People of Color in European Art History


  1. Anonymous wrote...

    First, I absolutely love this blog, so let me thank you. I've read so much in the last few weeks, thanks to you. Second, do you know of any blogs that do a similar thing but with more fiction? I need a break from the heavy every once in a while. Thanks again!!

    heyreadabook:

    Sure thang, i get that. Honestly I’m afraid i don’t know any blogs that just post fiction ebooks. But here is a masterpost of fiction ebooks and here. If you see a book on there and the link is dead, then message me and i’ll see if i can find you another link, i’m also happy to supply you with links if you want a fiction book or recommendations, but i’d rather not post them cause obvs this is a non-fiction blog.  :)

    And your welcome! like you have no idea how happy i am to hear that i’m actually helping people widen their perspective. 

    xo

    C

    diversityinya

    New York Public Library Tumblr

    gobookyourself.co

    medievalpoc: tagged “Books

    medievalpoc tagged “Fiction Week

  2. mornin-mr-magpie wrote...

    Hi! I am sorry to bother you with such a pointed question but I am working on my MA thesis on the Representation of Madness of PoC in Early Modern English literature and am having a hell of a time locating any resources, both literary and, especially, history based. Early modern documentation of this eludes me...I was wondering if either you or any of your followers could help point me in the direction of some historical sources? and if i finally come across anything i would be happy to share!

    Actually, pointed questions help because they’re usually specific.

    I have a few things, but a major problem with this topic is that “mentally ill” and “people of color” are written about in historical writing as if they are mutually exclusive categories. Especially writing about Europe.

    What I have on hand is going to be related to my particular specialization, but I’ll post what I have.

    Here’s a painting from Italy c. 1550, entitled “The Crazy Lovers” (Bartolomeo Passarotti):

    image

    image

    There are some resources at the link to the original post above.

    One exhibit you might be interested in investigating is “Riotous Baroque: From Cattelan to Zurbarán" at the Guggenheim:

    Usually associated with dynamism, sensuality, extravagance, and theatricality, withdrawn from the quiet solemnity of classical forms, the baroque era also exemplified an age of instability, marking the collapse of an established order. As noted by the art historian Erwin Panofsky, the baroque was founded in “the victory of subjectivism, which aims to express suffering and humor in equal measure.”

    AFAIK it’s pan-European, so you’ll probably be able to find something you can tie into the whole English literature theme. Here’s a little more on another “Riotous Baroque” artist, Pieter Aersten.

    There’s always the works of Shakespeare as well, and I think that barbotrobot’s fascinating post on the internalized racism of Othello might be a good place to sort of get into how being subjected to racism and stereotypes can drastically affect the mental health and well-being of people of color in white supremacist environments.

    Here’s the post with primary documents (photocopies and transcripts from Elizabeth I’s own hand) that give the historical context on the Black British during the Tudor/Elizabethan era in England. It expands on the usual narrative about the famous Poor Laws being passed as a response to the previous system of Feudalism starting to break down during the 16th and 17th centuries. What a lot of places leave out is that the Black British were used as scapegoats more than once in the attempt to remove supposed throngs of indigent, unstable, and out-of-work “Blackamoores” from England. It didn’t work, since people are not likely to report their good neighbors to be deported, since we’re talking regular folks-cobbler’s apprentices, middle class guildsmen and servants, craftspeople, et cetera.

    I have a reading list from the Victoria and Albert Museum on Black and Asian performance in British History, which I think can be easily tied into Early Modern European ideas about madness, religion, and other views from the margins of British Society in literature:

    • Alexander, Catherine M.S., and Stanley Wells, eds. Shakespeare and Race,. Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 2000.
    • Banham, Martin, and others, eds.  African Theatre: Playwrights & Politics.  Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001.
    • Banham, Martin, and others, eds. The Cambridge Companion to African and Caribbean Theatre. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994.
    • Bean, Annemarie, ed.  A Sourcebook of African-American Performance: Plays, People, Movements. London: Routledge, 1999.
    • Bourne, Stephen.  Black in the British Frame: The Black Experience in British Film and Television. 2nd edn. London: Continuum, 2001.
    • Brandon, James R., ed. The Cambridge Guide to Asian Theatre. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997.
    • Croft, Susan, and others. Black and Asian Performance at the Theatre Museum: A User’s Guide. London: V&A Theatre Museum, 2003.
    • Donnell, Alison, ed. Companion to Contemporary Black British Culture. London: Routledge, 2002.
    • Harris, Roxy, and Sarah White, eds. Changing Britannia: Life Experience with Britain. London: New Beacon, 1999.
    • Harrison, Paul Carter, and others, ed. Black Theatre: Ritual Performance in the Black Diaspora. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2002.
    • Layiwola, Dele, ed. African Theatre in Performance: A Festschrift in Honour of Martin Banham. Amsterdam: Harwood Academic, 2000.
    • Lindfors, Bernth, ed. Africans on Stage: Studies in Ethnological Business. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1999.
    • Tompsett, A. Ruth, ed. Black Theatre in Britain. in ’Performing Arts International’. 1996, vol. I, part 2

