Race And Photography: Racial Photography As Scientific Evidence, 1876-1980

Paperback | January 11, 2016

byAmos Morris-reich

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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.  

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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 politica...

Amos Morris-Reich is a professor in the Department of Jewish History and the director of the Bucerius Institute for Research of Contemporary German History and Society at the University of Haifa. He is the author of The Quest for Jewish Assimilation in Modern Social Science and the editor of collected essays by Georg Simmel and Sander ...

other books by Amos Morris-reich

Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.7 inPublished:January 11, 2016Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022632088X

ISBN - 13:9780226320885

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“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.”