Pictures and Power: Imaging and Imagining Frederick Douglass
1818-2018 is the result of decades of collaborations and
conversations among academics, artists, and activists living and
working in the UK and the US. For the first time, contributors map
Douglass' eclectic and experimental visual archive across an array
of aesthetic, social, political, cultural, historical, ideological,
and philosophical contexts. While Douglass the activist, diplomat,
statesman, politician, autobiographer, orator, essayist, historian,
memoirist, correspondent, and philosopher have been the focus of a
scholarly industry over the decades, Douglass the art historian and
the subject of photographs, paintings, prints, and sculpture let
alone mass visual culture has only begun to be explored. Across
this volume, scholars share their groundbreaking research
investigating Douglass' significance as the subject of visual
culture and as himself a self-reflexive image-maker and radical
theorist. Pictures and Power has come to life from a conviction
endorsed by Douglass himself: the battleground against slavery and
the fight for equal rights had many staging grounds and was by no
means restricted to the plantation, the antislavery podium, the
legal court, the stump circuit, the campaign trail, or even the
educational institution but rather bled through every arena of
imaginative, political and artistic life.
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