    If I think of anything else, I’ll be sure to add it here, as well as any recommendation from readers! Best of luck with your thesis, and PLEASE let me know how it turns out!

  3. ☛ Why Heterosexuality Didn't Really Exist Until the 19th Century

    The history of straightness is much shorter than you’d think. An expert explains its origins.

    Blank mentions her personal story at the beginning of her provocative new history of heterosexuality,  “Straight,” as a way of illustrating just how artificial our notions of “straightness” really are. In her book, Blank, a writer and historian who has written extensively about sexuality and culture, looks at the ways in which social trends and the rise of psychiatry conspired to create this new category in the late 19th and early 20th century. Along the way, she examines the changing definition of marriage, which evolved from a businesslike agreement into a romantic union centered on love, and how social Darwinist ideas shaped the divisions between gay and straight. With her eye-opening book, Blank tactfully deconstructs a facet of modern sexuality that most of us take for granted…

    This intersects in some really interesting ways with art history, gender, and race. I like how the book’s premise is framed, as a sort of inverted look into History via queer studies.

  4. EastIsEverywhere is continuing a discussion from Fiction Week on literature from Singapore here, as a continuation of the discussion I reblogged.

    Feel free to continue the book discussion at EastIsEverywhere!

  5. laissezferre:

    corseque:

    Ahhh! This is so cool!

    An author was writing historical fiction, and decided (in hopes of escaping anachronistic language) to only use the vocabulary that Jane Austen used. They made a custom dictionary of all the words Jane Austen used in all of her books, and used that to spell check, so it flagged modern words and phrases that she would have totally overlooked otherwise.

    I’m thinking it would be incredibly easy to do the same thing for fanfiction, especially book-based - compile a dictionary of, say, all the words GRRM used in ASOIAF, and use that as a spell check dictionary so it would flag any words GRRM did not use…

    Or a particular TV show character’s dialogue, though that would involve much more manual effort…

    edit: apparently, some historical fiction authors use old dictionaries (circa: 1700-1800s) as their custom dictionaries, even when writing about much earlier time periods. This helps them escape writing with modern-sounding anachronisms that throw modern readers out of the story, but also allows them to use language that a modern reader can understand when writing about time periods where characters should be speaking, say, Old English.

    friendly reminder that such a thing has been developed for the les mis fandom 

    These are some great resources for authors of historical fiction (and/or fan fiction)!

    (via mumblingsage)

  6. bleakgeek replied to your post: ofmanynames said:Serious question…

    I think it’s ok, if done properly. There’s a teen fiction book called “Liar” in which the main character is a teenage black girl, but the author is a white woman, and I don’t have any qualms with it; it’s even one of my favorite books to date.

    That book also had the cover whitewashed against the author’s will. They did change it eventually after a pretty universal outcry:

  7. Fiction Week!

    Dicebox (Review)

    by Jenn Manley Lee

    Dicebox is different.

    Now, a lot of people say that about a lot of things, but in this case, I swear to you I haven’t read anything I can say is like Dicebox. Sure, it’s definitely a Space Opera. It’s definitely a comic. But it reads like your life.

    I picked up a print copy of Dicebox Book 1: Wander, about a year ago, and I must admit it was on a lark. It’s available online as well. And I have to recommend it; the book is a fat 314-page graphic novel and is quite high quality. The art is lovely, the text is readable and the story…well. The story is interesting in an unusual way.

    Although the story’s setting is  fascinating exercise in world-building, the plot revolves entirely around the characters and their relationships, their daily activities, and their hopes and fears in an almost claustrophobic way. It’s been called “slice-of-life” in a space opera setting, and I’d have to agree with that on one level, but at times it devolves into feeling like you’re sitting with a group of people who love to gossip about their mutual friends that you’ve never met. But if you can keep up with the social environment and the conversational storytelling style, you can and will get caught up in a very detailed world and the lives of Molly Robbins, a migrant factory worker, and her partner, Griffin Stoyka, who just can’t seem to outrun her past or her own penchant for drama.

