Dr. Janet Chernela and co-author, Ester Pereira, published a new article in the Journal of Anthropological Research
Dr. Janet Chernela and her co-author, Ester Pereira, recently published a new article, "An End to Difference Imagining Amazonian Modernity at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century" in the Journal of Anthropological Research.
This article considers a set of postcards purchased in the Amazonian city of Manaus between the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The cards upend the prominent narrative suggested in most visual imagery of the period that depicts the Amazon basin as a wilderness peopled with uncivilized natives. The postcards, instead, portray a technoscape of urban modernity—orderly, not chaotic; domesticated, not wild. Missing from the sanguine depictions of prosperity and progress are the vast bulk of Manaus residents, members of the working classes, who were overwhelmingly non-white and impoverished. Rather than reifying Otherness, these postcards present an aspirational Europeanization of Amazonia—an end to difference.