This project will chronicle and analyze of the trajectory of mixed-race women in the history of postcolonial visual culture, specifically advertising. In the contemporary moment, the mixed-race woman is presented as a harbinger of progress and a natural outcome of racial amicability. But from her earliest appearance in the Americas, the mulâtresse was framed as a figure of sensuality and avarice. Her personal wealth, which was inherited from a white father or gifted by lovers, was also a threat to the colonial order.
The French department of Martinique provides an antecedent of this figure, through her frequent appearances on anthropologically-themed postcards and rum advertisements. Through playing with WTJ Mitchell’s theory of “clonophobia” I will address how the repetition of this figure exemplifies a type of “clonophilia.” I argue that this figure has a long history as a haunted copy, a manifestation of a simultaneously idealized future and simplified past in the Americas and Europe.
Dr. Lenore Bell is a lecturer at the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences. She completed her BA at Amherst College, her MA at Universiteit Leiden, and her MLitt and PhD at the University of St. Andrews. Her doctoral work in English Literature and Creative Writing, If You See Something, Say Something: The Figure of the Other in 9/11 Literature, goes beyond the false binary assumption that the racial tension in these books lies solely in the dynamic between “Americans” and “terrorists.” It also interrogates post-9/11 constructions of whiteness and the treatment of African-American characters.
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