Spectacle of Deformity: Freak Shows and Modern British Culture

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9780520257689: Spectacle of Deformity: Freak Shows and Modern British Culture
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In 1847, during the great age of the freak show, the British periodical Punch bemoaned the public's “prevailing taste for deformity.” This vividly detailed work argues that far from being purely exploitative, displays of anomalous bodies served a deeper social purpose as they generated popular and scientific debates over the meanings attached to bodily difference. Nadja Durbach examines freaks both well-known and obscure including the Elephant Man; “Lalloo, the Double-Bodied Hindoo Boy,” a set of conjoined twins advertised as half male, half female; Krao, a seven-year-old hairy Laotian girl who was marketed as Darwin's “missing link”; the ”Last of the Mysterious Aztecs” and African “Cannibal Kings,” who were often merely Irishmen in blackface. Upending our tendency to read late twentieth-century conceptions of disability onto the bodies of freak show performers, Durbach shows that these spectacles helped to articulate the cultural meanings invested in otherness--and thus clarified what it meant to be British―at a key moment in the making of modern and imperial ideologies and identities.

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"Nadja Durbach's work generates fresh insights on familiar phenomena such as the Elephant Man, but pushes its enquiry substantially further, extracting significant conclusions from other sensational but hitherto critically unplumbed wonders of the showman's world in the nineteenth century. An excellent piece of historical research."―Peter Bailey, author of Popular Culture and Performance in the Victorian City

About the Author:

Nadja Durbach is Associate Professor of History at the University of Utah. She is the author of Bodily Matters: The Anti Vaccination Movement in England, 1853-1907.

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Book Description University of California Press, United States, 2009. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. In 1847, during the great age of the freak show, the British periodical Punch bemoaned the public's 'prevailing taste for deformity'. This vividly detailed work argues that far from being purely exploitative, displays of anomalous bodies served a deeper social purpose as they generated popular and scientific debates over the meanings attached to bodily difference. Nadja Durbach examines freaks both well-known and obscure including the Elephant Man; 'Lalloo, the Double-Bodied Hindoo Boy', a set of conjoined twins advertised as half male, half female; Krao, a seven-year-old hairy Laotian girl who was marketed as Darwin's 'missing link'; the 'Last of the Mysterious Aztecs' and African 'Cannibal Kings', who were often merely Irishmen in blackface. Upending our tendency to read late twentieth-century conceptions of disability onto the bodies of freak show performers, Durbach shows that these spectacles helped to articulate the cultural meanings invested in otherness - and thus clarified what it meant to be British - at a key moment in the making of modern and imperial ideologies and identities. Seller Inventory # AAU9780520257689

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Book Description University of California Press, United States, 2009. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In 1847, during the great age of the freak show, the British periodical Punch bemoaned the public s prevailing taste for deformity . This vividly detailed work argues that far from being purely exploitative, displays of anomalous bodies served a deeper social purpose as they generated popular and scientific debates over the meanings attached to bodily difference. Nadja Durbach examines freaks both well-known and obscure including the Elephant Man; Lalloo, the Double-Bodied Hindoo Boy , a set of conjoined twins advertised as half male, half female; Krao, a seven-year-old hairy Laotian girl who was marketed as Darwin s missing link ; the Last of the Mysterious Aztecs and African Cannibal Kings , who were often merely Irishmen in blackface. Upending our tendency to read late twentieth-century conceptions of disability onto the bodies of freak show performers, Durbach shows that these spectacles helped to articulate the cultural meanings invested in otherness - and thus clarified what it meant to be British - at a key moment in the making of modern and imperial ideologies and identities. Seller Inventory # AAU9780520257689

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Book Description Hardback. Condition: New. Not Signed; In 1847, during the great age of the freak show, the British periodical Punch bemoaned the public's 'prevailing taste for deformity'. This vividly detailed work argues that far from being purely exploitative, displays of anomalous bodies served a deeper social purpose as they generated popular and s. book. Seller Inventory # ria9780520257689_rkm

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Book Description University of California Press, 2009. Condition: New. 2009. First Edition. Hardcover. In 1847, during the great age of the freak show, the British periodical Punch bemoaned the public's 'prevailing taste for deformity'. This work argues that far from being purely exploitative, displays of anomalous bodies served a deeper social purpose as they generated popular and scientific debates over the meanings attached to bodily difference. Num Pages: 288 pages, 15 b/w photographs. BIC Classification: 1DBK; 3JH; ASZW; HBTB. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 234 x 162 x 22. Weight in Grams: 528. Freak Shows and Modern British Culture. 288 pages, ill. In 1847, during the great age of the freak show, the British periodical Punch bemoaned the public's 'prevailing taste for deformity'. This work argues that far from being purely exploitative, displays of anomalous bodies served a deeper social purpose as they generated popular and scientific debates over the meanings attached to bodily difference. Cateogry: (G) General (US: Trade). BIC Classification: 1DBK; 3JH; ASZW; HBTB. Dimension: 234 x 162 x 22. Weight: 528. . . . . . . Seller Inventory # V9780520257689

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Book Description University of California Press. Condition: New. 2009. First Edition. Hardcover. In 1847, during the great age of the freak show, the British periodical Punch bemoaned the public's 'prevailing taste for deformity'. This work argues that far from being purely exploitative, displays of anomalous bodies served a deeper social purpose as they generated popular and scientific debates over the meanings attached to bodily difference. Num Pages: 288 pages, 15 b/w photographs. BIC Classification: 1DBK; 3JH; ASZW; HBTB. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 234 x 162 x 22. Weight in Grams: 528. Freak Shows and Modern British Culture. 288 pages, ill. In 1847, during the great age of the freak show, the British periodical Punch bemoaned the public's 'prevailing taste for deformity'. This work argues that far from being purely exploitative, displays of anomalous bodies served a deeper social purpose as they generated popular and scientific debates over the meanings attached to bodily difference. Cateogry: (G) General (US: Trade). BIC Classification: 1DBK; 3JH; ASZW; HBTB. Dimension: 234 x 162 x 22. Weight: 528. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Seller Inventory # V9780520257689

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