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American PietàsVisions of Race, Death, and the Maternal$
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Ruby C. Tapia

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816653102

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816653102.001.0001

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Maternal Visions, Racial Seeing

Maternal Visions, Racial Seeing

Theories of the Photographic in Barthes’s Camera Lucida

(p.29) Chapter 1 Maternal Visions, Racial Seeing
American Pietàs

Ruby C. Tapia

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter analyzes Roland Barthes book Camera Lucida’s incorporation of the maternal in its treatment of the photographic. Barthes’s meditation on the photographic image connects race and death to the romantacized maternal, showing how maternal visualities themselves deploy race and death in their preservation of a particular self. The chapter theorizes maternal visualities with evidence of a pattern and tropic trinity—race, death, and the maternal—that appears to mediate visual encounters with threats of physical, cultural, and spiritual annihilation.

Keywords:   Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida, maternal, photography, race, death, maternal visualities

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