Typecasting : on the arts & sciences of human inequality ; a history of dominant ideas / Ewen & Ewen.

by Ewen, ElizabethLooking glass; Ewen, StuartLooking glass.

Publisher: New York : Seven Stories Press, [2006]Description: xvii, 555 pages : illustrations, portraits ; 25 cm.ISBN: 1583227350; 9781583227350.Subject(s): AnthropometryLooking glass | EqualityLooking glass | EugenicsLooking glass | RacismLooking glass | Stereotypes (Social psychology)Looking glassNote: Includes bibliographical references (pages 519-533) and index.
Item type Home library Collection Class number Status Date due Barcode Item reservations
Long loan Central Saint Martins
Main collection
Printed books 305.8 EWE (Browse shelf (Opens below)) Issued 29/11/2021 54037771
Total reservations: 0

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Chronicles the emergence of the science of first impression' and reveals how the work of its creators - early social scientists - continues to shape how we see the world and to inform our most fundamental and unconscious judgements of beauty, humanity and degeneracy. 'Typecasting is merely the most lucid and instructive history book to be published in the new millenium.' - Kurt Vonnegut'

Includes bibliographical references (pages 519-533) and index.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Acknowledgments (p. xi)
  • Preface (p. xv)
  • Part 1 Genesis: The Modern World System
  • 1 Didot's Invention (p. 3)
  • 2 The Company of Strangers (p. 11)
  • 3 Created Equal (p. 19)
  • 4 Visual Truth (p. 23)
  • 5 Curiosity Cabinets (p. 31)
  • Part 2 Taxonomies of Human Difference
  • 6 Physiognomy: The Science of First Impressions (p. 45)
  • 7 Hierarchies of Humanity (p. 59)
  • 8 Camper's Angle (p. 69)
  • 9 Tablier Rasa (p. 83)
  • 10 Spurzheim's Funeral (p. 101)
  • 11 Crania Americana (p. 109)
  • 12 An American Tale (p. 123)
  • 13 The Pencil of Nature (p. 151)
  • 14 Facial Politics (p. 169)
  • 15 The Costermonger's Tongue and Roget's Thesaurus (p. 183)
  • Interlude
  • 16 Reverberations of Change (p. 201)
  • Part 3 The Faces of Degeneration
  • 17 Identifying the Group Within the Individual (p. 211)
  • 18 Finding the Individual Within the Group (p. 223)
  • 19 Criminal Types (p. 235)
  • Part 4 Nordic Nightmares
  • 20 The Amazing Race (p. 257)
  • 21 Morons in Our Midst (p. 279)
  • 22 Eugenics Goes to the Fair (p. 313)
  • Part 5 The Modern Battlegrounds of Type
  • 23 Dat Famous Chicken Debate (p. 327)
  • 24 Male and Female Created He Them (p. 357)
  • 25 The Return of the Repressed (p. 375)
  • 26 Writing History with Lightning (p. 401)
  • 27 Movable Types (p. 415)
  • 28 Persistence of Vision (p. 437)
  • 29 Tales of Before and After (p. 453)
  • Coda
  • 30 Recent Social Trends (p. 473)
  • Notes (p. 499)
  • Bibliography (p. 519)
  • Index (p. 535)
  • About the Authors (p. 557)

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Publishers Weekly Review

This fascinating if overly ambitious study examines the rise of stereotyping in modern society and how the mainstream stereotypes the "other" whether black, Jewish, gay, disabled, etc. to maintain social order. Ewen & Ewen the pseudonym of Elizabeth and Stuart Ewen, professors, respectively, of American studies and film and media studies have amassed a huge amount of material across a broad spectrum of disciplines, all providing concrete examples of how Western culture, beginning in the mid-18th century with the study of physiognomy (the evaluation of character based on facial features), has consciously created visual, verbal, scientific and artistic cues to identify those outside of the dominant culture. The Ewens' research is prodigious and their examples eclectic silent star Mary Pickford's film persona and notions of femininity, the social philosophy behind Roget's Thesaurus, blackface and minstrel shows, and George W. Bush's rhetoric on Iraq and this mass of information is extremely well organized thematically. While the Ewens' writing is clear and compelling, the overall effect can be overwhelming, and often the nuances get lost. Still, this is a terrific volume that will be eye-opening to academics and general readers alike. B&w illus. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Much like the curiosity cabinets described in the opening section of this prodigious history of stereotyping, the Ewens's extensive tome contains a collection of historical artifacts that draw readers in for a closer look. The presentations with illustrations of the widespread cultural acceptance of physiognomy, phrenology, eugenics, the minstrel show, Amos and Andy, The Birth of a Nation, King Kong, the political construction of the Iraqi war, and much more are placed side by side in chronological order for readers' edification. Acknowledging that stereotyping had its origins in antiquity, media professors E. Ewen (SUNY Old Westbrook) and S. Ewen (Hunter College) argue that modernity's development of modern science and art and the accompanying technologies of reproduction increased the range and impact of the constructions of the Other. This portrait of the cultural context of US ethnocentrism reminds readers that racist, sexist, and homophobic rhetoric was at one time taken for granted and promulgated by key figures in politics, literature, social sciences, and philosophy. The plethora of historical examples overwhelm, but demonstrate clearly the easy acceptance and pervasiveness of stereotypes, warning directly of the dangers accompanying the consolidation of the media, mass consumerism, and the "allure of the simple." Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries. K. M. McKinley Cabrini College

Author notes provided by Syndetics

EWEN & EWEN is an authorial sobriquet assumed by Stuart Ewen and Elizabeth Ewen in no particular order. Elizabeth Ewen is Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of American Studies at SUNY College at Old Westbury. Stuart Ewen is CUNY Distinguished Professor of Film & Media Studies at Hunter College and in the Ph.D. Programs in History and Sociology at The CUNY Graduate Center.