Africans on Stage: Studies in Ethnological Show Business

Front Cover
Bernth Lindfors
Indiana University Press, 1999 - History - 302 pages
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"...engaging, richly illustrated, and well-reserached.... Part anthology, cultural studies, history, journalism and political science, it... manages to consistently engage the reader..." - African Studies Review

"Lindfors's book shows how the 'edutainment' of the 19th century perpetuated an ignorance of Africa that makes it easy for whites to stay racist and difficult for blacks to gain an accurate and dignified understanding of their heritage.... an unusually strong, readable collection." —Boston Book Review

Ethnological show business—that is, the displaying of foreign peoples for commercial and/or educational purposes—has a very long history. In the 19th and 20th centuries some of the most interesting individuals and groups exhibited in Europe and America came from Africa, or were said to come from Africa. African showpeople (real as well as counterfeit), managers and impresarios, and the audiences who came to gape are the featured attractions here—how they individually and in concert helped to shape Western perceptions of Africans.

 

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Contents

Display of the Body Hottentot
3
Charles Dickens and the Zulus
62
Africa Meets the Great Farini
81
107
132
135
293
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About the author (1999)

Bernth Lindfors is Professor of English and African Literatures at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the founding editor of the journal of Research in African Literature and has written and edited a number of books on African verbal arts, the most recent being African Textualities: Texts, Pre-texts, and Contexts of African Literature (1997).

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