Second Skin: Josephine Baker and the Modern Surface

Paperback | June 15, 2013

byAnne Anlin Cheng

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Through the figure of Josephine Baker, Second Skin tells the story of an unexpected yet enduring intimacy between the invention of a modernist style and the theatricalization of black skin at the turn of the twentieth century. Stepping outside of the platitudes surrounding this iconic figure,Anne A. Cheng argues that Baker's famous nakedness must be understood within larger philosophic and aesthetic debates about, and desire for, "pure surface" that crystallized at the convergence of modern art, architecture, machinery, and philosophy. Through Cheng's analysis, Baker emerges as acentral artist whose work engages with and impacts various modes of modernist display such as film, photography, art, and even the modern house.

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Through the figure of Josephine Baker, Second Skin tells the story of an unexpected yet enduring intimacy between the invention of a modernist style and the theatricalization of black skin at the turn of the twentieth century. Stepping outside of the platitudes surrounding this iconic figure,Anne A. Cheng argues that Baker's famous nak...

Anne Anlin Cheng is Professor of English and African American Literature at Princeton University and the author of The Melancholy of Race: Assimilation, Psychoanalysis, and Hidden Grief.

other books by Anne Anlin Cheng

Second Skin: Josephine Baker & the Modern Surface
Second Skin: Josephine Baker & the Modern Surface

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.68 inPublished:June 15, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199988161

ISBN - 13:9780199988167

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Table of Contents

Her Own SkinIn the MuseumSkins, Tattoos, and the Lure of the SurfaceWhat Bananas SayHousing Baker, Dressing LoosRadiant Bodies, Dark CitiesThe Woman with the Golden SkinAll That Glitters Is Not Gold (or, Dirty Professors)Ethical LookingBack to the MuseumAcknowledgementsList of IllustrationsNotesWorks Cited