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Delia's Tears: Race, Science, and Photography in Nineteenth-Century America (review)

Delia's Tears: Race, Science, and Photography in Nineteenth-Century America (review) REVIEWS paid, temporary workers who live paycheck to paycheck, simply ``scraping by.'' St ephe n Mi hm is associate professor of history at the University of Georgia. He is the author of A Nation of Counterfeiters: Capitalists, Con Men, and the Making of the United States (Cambridge, MA, 2007). Delia's Tears: Race, Science, and Photography in NineteenthCentury America. By Molly Rogers. (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2010. Pp. 384. Illustrations. Cloth, $37.50.) Reviewed by Ann Fabian In 1976 staff at Harvard's Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology discovered a cache of disturbing daguerreotypes: striking pictures of enslaved people from South Carolina stripped naked or near naked, sometime around 1850, and made to pose for a camera. These pictures were apparently very early examples of a genre we would recognize today as ethnographic photographs, images meant to turn individuals into racial or ethnic types. Cryptic labels left a few clues about the people in the pictures--the first names of individuals, a mention of African origins--and to the pictures' makers--Columbia, South Carolina, daguerreotypist Joseph Thomas Zealy and Harvard scientist Louis Agassiz. Naturalist Agassiz had the pictures made, thinking they would somehow confirm his belief that men of different races http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the Early Republic University of Pennsylvania Press

Delia's Tears: Race, Science, and Photography in Nineteenth-Century America (review)

Journal of the Early Republic , Volume 31 (3) – Aug 11, 2011

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Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
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Copyright © University of Pennsylvania Press
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1553-0620
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Abstract

REVIEWS paid, temporary workers who live paycheck to paycheck, simply ``scraping by.'' St ephe n Mi hm is associate professor of history at the University of Georgia. He is the author of A Nation of Counterfeiters: Capitalists, Con Men, and the Making of the United States (Cambridge, MA, 2007). Delia's Tears: Race, Science, and Photography in NineteenthCentury America. By Molly Rogers. (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2010. Pp. 384. Illustrations. Cloth, $37.50.) Reviewed by Ann Fabian In 1976 staff at Harvard's Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology discovered a cache of disturbing daguerreotypes: striking pictures of enslaved people from South Carolina stripped naked or near naked, sometime around 1850, and made to pose for a camera. These pictures were apparently very early examples of a genre we would recognize today as ethnographic photographs, images meant to turn individuals into racial or ethnic types. Cryptic labels left a few clues about the people in the pictures--the first names of individuals, a mention of African origins--and to the pictures' makers--Columbia, South Carolina, daguerreotypist Joseph Thomas Zealy and Harvard scientist Louis Agassiz. Naturalist Agassiz had the pictures made, thinking they would somehow confirm his belief that men of different races

Journal

Journal of the Early RepublicUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: Aug 11, 2011

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