien and Eleanor Antin, and anthologies including The Visual Culture Reader, The Feminism and Visual Culture Reader, Performing the Body/Performing the Text, Jewish Identity and Art History, Jews and Sex, Writing Science, and Everyday eBay, Collecting and Desiring. For more detailed information on her work, visit her website at: www.lisabloom.net or www.lisaebloom.com.
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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments
Introduction. A Passion for Blankness: U.S. and British Polar Discourse 1
1 Nationalism on Ice: Technology and Masculinity at the North Pole 15
2 National Geographic Society and Magazine: Technologies of Nationalism, Race, and Gender 57
3 White Fade-out? Heroism and the National Geographic in the Age of Multiculturalism 83
4 Science and Writing: Two Adventures of Male Embodiment 111
Notes 137
Bibliography 149
Index 159
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