American Ugly: Appearance and Aesthetics in Cultures of U.S. by Tracy Anne Sachtjen

By Tracy Anne Sachtjen

This venture brings jointly an research of neighborhood heritage, commercial capitalism, and U.S. empire to argue that ugliness---much greater than a personal predicament among a person and her mirror---became a mode of justifying keep an eye on over the folks and locations remodeled via the commercial methods of nineteenth-century growth. This dissertation engages ugliness as a old formation to research how its repeated invocation in well known cultures supplied a simple avatar of awful distinction opposed to which a nationalist physique might be respected. Ugliness specified a physique so misplaced or outpaced through sleek beliefs that exclusion grew to become the solution to nationalized clash. during this method, metaphors of visual appeal and aesthetic price buttressed the existing rhetoric of enlargement. This venture contributes to the learn of nationalist formation and embodiment via illuminating gender as a prop for racial abjection.

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Additional resources for American Ugly: Appearance and Aesthetics in Cultures of U.S. Nationalism, 1848-1915

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For Atherton, 1848 would bring not only civilization but beautification, with the Yankee tycoon romancing California into the modem period. S. Imperialism, From the Revolution to World War II, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 98, emphasis in original. 31 Atherton gained popular appeal by marketing herself as a California writer, and much of her work took the California of pre- or early-United States conquest as its setting; in this genre, ugliness worked as the apparatus for explaining away the violence of conquest.

The Isle of Skulls," in The Splendid Idle Forties, 1902. For Gertrude Atherton, every narrative topic could be reduced to beauty's struggle to defeat ugliness, and colonial encounters were no different. Her short story, "The Isle of Skulls," published in 1902, made just this assessment. The story began with the following fictionalized vision of contact between Indians and Spanish missionaries in California: A girl sat on a log in the middle of the creek. Father Carillo stared incredulously, believing himself to be dreaming.

On Atherton as a gothic writer, see Barbara Patrick, "Lady Terrorists: Nineteenth Century American Women Writers and the Ghost Story," in American Women Short 26 Atherton's "The Isle of Skulls" displayed all the features of Western fantasy: European men sailed to a remote zone and discovered "awe-struck savages" who quickly bend to the newcomers' authority. Before contact, the natives suffered near extinction, their remote existence threatening a cultural degeneration that necessitates European rescue.

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