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Black Venus 2010: They Called Her "Hottentot" Paperback – January 28, 2010


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Black Venus 2010: They Called Her "Hottentot" + Venus in the Dark: Blackness and Beauty in Popular Culture + Skin Deep, Spirit Strong: The Black Female Body in American Culture
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Her name was Sarah Baartman. Born in South Africa in 1789, she died in Paris in 1815—after five years of being displayed (sometimes in a cage) for entertainment and scientific study; her pickled buttocks and genitalia remained on public display at the Musée de l'Homme until 1974 and her remains were finally returned to South Africa in 2002. During her period of fame and exploitation, she was known as the Hottentot Venus. Willis (Posing Beauty) offers a comprehensive, inclusive, and coherently organized anthology that embraces scholarly and lyrical, historical and reflexive responses to Baartman, as a woman, as a black woman, as an object, as an icon, as an inspiration to creative artists, and as a catalyst to scholars. The book moves from Baartman's life and times to an assessment of the figure of the Hottentot Venus in contemporary art and a broader consideration of the historic public display of black women. Appended is a photo gallery that is as essential and diverse as the texts. This remarkable volume satisfies the academic reader with scholarly essays and moves the general reader with its creative expression, making it fascinating and accessible to any one. (Mar.)
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Review

"Her name was Sarah Baartman. Born in South Africa in 1789, she died in Paris in 1815--after five years of being displayed (sometimes in a cage) for entertainment and "scientific study... During her period of fame and exploitation, she was known as the "Hottentot Venus." Willis offers a comprehensive, inclusive, and coherently organized anthology that embraces "scholarly and lyrical, historical and reflexive" responses to Baartman... The book moves from Baartman's life and times to an assessment of the figure of the "Hottentot Venus" in contemporary art and a broader consideration of the historic public display of black women.This remarkable volume satisfies the academic reader with scholarly essays and moves the general reader with its creative expression, making it fascinating and accessible to any one." - Pulblishers Weekly "Consisting of scholarly essays, poetical works, roundtable discussions, fictional reimaginings and historiographical research, Deborah Willis' outstanding edited collection, Black Venus 2010 is a radical tour de force... An invaluable addition to scholarship, Willis's [book] showcases a breathtaking array of forms and approaches to investigate Sarah Baartman's proliferating social, political aesthetic and historical identities." - The International Review of African American Art "Black Venus 2010 is a necessary and much-anticipated academic reader," read the review of Deborah Willis's edited collection on Sarah Baartman, the South African woman dubbed "The Hottentot Venus," in Volume 44.3 of the African American Review. "Willis's fascinating collection challenges us to continue to read Baartman's many iterations and forever contemplate how an ordinary black woman with an ample behind rocked the foundation of a nation." African American Review

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