    The interpersonal world of Dicebox has room for all kinds of people, relationships, genders, races, cultures, and dynamics. In some ways the social complexity can overshadow the characters themselves, but there is so much to explore that re-reading is extremely rewarding. There is also a lot of sex and spaceships, which is also nice. There’s tongue-in-cheek (AHEM) humor, smartassery, narrow escapes, snide comments, and lots of snark, bawdy jokes, and the facial expressions alone make Dicebox worth it for me.

    This comic entitled “A Concise Summary” by Erika Moen is a fairly accurate  description of what you’ll be getting yourself into with Dicebox.

    Dicebox official site

    Jenn Manley Lee official site

  8. Fiction Week!
Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction From the Margins of History (Review) 
ed. Rose Fox and Daniel José Elder
Short form speculative fiction might be my favorite thing to read. I’ve been an anthology junkie for decades, gobbling up everything from Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling’s Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror to Heavy Metal magazine (I know, I know).
Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction From the Margins of History is absolutely one of the best I’ve ever read. These are the kind of stories I wish each and every anthology was filled with; unusual, haunting, baffling, validating, uplifting. There wasn’t a single tale I’d consider filler. In addition, there is an interior illustration for each story, and they add a lot without being spoiler-y, as can sometimes happen with illustrated anthologies.
Claire Humphrey’s “The Witch of Tarup” seamlessly blends practical magic with assisted communication as it weaves a tapestry of the love that can grow after marriage, and paints complex characters in short, deft strokes. “Medu” by Lisa Bolekaja shows us the American west through the eyes of historically accurate cowboys: African- and Mexican-Americans, including a family whose rough-riding women hide a deadly secret in their hair.
Each story delves into little-known, obscured, or suppressed histories to inspire, horrify, shock and delight: heartbroken zombies in serf rebellions, healing soul-deep schisms  in the aftermath of enslavement, and the importance of posthumous marriages.
Ken Liu’s “Knotting Grass, Holding Ring” and “Marigolds” by L.S. Johnson each deal with the fates of sex workers, the former during one of the most famous conflicts of history, and the latter during one that was censored and suppressed for centuries. Victor LeValle’s “Lone Women” gives us a shockingly delicious horror story served up Willa Cather style. “The Ogres of East Africa” by the skilled talesmith Sofia Samatar draws us into and then breaks us out of a colonial nightmare, while the anthology-finishing “Dance of the White Demons” by Sabrina Vourvoulias exudes mysticism, bitterness, and excruciating hope in equal measure.
If you like history, magic, horror, beauty, and redemption in your speculative fiction, Long Hidden is a must-have for your collection. Long Hidden is available in print, ebook, and Kindle editions; find out where to get your copy at the official site here.

    Fiction Week!

    Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction From the Margins of History (Review)

    ed. Rose Fox and Daniel José Elder

    Short form speculative fiction might be my favorite thing to read. I’ve been an anthology junkie for decades, gobbling up everything from Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling’s Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror to Heavy Metal magazine (I know, I know).

    Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction From the Margins of History is absolutely one of the best I’ve ever read. These are the kind of stories I wish each and every anthology was filled with; unusual, haunting, baffling, validating, uplifting. There wasn’t a single tale I’d consider filler. In addition, there is an interior illustration for each story, and they add a lot without being spoiler-y, as can sometimes happen with illustrated anthologies.

    Claire Humphrey’s “The Witch of Tarup” seamlessly blends practical magic with assisted communication as it weaves a tapestry of the love that can grow after marriage, and paints complex characters in short, deft strokes. “Medu” by Lisa Bolekaja shows us the American west through the eyes of historically accurate cowboys: African- and Mexican-Americans, including a family whose rough-riding women hide a deadly secret in their hair.

    Each story delves into little-known, obscured, or suppressed histories to inspire, horrify, shock and delight: heartbroken zombies in serf rebellions, healing soul-deep schisms  in the aftermath of enslavement, and the importance of posthumous marriages.

    Ken Liu’s “Knotting Grass, Holding Ring” and “Marigolds” by L.S. Johnson each deal with the fates of sex workers, the former during one of the most famous conflicts of history, and the latter during one that was censored and suppressed for centuries. Victor LeValle’s “Lone Women” gives us a shockingly delicious horror story served up Willa Cather style. “The Ogres of East Africa” by the skilled talesmith Sofia Samatar draws us into and then breaks us out of a colonial nightmare, while the anthology-finishing “Dance of the White Demons” by Sabrina Vourvoulias exudes mysticism, bitterness, and excruciating hope in equal measure.

