Imagery of Lynching: Black Men, White Women, and the Mob

Imagery of Lynching: Black Men, White Women, and the Mob

by Dora Apel
     
 

Outside of the classroom and scholarly publications, lynching has long been a taboo subject. Nice people, it is felt, do not talk about it, and they certainly do not look at images representing the atrocity.

In Imagery of Lynching, Dora Apel contests this adopted stance of ignorance. Through a careful and compelling analysis of over one hundred

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Overview

Outside of the classroom and scholarly publications, lynching has long been a taboo subject. Nice people, it is felt, do not talk about it, and they certainly do not look at images representing the atrocity.

In Imagery of Lynching, Dora Apel contests this adopted stance of ignorance. Through a careful and compelling analysis of over one hundred representations of lynching, she shows how the visual documentation of such crimes can be a central vehicle for both constructing and challenging racial hierarchies. She examines how lynching was often orchestrated explicitly for the camera and how these images circulated on postcards, but also how they eventually were appropriated by antilynching forces and artists from the 1930s to the present. She further investigates how photographs were used to construct ideologies of "whiteness" and "blackness," the role that gender played in these visual representations, and how interracial desire became part of the imagery.

Offering the fullest and most systematic discussion of the depiction of lynching in diverse visual forms, this book addresses questions about race, class, gender, and dissent in the shaping of American society. Although we may want to avert our gaze, Apel holds it with her sophisticated interpretations of traumatic images and the uses to which they have been put.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813534596
Publisher:
Rutgers University Press
Publication date:
09/28/2004
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 9.98(h) x 0.64(d)

Table of Contents

Ch. 1On looking7
Ch. 2Scottsboro, the Communist Party, and the NAACP : conflicts and desires47
Ch. 3The antilynching exhibitions of 1935 : strategies and constraints83
Ch. 4Race, sex, and politics in prewar America : picturing Black oppression133
Ch. 5Mass media, World War II, and the Cold War : the lynching of George Dorsey and Emmett Till165
Ch. 6The evolution of lynching narratives in contemporary art189

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