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Princeton University Press
Vision, Race, and Modernity: A Visual Economy of the Andean Image World / Edition 1

Vision, Race, and Modernity: A Visual Economy of the Andean Image World / Edition 1

by Deborah Poole


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Vision, Race, and Modernity: A Visual Economy of the Andean Image World / Edition 1

Through an intensive examination of photographs and engravings from European, Peruvian, and U.S. archives, Deborah Poole explores the role visual images and technologies have played in shaping modern understandings of race. Vision, Race, and Modernity traces the subtle shifts that occurred in European and South American depictions of Andean Indians from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries, and explains how these shifts led to the modern concept of "racial difference." While Andean peoples were always thought of as different by their European describers, it was not until the early nineteenth century that European artists and scientists became interested in developing a unique visual and typological language for describing their physical features. Poole suggests that this "scientific" or "biological" discourse of race cannot be understood outside a modern visual economy. Although the book specifically documents the depictions of Andean peoples, Poole's findings apply to the entire colonized world of the nineteenth century.

Poole presents a wide range of images from operas, scientific expeditions, nationalist projects, and picturesque artists that both effectively elucidate her argument and contribute to an impressive history of photography. Vision, Race, and Modernity is a fascinating attempt to study the changing terrain of racial theory as part of a broader reorganization of vision in European society and culture.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 2900691006450
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 05/23/1997
Series: Princeton Studies in Culture/Power/History Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

About the Author

Deborah Poole is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research in New York. Her previous publications include Unruly Order: Violence, Power, and Cultural Identity in the High Provinces of Southern Peru and Peru: Time of Fear.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Ch. 1Introduction3
Ch. 2The Inca Operatic25
Ch. 3An Economy of Vision58
Ch. 4A One-Eyed Gaze85
Ch. 5Equivalent Images107
Ch. 6The Face of a Nation142
Ch. 7The New Indians168
Ch. 8Negotiating Modernity198

What People are Saying About This

Benjamin Orlove

Bold in its conception, brilliant in its execution, this book catches the eye and stimulates the imagination through its thoughtful examination of diverse visual representations from colonial and postcolonial Peru. It engages the mind and lingers in the memory for its original and persuasive reframing of the centrality of vision to issues of science, technology, power and race in the modern world. It will be of interest not only to Latin American specialists, to historians of art and photography, and to cultural studies audiences broadly, but to all those who seek to understand the globalization of images and ideologies in the contemporary era.
Benjamin Orlove, University of California, Davis

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