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Vision, Race, and Modernity:
A Visual Economy of the Andean Image World
Deborah Poole

One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 1997

Paperback | 1997 | $46.00 | £38.95 | ISBN: 9780691006451
272 pp. | 7 3/4 x 10 | 75 halftones
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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.


"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

Table of Contents:

List of Illustrations
Ch. 1 Introduction 3
Ch. 2 The Inca Operatic 25
Ch. 3 An Economy of Vision 58
Ch. 4 A One-Eyed Gaze 85
Ch. 5 Equivalent Images 107
Ch. 6 The Face of a Nation 142
Ch. 7 The New Indians 168
Ch. 8 Negotiating Modernity 198
Notes 217
References 239
Index 253


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File created: 7/11/2017

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