Visualizing Empire: Africa, Europe, and the Politics of Representation
Available January 2021
Edited by Rebecca Peabody, Steven Nelson, and Dominic Thomas
An exploration of how an official French visual culture normalized France’s colonial project and exposed citizens and subjects to racialized ideas of life in the empire.
By the end of World War I, having fortified its colonial holdings in the Caribbean, Latin America, Africa, the Indian Ocean, and Asia, France had expanded its dominion to the four corners of the earth. This volume examines how an official French visual culture normalized the country’s colonial project and exposed citizens and subjects alike to racialized ideas of life in the empire. Essays analyze aspects of colonialism through investigations into the art, popular literature, material culture, film, and exhibitions that represented, celebrated, or were created for France’s colonies across the seas.
These studies draw from the rich documents and media—photographs, albums, postcards, maps, posters, advertisements, and children’s games—related to the nineteenth- and twentieth-century French empire that are held in the Getty Research Institute’s Association Connaissance de l’histoire de l’Afrique contemporaine (ACHAC) collections. ACHAC is a consortium of scholars and researchers devoted to exploring and promoting discussions of race, iconography, and the colonial and postcolonial periods of Africa and Europe.
Rebecca Peabody is head of Research Projects and Programs at the Getty Research Institute. Steven Nelson is the incoming dean of the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, beginning July 2020. He was previously professor of African and African American art history at the University of California, Los Angeles. Dominic Thomas is Madeleine L. Letessier Professor and chair of the Department of European Languages and Transcultural Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.
200 pages 7 x 10 inches 88 color and 5 b/w illustrations ISBN 978-1-60606-668-3 paperback
Getty Publications Imprint: Getty Research Institute Series: Issues & Debates