Representing the settler body politics: Carmen J. Nielson, ‘Caricaturing Colonial Space: Indigenized, Feminized Bodies and Anglo-Canadian Identity, 1873–94’, Canadian Historical Review, 96, 4, 2015
Abstract: During the 1870s and 1880s, when cartoonists working for Britain’s most popular satirical magazine, Punch, wanted to represent Canada visually, they drew on centuries’ old artistic conventions that depicted America, and, later, British North America, as a woman and an “Indian.” During the same period, in Canada’s most popular satirical magazine, Grip, normative portrayals of the embodied nation were unambiguously white. The visual trope of an indigenized, feminized body was enlisted instead to represent Manitoba and the North-West Territories. This imagery disavowed British depictions of Canada as a racialized and colonized subject and relocated the identity of the colonial Other onto the Prairie West. In other words, Grip‘s images constituted a representational politics that involved both “looking back” at Empire and directing the imperial gaze onto others.
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