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Framing the West

Race, Gender, and the Photographic Frontier in the Pacific Northwest

Framing the West by Carol J. Williams
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Framing the West argues that photography was intrinsic to British territorial expansion and settlement on the northwest coast. Carol Williams shows how male and female settlers used photography to establish control over the territory and its indigenous inhabitants, as well as how native peoples eventually turned the technology to their own purposes. Photographs of the region were used to stimulate British immigration and entrepreneurism, and images of babies and children were designed to advertise the population growth of the settlers. Although Indians were taken by Anglos to document their "disappearing" traditions and to show the success of missionary activities, many Indians proved receptive to photography and turned posing for the white man's camera to their own advantage. This book will appeal to those interested in the history of the West, imperialism, gender, photography, and First Nations/Native America.

This imaginative book moves well beyond the conventional biographical approaches to a photographer’s work and the usual assumptions about the objectivity of historical photographs. It is an important contribution to the field of western history as well as to the history of photography.

Oxford University Press; January 2000
233 pages; ISBN 9780195302943
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Title: Framing the West
Author: Carol J. Williams