Postcards: Ephemeral Histories of Modernity

Overview

Products of modernity, postcards continue to provoke comment today as in the nineteenth century. With their unique status as interdisciplinary image-objects that cross lines of geography, economy, and gender, postcards epitomize the complex history of visual culture. These often sweet, nostalgic, inexpensive mementos of commercial culture have also been carriers, even instigators, of colonialist exoticism and political propaganda. They straddle the by now largely obliterated line between “high” and “low” art, ...

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Overview

Products of modernity, postcards continue to provoke comment today as in the nineteenth century. With their unique status as interdisciplinary image-objects that cross lines of geography, economy, and gender, postcards epitomize the complex history of visual culture. These often sweet, nostalgic, inexpensive mementos of commercial culture have also been carriers, even instigators, of colonialist exoticism and political propaganda. They straddle the by now largely obliterated line between “high” and “low” art, between an earlier modernist art history and more recent work in visual culture. This fully illustrated volume is the first of its kind to bring together the latest interdisciplinary research on postcards as a significant area of scholarly inquiry.

In addition to the editors, the contributors are Rebecca J. DeRoo, Ellen Handy, Elizabeth B. Heuer, Timothy Van Laar, Annelies Moors, Cary Nelson, John O’Brian, Naomi Schor, Kimberly A. Smith, Rachel Snow, Nancy Stieber, and Andrés Mario Zervigón.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780271035284
  • Publisher: Penn State University Press
  • Publication date: 3/12/2010
  • Series: Refiguring Modernism , #15
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 10.50 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

David Prochaska is Associate Professor of History at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is the author of Making Algeria French: Colonialism in Bône, 1870–1920 (1990, 2004).

Jordana Mendelson is Associate Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at New York University. Among her previous books is Documenting Spain: Artists, Exhibition Culture, and the Modern Nation, 1929–1939 (Penn State, 2005).

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Table of Contents

Contents

List of Illustrations

Introduction

Jordana Mendelson and David Prochaska

1. Cartes Postales: Representing Paris 1900

Naomi Schor

2. Postcards and the Invention of Old Amsterdam Around 1900

Nancy Stieber

3. Correspondence Here: Real Photo Postcards and the Snapshot Aesthetic

Rachel Snow

4. Postcards to the Front: John Heartfield, George Grosz, and the Birth of Avant-Garde Photomontage

Andres Mario Zervigon

5. Ambivalent Utopia: Franz Marc and Else Lasker-Schüler’s Primitivist Postcards

Kimberly A. Smith

6. Colonial Collecting: French Women and Algerian Cartes Postales

Rebecca J. DeRoo

7. Presenting People: The Politics of Picture Postcards of Palestine/Israel

Annelies Moors

8. Exhibiting the Museum

David Prochaska

9. Outward and Visible Signs: Postcards and the Art-Historical Canon

Ellen Handy

10. Les plus belles cartes postales

Paul Éluard

With an introduction by Elizabeth B. Heuer

11. Main Street Looking North from Courthouse Square

Walker Evans

With an introduction by Elizabeth B. Heuer

12. Love Your Panzer Corps: Rediscovering the Wartime Poem Postcard

Cary Nelson

13. Postcard to Moscow

John O’Brian

14. Views of the Ordinary and Other Scenic Disappointments

Timothy Van Laar

List of Contributors

Index

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