Advertising Empire: Race and Visual Culture in Imperial Germany

TitleAdvertising Empire: Race and Visual Culture in Imperial Germany
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsCiarlo, David
Number of Pages419
PublisherHarvard University Press
CityCambridge
Abstract

In the last decades of the nineteenth century Germany made the move towards colonialism, with the first German protectorates in Africa. At the same time, Germany was undergoing the transformation to a mass consumer society. As the author argues, these developments grew along with one another, as the earliest practices of advertising drew legitimacy from the colonial project, and around the turn of the century, commercial imagery spread colonial visions to a mass audience. Arguing that visual commercial culture was both reflective and constitutive of changing colonial relations and of racial hierarchies, this book constructs what one might call a genealogy of black bodies in German advertising. At the core of the manuscript is the identification of visual tropes associated with black bodies in German commercial culture, ranging from colonial and ethnographic exhibits, to poster art, to advertising. Stereotypical images of black bodies in advertising coalesced, the volume argues, in the aftermath of uprisings against German colonial power in Southwest and East Africa in the early 20th century. This book argues thatĀ for Germany, commercial imagery of racialized power relations simplified the complexities of colonial power relations. It enshrined the inferiority of blacks as compared to whites as one key image associated with the birth of mass consumer society.

URLhttps://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674050068
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709591748

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