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Refracted Visions


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An illustrated study of the ways in which photography and visual culture have influenced people in Java to see themselves as Indonesians.

Table of Contents

Illustrations ix
Preface xiii
Acknowledgments xvii
Note on Orthography and Psedudonyms xxi
Introduction: Popular Photography and Indonesian National Modernity 1
1. Amateur Visions 29
2. Landscapes of the Imagination 73
3. Identifying Citizens 123
4. Family Documentation 165
5. Witnessing History 207
6. Revelatory Signs 251
Epilogue: Beyond the Paper Trace 295
Notes 301
Bibliography 345
Index 363

About the Author

Karen Strassler is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Queens College, City University of New York.


"Refracted Visions is a truly brilliant piece of work, beautifully written and characterized by a profound learning and engagement with Indonesian ethnography and a range of debates around visuality and representation. It will be hailed as a classic."--Christopher Pinney, author of The Coming of Photography in India "Refracted Visions is a genuinely marvelous work which merits reading and rereading."--John Pemberton, author of On the Subject of "Java" "Refracted Visions is a tour de force. Karen Strassler has a sophisticated grasp of contemporary theories of representation in both anthropology and photography studies, a deep and carefully attentive ethnographic eye, and a refined aesthetic sensibility. She limns the boundary between new historicist cultural studies and old fashioned anthropology with uncommon grace."--Rosalind C. Morris, editor of Photographies East: The Camera and Its Histories in East and Southeast Asia

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