Pictures and Power: Imaging and Imagining Frederick Douglass 1818-2018

Pictures and Power: Imaging and Imagining Frederick Douglass 1818-2018


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Pictures and Power: Imaging and Imagining Frederick Douglass 1818-2018 is the result of decades of collaborations and conversations among academics, artists, and activists living and working in the UK and the US. For the first time, contributors map Douglass' eclectic and experimental visual archive across an array of aesthetic, social, political, cultural, historical, ideological, and philosophical contexts. While Douglass the activist, diplomat, statesman, politician, autobiographer, orator, essayist, historian, memoirist, correspondent, and philosopher have been the focus of a scholarly industry over the decades, Douglass the art historian and the subject of photographs, paintings, prints, and sculpture let alone mass visual culture has only begun to be explored. Across this volume, scholars share their groundbreaking research investigating Douglass' significance as the subject of visual culture and as himself a self-reflexive image-maker and radical theorist.

Pictures and Power has come to life from a conviction endorsed by Douglass himself: the battleground against slavery and the fight for equal rights had many staging grounds and was by no means restricted to the plantation, the antislavery podium, the legal court, the stump circuit, the campaign trail, or even the educational institution but rather bled through every arena of imaginative, political and artistic life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781786940575
Publisher: Liverpool University Press
Publication date: 02/01/2018
Series: Liverpool Studies in International Slavery LUP
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 9.30(w) x 6.40(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Celeste-Marie Bernier is Professor of Black Studies and Personal Chair in English Literature, University of Edinburgh.

Bill E. Lawson is Emeritus, Distinguished Professor in Philosophy at the University of Memphis.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations xi

Acknowledgements xiv

Foreword Deborah Willis 1

Preface Celeste-Marie Bernier Bill E. Lawson 7

Introduction: 'Paint me as I am': The Many Faces of Frederick Douglass Celeste-Marie Bernier Bill E. Lawson 19

Part I Imaging Frederick Douglass

1 Pictures and Progress: Frederick Douglass and the Beginnings of an African American Aesthetic in Photography Donna M. Wells 43

2 The Abolitionist and the Camera: Frederick Douglass' Photographic Half-Century Zoe Trodd 57

3 Anna Murray Douglass, 'The Mother of Cedar Hill': Photography and the Representation of Nineteenth-Century Black Women's Activism Earnestine Jenkins 77

4 'A Faithful Representation of the Man?' The Pre-Civil War 'Sorrow Images' of Frederick Douglass Celeste-Marie Bernier 105

5 Last Objects: Death, Autobiography and the Final Imprint Fionnghuala Sweeney 143

Part II Imagining Frederick Douglass

6 Transatlantic Portrayals of Frederick Douglass and his Liberating Sojourn in Music and Visual Arts 1845-2015 Alan Rice 167

7 Cedar Hill: Frederick Douglass' Second Skin Jeffrey C. Stewart 189

8 Frederick Douglass in the Age of Moving Pictures Hannah Durkin 231

9 Looking Forward and Looking Back: Rashid Johnson and Frederick Douglass on Photography Shawn Michelle Smith 255

10 Viral Virtual Varicose Douglass Inside the World Wide Web: Or How to Make a Great Black Man Invisible Marcus Wood 275

11 Subverting the Racist Lens: Frederick Douglass, Humanity and the Power of the Photographic Image Bill E. Lawson Maria Brincker 299

Afterword John Stauffer 329

Notes on Contributors 333

Index 339

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