    If you like history, magic, horror, beauty, and redemption in your speculative fiction, Long Hidden is a must-have for your collection. Long Hidden is available in print, ebook, and Kindle editions; find out where to get your copy at the official site here.

  9. diversityinya:

    9 young adult books about South Asian main characters:

    (book descriptions are from WorldCat; links go to Barnes & Noble)

    Sita’s Ramayana by Samhita Arni and Moyna Chitrakar (Groundwood Books, 2011)

    This version of the The Ramayana is told from the perspective of Sita, the queen. It is an allegorical story that contains important Hindu teachings, and it has had great influence on Indian life and culture over the centuries.

    Devil’s Kiss by Sarwat Chadda (Disney Hyperion, 2009)

    Fifteen-year-old Billi SanGreal has grown up knowing that being a member of the Knights Templar puts her in danger, but if she is to save London from catastrophe she must make sacrifices greater than she imagined.

    Skunk Girl by Sheba Karim (Farrar Straus Giroux, 2009)

    Nina Khan is not just the only Asian or Muslim student in her small-town high school in upstate New York, she is also faces the legacy of her “Supernerd” older sister, body hair, and the pain of having a crush when her parents forbid her to date.

    What I Meant by Marie Lamba (Random House Children’s Books, 2007)

    Having to share her home with her demanding and devious aunt from India makes it all the more difficult for fifteen-year-old Sang to deal with such things as her parents thinking she is too young to date, getting less than perfect grades, and being shut out by her long-time best friend.

    Shine, Coconut Moon by Neesha Meminger (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2009)

    In the days and weeks following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Samar, who is of Punjabi heritage but has been raised with no knowledge of her past by her single mother, wants to learn about her family’s history and to get in touch with the grandparents her mother shuns.

    Karma by Cathy Ostlere (Razorbill, 2011)

    In 1984, following her mother’s suicide, 15-year-old Maya and her Sikh father travel to New Delhi from Canada to place her mother’s ashes in their final resting place. On the night of their arrival, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is assassinated, Maya and her father are separated when the city erupts in chaos, and Maya must rely on Sandeep, a boy she has just met, for survival.

    Guantanamo Boy by Anna Perera (Albert Whitman, 2011)

    Six months after the events of September 11, 2001, Khalid, a Muslim fifteen-year-old boy from England is kidnapped during a family trip to Pakistan and imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he is held for two years suffering interrogations, water-boarding, isolation, and more for reasons unknown to him.

    First Daughter: White House Rules by Mitali Perkins (Dutton Children’s Books, 2008)

    Once sixteen-year-old Sameera Righton’s father is elected president of the United States, the adopted Pakistani-American girl moves into the White House and makes some decisions about how she is going to live her life in the spotlight.

    Koyal Dark, Mango Sweet by Kashmira Sheth (Hyperion, 2006)

    Growing up with her family in Mumbai, India, sixteen-year-old Jeeta disagrees with much of her mother’s traditional advice about how to live her life and tries to be more modern and independent.

    The House of Djinn by Suzanne Fisher Staples (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008)

    An unexpected death brings Shabanu’s daughter, Mumtaz, and nephew, Jameel, both aged fifteen, to the forefront of an attempt to modernize Pakistan, but the teens must both sacrifice their own dreams if they are to meet family and tribal expectations.

  10. diversityinya:

Happy book birthday to Sorrow’s Knot by Erin Bow! (Arthur A. Levine Books)

“A lovely gem, dark and quiet as the dead but glimmering with life as well. Not to be missed.” — Kirkus, starred review
“As with Bow’s debut, Plain Kate (2010), this dark fantasy has an old-fashioned feel: there’s a strong-willed protagonist with little knowledge of how to channel her power, and readers will enjoy watching her discover that ‘the world was larger than we knew.’” — Publishers Weekly

    diversityinya:

    Happy book birthday to Sorrow’s Knot by Erin Bow! (Arthur A. Levine Books)

    “A lovely gem, dark and quiet as the dead but glimmering with life as well. Not to be missed.” — Kirkus, starred review

    “As with Bow’s debut, Plain Kate (2010), this dark fantasy has an old-fashioned feel: there’s a strong-willed protagonist with little knowledge of how to channel her power, and readers will enjoy watching her discover that ‘the world was larger than we knew.’” — Publishers Weekly