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Rosemarie Thomson's groundbreaking anthology probes America's disposition toward the visually different. The book's essays fall into four main categories: historical explorations of American freak shows in the era of P.T. Barnum; the articulation of the freak in literary and textual discourses; contemporary relocations of freak shows; and theoretical analyses of freak culture. Essays address such diverse topics as American colonialism and public presentations of natives; laughing gas demonstrations in the 1840's; Shirley Temple and Tom Thumb; Todd Browning's landmark movie Freaks; bodybuilders as postmodern freaks; freaks in Star Trek; Michael Jackson's identification with the Elephant Man; and the modern talk show as a reconfiguration of the freak show. In her introduction, Thomson traces the freak show from antiquity to the modern period and explores the constitutive, political, and textual properties of such exhibits.See also Barnum, Phineas Taylor; Freak Show: Presenting Human Oddities for Amusement and Profit (Bogdan); and specific freak types Extraterrestrial: ... 323- 25 Freaks: born, 24; circus, 35; code of, 269, 274; construction of, 23-37, 270, 273 ; conventions of display, 4; and cultural others, 200; definition of, 56-57, 304, ... 16 , 17, 364 Galen, 57 Garrison, William Lloyd, 150 Geek Love (Dunn), 277-90, 288 n.

Author:Rosemarie Garland Thomson
Publisher:NYU Press - 1996-10-01


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