New Book | Colour, Art, and Empire

Posted in books by Editor on April 7, 2014

From Macmillan:

Natasha Eaton, Colour, Art, and Empire: Visual Culture and the Nomadism of Representation (London: I. B. Tauris, 2013), 416 pages, ISBN: 978-1780765198, $105.

9781780765198Colour, Art and Empire explores the entanglements of visual culture, enchanted technologies, waste, revolution, resistance and otherness. The materiality of color offers a critical and timely force-field for approaching afresh debates on colonialism. Located at the thresholds of nomenclature, imitation, mimesis and affect, this book analyses the formation of color and politics as qualitative overspill. Here color can be viewed both as central and supplemental to early photography, the totem, alchemy, tantra and mysticism. From the 18th-century Austrian empress Maria Theresa, to Rabindranath Tagore and Gandhi, to 1970s Bollywood, color makes us adjust our take on the politics of the human sensorium as defamiliarizing and disorienting.

Color wreaks havoc with western expectations of biological determinism, objectivity and eugenics. Beyond the cracks of such discursive practice, color becomes a sentient and nomadic retort to be pitted against a perceived colonial hegemony. Its alter materiality’s and ideological reinvention as a resource for independence struggles, makes color fundamental to multivalent genealogies of artistic and political action and their relevance to the present.

Natasha Eaton is a Lecturer in the History of Art at University College London.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊


1. Introduction: Chromo Zones and the Nomadism of Colour
2. Alchemy, Painting and Revolution in India, 1750–1860
3. Supplement, Subaltern Art, Design and Dyeing in Britain and South Asia, 1851–1905
4. Part 1: Still Dreaming of the Blue Flower? Race, Anthropology and the Colour Sense
5. Part 2: Creole Laboratory: Anthropology and Affect in the Torres Strait
6. Swadeshi Colour Throughout the Philtre/Filter of Indian Nationalism, 1905–1947


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