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Tracy Anne Sachtjen's American Ugly: Appearance and Aesthetics in Cultures of U.S. PDF

By Tracy Anne Sachtjen

This undertaking brings jointly an research of neighborhood historical past, commercial capitalism, and U.S. empire to argue that ugliness---much greater than a personal quandary among a person and her mirror---became a mode of justifying regulate over the folks and areas reworked by way of the industrial procedures of nineteenth-century enlargement. This dissertation engages ugliness as a old formation to research how its repeated invocation in well known cultures supplied a simple avatar of terrible distinction opposed to which a nationalist physique can be respected. Ugliness precise a physique so misplaced or outpaced by way of glossy beliefs that exclusion turned the answer to nationalized clash. during this means, metaphors of visual appeal and aesthetic worth buttressed the present rhetoric of growth. This undertaking contributes to the research of nationalist formation and embodiment via illuminating gender as a prop for racial abjection.

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S. hands formed the setting for the stories she wrote at the turn of the century, including Los Cerritos: A Romance of the Modern Time (1890); The Californians (1898); The Splendid Idle Forties, Stories of Old California (1902); and California: An Intimate History (1914). I first study the figures of mixedrace Indian, Californiana, Spanish, Mexican, and Anglo characters as they represented the difficult turn to modernity. For Dorthe, Magdalena, and Carmelita, three characters who embodied the success or failure of Americanization on local populations, becoming modern hinged on their ability to overcome what Anglo American mythology held as the savage or indolent natures of Indians and Spaniards, respectively.

In this dyad, Indians were always ugly, while European blood Spanish priests or explorers, British aristocrats, Anglo American land developers, even the "Spanish" Californios - was beautiful. If not always glamorous, Europeans were attractive and never resembled the horrifying triptych of beast, heathen and human attributed to Indians. Second, Indians were not the sole figures of savagery. The land, unworked and idle like the Isle of Skulls, could also be savage; it seemed to ache for the transformation that civilization would bring.

Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1995), 220-238. On Atherton as a feminist and New Woman, see Carolyn Forrey, "Gertrude Atherton and the New Woman," California Historical Quarterly (1976), 194-209; Elinor Richey, "The Flappers Were Her Daughters: The Liberated, Literary World of Gertrude Atherton," American West XI (July 1974), 4-10. Quick mention of Atherton's fascination with (and ultimate disaffection for) mixed-race characters or miscegenation is made in a few studies. See Werner Sollors, Neither Black Nor White Yet Both: Thematic Explorations of Interracial Literature (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), 142-161; Perry E.

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American Ugly: Appearance and Aesthetics in Cultures of U.S. Nationalism, 1848-1915 by Tracy Anne Sachtjen


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