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Signs of the Times The Visual Politics of Jim Crow

ISBN-10: 0520261836
ISBN-13: 9780520261839
Edition: 2010
Authors: Elizabeth Abel
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Description: Signs of the Timestraces the career of Jim Crow signs-simplified in cultural memory to the "colored/white" labels that demarcated the public spaces of the American South-from their intellectual and political origins in the second half of the  More...

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Book details

List price: $29.95
Copyright year: 2010
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 5/6/2010
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 434
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.694
Language: English

Signs of the Timestraces the career of Jim Crow signs-simplified in cultural memory to the "colored/white" labels that demarcated the public spaces of the American South-from their intellectual and political origins in the second half of the nineteenth century through their dismantling by civil rights activists in the 1960s and '70s. In this beautifully written, meticulously researched book, Elizabeth Abel assembles a variegated archive of segregation signs and photographs that translated a set of regional practices into a national conversation about race. Abel also brilliantly investigates the semiotic system through which segregation worked to reveal how the signs functioned in particular spaces and contexts that shifted the grounds of race from the somatic to the social sphere. Drawing from Marxist geography, visual culture theory, and critical race studies, the book maps the twists and turns of segregation signs as they traveled through social spaces and representational forms. It demonstrates how, paradoxically, a ruthless system of social control rearticulated race as a situational, mediated, and therefore malleable formation rather than an immutable essence or divine law.

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Preface
Introduction: Jim Crow's Cultural Turns
Inscriptions
American Graffiti: The Social Life of Jim Crow Signs
The Signs of Race in the Language of Photography
Cultural Memory and the Conditions of Visibility: The Circulation of Jim Crow Photographs
Race and Space
Restroom Doors and Drinking Fountains: Perspective, Mobility, and the Fluid Grounds of Race and Gender
The Eyeball and the Wall: Eating, Seeing, and the Nation
Still and Motion Pictures
Double Take: Photography, Cinema, and the Segregated Theater
Upside Down and Inside Out: Camera Work, Spectatorship, and the Chronotope of the Colored Balcony
Dismantling Jim Crow
Remaking Racial Signs: Activism and Photography in the Theater of the Sit-Ins
Afterword: Contemporary Turns
Notes
Select Bibliography
Index

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