Lynching Photographs and Their Aftermath: The Overlay of the Gaze
AuthorJordan, Meghan Lynn
AdvisorPalmer Albers, Kate
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of this thesis is to examine the circulation of photographic postcards depicting lynching events in the United States, as well as the changing contexts and gaze. The initial mailing of the postcards to far away family and friends, some including handwriting on the versos, makes apparent the desire to spread white supremacist ideals across the country. These photographs, often depicting the victim’s suffering body amongst a crowd of people, were then placed in family photo albums, hidden in attics, or sold in flea markets. It was in these locations that collector James Allen found the photographs depicting lynching events that compose the Allen/Littlefield Collection, which toured the United States from 2000-2005 in the exhibition "Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America." Through the utilization of the accompanying catalog, I discuss the circulation of multiple mailed photographic postcards with handwritten texts on the versos, the reporting of lynching events in newspapers from varying regions of the United States, and the recent exhibitions of the Allen/Littlefield Collection, as well as art works reappropriating lynching photographs. It is my aim to illustrate the impact of context on the viewing of lynching images and how the gaze of the spectator changes over time.
Degree NameM. A.
Degree ProgramGraduate College