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Empires of Vision: A Reader
edited by Martin Jay and Sumathi Ramaswamy
Duke University Press, 2014
eISBN: 978-0-8223-7897-6 | Paper: 978-0-8223-5448-2 | Cloth: 978-0-8223-5436-9
Library of Congress Classification JC359.E4625 2014
Dewey Decimal Classification 325.3

Empires of Vision brings together pieces by some of the most influential scholars working at the intersection of visual culture studies and the history of European imperialism. The essays and excerpts focus on the paintings, maps, geographical surveys, postcards, photographs, and other media that comprise the visual milieu of colonization, struggles for decolonization, and the lingering effects of empire. Taken together, they demonstrate that an appreciation of the role of visual experience is necessary for understanding the functioning of hegemonic imperial power and the ways that the colonized subjects spoke, and looked, back at their imperial rulers. Empires of Vision also makes a vital point about the complexity of image culture in the modern world: We must comprehend how regimes of visuality emerged globally, not only in the metropole but also in relation to the putative margins of a world that increasingly came to question the very distinction between center and periphery.

Contributors. Jordanna Bailkin, Roger Benjamin, Daniela Bleichmar, Zeynep Çelik, David Ciarlo, Natasha Eaton, Simon Gikandi, Serge Gruzinski, James L. Hevia, Martin Jay, Brian Larkin, Olu Oguibe, Ricardo Padrón, Christopher Pinney, Sumathi Ramaswamy, Benjamin Schmidt, Terry Smith, Robert Stam, Eric A. Stein, Nicholas Thomas, Krista A. Thompson

"The culture of empire has been assessed and analyzed most frequently on the evidence of its 'writings.' It is the inscriptive archives of law, literature, anthropology, history, and theology, amongst others, that have dominated our view of the representational conditions and ideological commitments that prevail in colonial societies. But empire was a potent apparatus for looking, viewing, and gazing—an act of surveillance, an art of regulation, and a profound shaper of visual culture. No collaboration could be as fruitful as the shared spirits of Martin Jay and Sumathi Ramaswamy, who serve as our gifted cicerones in the world of empire's seeing. They have gathered together some of the most important essays that explore the visual domain of empire's rule and misrule, and their anthology will have a transformative effect on art history, the history of ideas, and postcolonial studies."—Homi K. Bhabha, Anne F. Rothenberg Professor of the Humanities, Harvard University

-- Tikkun

-- Lydia Pyne Somatosphere

-- Sandra Marques Social Anthropology

-- Stephen Sheehi Canadian Journal of History

See other books on: Empires | Imperialism | Postcolonialism | Reader | Vision
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