Paper $32.50 ISBN: 9780226320885 Published January 2016
Cloth $97.50 ISBN: 9780226320748 Published January 2016
E-book $10.00 to $32.50 About E-books ISBN: 9780226320915 Published January 2016 Also Available From

Race and Photography

Racial Photography as Scientific Evidence, 1876-1980

Amos Morris-Reich

Race and Photography

Amos Morris-Reich

320 pages | 72 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2016
Paper $32.50 ISBN: 9780226320885 Published January 2016
Cloth $97.50 ISBN: 9780226320748 Published January 2016
E-book $10.00 to $32.50 About E-books ISBN: 9780226320915 Published January 2016
Race and Photography studies the changing function of photography from the 1870s to the 1940s within the field of the “science of race,” what many today consider the paradigm of pseudo-science. Amos Morris-Reich looks at the ways photography enabled not just new forms of documentation but new forms of perception. Foregoing the political lens through which we usually look back at race science, he holds it up instead within the light of the history of science, using it to explore how science is defined; how evidence is produced, used, and interpreted; and how science shapes the imagination and vice versa.
           
Exploring the development of racial photography wherever it took place, including countries like France and England, Morris-Reich pays special attention to the German and Jewish contexts of scientific racism. Through careful reconstruction of individual cases, conceptual genealogies, and patterns of practice, he compares the intended roles of photography with its actual use in scientific argumentation. He examines the diverse ways it was used to establish racial ideologies—as illustrations of types, statistical data, or as self-evident record of racial signs. Altogether, Morris-Reich visits this troubling history to outline important truths about the roles of visual argumentation, imagination, perception, aesthetics, epistemology, and ideology within scientific study.  
Review Quotes
Lorraine Daston, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science
“In this brave, clear-eyed book, Morris-Reich confronts racial photography on its own terms: as a form of scientific evidence. Without for a moment forgetting the political contexts of racial photography, he shows that ideology alone is insufficient to explain the origins, varieties, and power of racial photography and the aims of its diverse practitioners. This is a remarkably attentive book: scrupulously attentive to historical context, the shifting epistemologies that framed photography, and, above all, the visual details of the photographs themselves.”
Margaret Olin, Yale University
“An important, smart book about how visual argumentation works. It goes beyond its primary subject—the way photographs of Jews were used in nineteenth- and twentieth-century German studies of race—and even beyond the study of photography or anthropology to the area of visual studies as a whole. Its clear and important methodological analyses contribute substantially to this subject.”
Elizabeth Edwards, De Montfort University
“This brilliantly researched, brave, and sophisticated analysis offers a much-needed account of how photographs worked as evidence within racial science. By bringing scientific purpose—however aberrant—to the center of his analysis, Morris-Reich demonstrates how certain forms of photographic practice and evidence became thinkable at given historical moments with their accompanying scientific agendas. While the larger devastating and catastrophic consequences are well known, this important and thoughtful book helps us to understand debates about race as a deeply woven yet fluid matrix of the methodological, ideological, and sociological forces that produced these photographs as scientific tools of racial imagination.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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