The Culture of Yellow Or, The Visual Politics of Late Modernity

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-09-26
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic

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This is the first book to explore the cultural significance of the color yellow, showing how its psychological value marked and shaped many of the intellectual, political, and artistic currents of late modernity. It contends that yellow functions during the period 1890-1990 primarily as a color of stigma and scandal. Yellow stigmatization has had a long history: it goes back to the Middle Ages when Jews and prostitutes were forced to wear yellow signs to emphasize their marginal status. Though scholars have commented on these associations in particular contexts, Doran offers the first overarching account of how yellow connects disparate cultural phenomena, such as turn-of-the-century decadence (the "yellow nineties"), the rise of mass media (yellow journalism), mass immigration from Asia (yellow peril), and mass stigmatization (the yellow star that Jews were forced to wear in Nazi Germany).The Culture of Yellow combines cultural history with innovative readings of literature, providing a multilayered account of the unique role played by the color yellow in late-nineteenth and twentieth-century European culture.

Author Biography

Sabine Doran is Associate Professor of German and Comparative Literature and Director of the German Program at the University of California, Riverside, USA. She pursued her doctoral studies at Stanford University, USA, where she was a visiting researcher in the Department of Comparative Literature from 1996 to 1999, and at the Free University of Berlin, Germany, where she earned her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature in 2004. She has also taught at Oberlin College (2003-04) and at the Summer University of the Free University of Berlin. Her published work includes articles on film, film theory, German literature, and color, in such journals as Gegenwartsliteratur and The Comparatist, and in two book anthologies from Routledge (one published, one forthcoming). She has presented at international conferences at Harvard University, Princeton University, Vancouver (Canada), Koblenz (Germany), Ottawa (Canada), and, most recently, at a color conference in Berlin.

Table of Contents

1. Yellow Books / 2. The Yellow Christ / 3. Yellow Secrets / 4. Yellow Perils / 5. Yellow Stars / Bibliography / Index

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