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The Utility of Murder: Fred Gildersleeve and the Lynching of Jesse Washington


Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/12831

The Utility of Murder: Fred Gildersleeve and the Lynching of Jesse Washington

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dc.contributor.author Morimoto, Stephanie
dc.date.accessioned 2011-07-02T15:24:57Z
dc.date.available 2011-07-02T15:24:57Z
dc.date.issued 2011-07-02
dc.date.submitted May 2011
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1928/12831
dc.description.abstract On May 15, 1916, in Waco, Texas, Jesse Washington was tortured to death before a mob estimated to be 10,000-15,000 strong. Local photographer Fred Gildersleeve compounded this tragedy by creating photographic postcards of this infamous spectacle lynching for sale to interested spectators. Both the Washington lynching and the Gildersleeve photographs have been well documented by scholars, but the majority of these texts only discuss the subject as it relates to one particular time period. In my thesis I compare and contrast different interpretations of lynching and the Gildersleeve photographs, as articulated in interviews, newspaper articles, and internet postings, from the early twentieth century until the present day. What I have found illustrates both the changes and continuities in American culture over time. While most people now condemn lynching and white supremacist ideologies, some also interpret the photographs in ways that obscure or even nurture prejudice. Disturbingly, even if perpetrators are denounced as criminals, contemporary witnesses do not always accept that targets of lynching are truly victims. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.subject Lynching en_US
dc.subject Jesse Washington en_US
dc.subject Fred Gildersleeve en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Lynching--United States--History--20th century
dc.subject.lcsh Lynching--United States--Pictorial works--Social aspects
dc.subject.lcsh African Americans--Violence against--History--20th century
dc.subject.lcsh Photography--Social aspects
dc.subject.lcsh Washington, Jesse, d. 1916
dc.subject.lcsh Gildersleeve, Fred A., 1881?-1958
dc.title The Utility of Murder: Fred Gildersleeve and the Lynching of Jesse Washington en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.description.degree Master of Arts in Art History en_US
dc.description.level Masters en_US
dc.description.department University of New Mexico. Dept. of Art and Art History en_US
dc.description.advisor Buick, Kirsten Pai
dc.description.committee-member Zuromskis, Catherine
dc.description.committee-member Coleman, Finnie D.

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