Deborah Poole Vision, Race, and Modernity

ISBN 13: 9780691006468

Vision, Race, and Modernity

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9780691006468: Vision, Race, and Modernity
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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.

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From the Back Cover:

"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

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.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780691006451: Vision, Race, and Modernity: A Visual Economy of the Andean World

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ISBN 10:  0691006458 ISBN 13:  9780691006451
Publisher: Princeton University Press, 1997
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Deborah Poole
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