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Coral Empire: Underwater Oceans, Colonial Tropics, Visual Modernity
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Ann Elias
Coral Empire: Underwater Oceans, Colonial Tropics, Visual Modernity by Ann Elias at Abbey's Bookshop,

Coral Empire: Underwater Oceans, Colonial Tropics, Visual Modernity

Ann Elias


9781478003823

Duke University Press


Photographs: collections;
Oceanography (seas);
Sea life & the seashore


Paperback

296 pages

$46.95
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From vividly colored underwater photographs of Australia's Great Barrier Reef to life-size dioramas re-creating coral reefs and the bounty of life they sustained, the work of early twentieth-century explorers and photographers fed the public's fascination with reefs. In the 1920s John Ernest Williamson in the Bahamas and Frank Hurley in Australia produced mass-circulated and often highly staged photographs and films that cast corals as industrious, colonizing creatures, and the undersea as a virgin, unexplored, and fantastical territory. In Coral Empire Ann Elias traces the visual and social history of Williamson and Hurley and how their modern media spectacles yoked the tropics and coral reefs to colonialism, racism, and the human domination of nature. Using the labor and knowledge of indigenous peoples while exoticizing and racializing them as inferior Others, Williamson and Hurley sustained colonial fantasies about people of color and the environment as endless resources to be plundered. As Elias demonstrates, their reckless treatment of the sea prefigured attitudes that caused the environmental crises that the oceans and reefs now face.

By:   Ann Elias
Imprint:   Duke University Press
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 229mm,  Width: 152mm, 
Weight:   431g
ISBN:   9781478003823
ISBN 10:   1478003820
Pages:   296
Publication Date:   May 2019
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Ann Elias is Associate Professor of the History and Theory of Contemporary Global Art at the University of Sydney, author of Camouflage Australia: Art, Nature, Science, and War and Useless Beauty: Flowers and Australian Art, and coeditor of Camouflage Cultures: Beyond the Art of Disappearance.

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