From contemporary art works that intentionally traffic in broad, racially charged images, to editorial cartoons and advertising in which ethnic typecasting and figural hyperbole are the rule rather than the exception, racial stereotype is a persistent stream in American visual culture that often defies social decorum or understanding.  This Duke University seminar in the Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies attempts to make sense of this vexing, visual conundrum through examinations of some of the more infamous imagery within this genre, selected readings, and discussions.  In place of the final seminar paper, the culminating, collective assignment for this seminar will be this online blog site which critically surveys, interprets, and provides descriptive information for over 50 illustrated, African American-themed, sheet music and broadsides (circa 1827-1902) in Duke University’s Special Collections Library.


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