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Race, Gender, and Photography: Images of Filipino Women at the 1904 St. Louis Exposition

MARY DOROTHY JOSE

Abstract

Photography served as an effective tool in gaining and presenting knowledge about Filipinos during the early part of American imperialism in the Philippines. There are several important works on the power of photography in relation to American imperialism and representation of Filipinos, but none have focused on the representation of women in American colonial photography. This research looks at women’s representation in the 1904 St. Louis Exposition, where more than 1,100 indigenous Filipinos were brought to the United States of America to be exhibited in the World’s Fair. With the use of intersectional feminism as a lens, the representation of women in the said event will be analyzed, with particular emphasis on the interplay of race and gender as units of analysis. This paper will show that if photography can be used to tell the truth, it can also be used to propagate racial and gender stereotypes.


Keywords

1904 St. Louis Exposition, photography, intersectional feminism, race, gender.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13185/3001