Picturing Imperial Power
Colonial Subjects in Eighteenth-century British Painting
By (author) Dr. Beth Fowkes Tobin
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Picturing Imperial Power by Dr. Beth Fowkes Tobin
Book DescriptionThis study of colonialism and art examines the intersection of visual culture and political power in late-eighteenth-century British painting. Focusing on paintings from British America, the West Indies, and India, Beth Fowkes Tobin investigates the role of art in creating and maintaining imperial ideologies and practices-as well as in resisting and complicating them. Informed by the varied perspectives of postcolonial theory, Tobin explores through close readings of colonial artwork the dynamic middle ground in which cultures meet. Linking specific colonial sites with larger patterns of imperial practice and policy, she examines paintings by William Hogarth, Benjamin West, Gilbert Stuart, Arthur William Devis, and Agostino Brunias, among others. These works include portraits of colonial officials, conversation pieces of British families and their servants, portraits of Native Americans and Anglo-Indians, and botanical illustrations produced by Calcutta artists for officials of the British Botanic Gardens. In addition to examining the strategies that colonizers employed to dominate and define their subjects, Tobin uncovers the tactics of negotiation, accommodation, and resistance that make up the colonized's response to imperial authority. By focusing on the paintings' cultural and political engagement with imperialism, she accounts for their ideological power and visual effect while arguing for their significance as agents in the colonial project. Pointing to the complexity, variety, and contradiction within colonial art, Picturing Imperial Power contributes to an understanding of colonialism as a collection of social, economic, political, and epistemological practices that were not monolithic and inevitable, but contradictory and contingent on various historical forces. It will interest students and scholars of colonialism, imperial history, postcolonial history, art history and theory, and cultural studies.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780822323389
(230mm x 154mm x 24mm)
Imprint: Duke University Press
Publisher: Duke University Press
Publish Date: 25-Feb-1999
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Dr. Beth Fowkes Tobin
Duchess's Shells, Hardback (April 2014)
Margaret Cavendish Bentinck, the 2nd Duchess of Portland (1715-1785), was one of the wealthiest women in 18th-century Britain. Over the course of twenty years, she amassed the largest shell collection of her time. This study tells the story of the collection's formation and dispersal.
Women and the Material Culture of Death, Hardback (November 2013)
Examining the compelling and often poignant connection between women and the material culture of death, this collection looks at the objects women make, the images they keep, the practices they use or are responsible for, and the places they inhabit and construct through ritual and custom.
Material Women, 1750-1950, Hardback (December 2009)
With global perspective and comparative framework, this collection contributes to the scholarly examination of consumption by taking the topic of women, material culture, and consumption into the various arenas. It includes the essays that explore the connections between consumption and subjectivity.
Women and Things, 1750-1950, Hardback (December 2009)» View all books by Dr. Beth Fowkes Tobin
A collection of essays that provides case studies of women who produced material objects. It deals with the women's complex and active engagement with material culture in the various stages of the material object's life cycle, from design and production to consumption, use, and redeployment.
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Author Biography - Dr. Beth Fowkes Tobin
Beth Fowkes Tobin is Professor of English Literature at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa.
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