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Sight Unseen: Whiteness and American Visual Culture
Sight Unseen explores how racial identity guides the interpretation of the visual world. Through a nimble analysis of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century paintings, photographs, museums, and early motion pictures, Martin A. Berger illustrates how a shared investment in whiteness invisibly guides what Americans of European descent see, what they accept as true, and ...more
Hardcover, 252 pages
Published November 3rd 2005 by University of California Press
(first published 2005)
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Interesting take on visual culture that critiques unseen whiteness in art history. Mostly, the book is a good critique, but he misses some key tropes in some of his analysis that, to my mind, weaken his position. For example, one image that he claims is all about white privilege has clearly defined visual trope of memento mori meant to be a reminder of our temporary life. Failure to mention this undermines Berger's analysis, for he does not note that the image is about more than white privilege ...more
My work explores the role played by the visual arts in identity formation. Making use of an eclectic assortment of primary evidence, including painting, photography, architecture, film and literature, I analyze how Americans both resist and embrace dominant norms of identity. While specifically concerned with the impact of identity formation on disempowered peoples, my scholarship consistently add ...moreMore about Martin A. Berger