제목 : Representing the Racial Hand from a Female Imperial Perspective
- 저자 : 안소미-2     - 조회수 : 66  - Download : 15
- 참 조 : 영미문학페미니즘 제27권 1호(2019)  
- 논문 받기 :
1.안소미_2.pdf (171.7 KB),   


My article discusses Travels in West Africa (1897), a travel narrative by the British woman writer Mary Henrietta Kingsley. In her depiction of her adventure in the West African land, Kingsley offers vivid portrayals of how Africans use their hands. Her observation of the hand reflects Victorians’ growing interest in reading human hands. Noticeable about Victorian discourses of the hand is that they differentiate white hands from non-white ones, reducing the latter into an empty sign that does not project any evidence of human-specific potential for achieving high civilization of the kind that Europeans have. This perception is present in Kingsley’s text as well, but a distinguishing feature of her writing is that she interprets the non-white hand as a symbol of its non-white subject’s humanness. Evident in the text is that she persistently highlights how empathetically she embraces a wide variety of racial and cultural differences visualized through the hand. However, the focus of this article does not lie on how smoothly she adopts cultural relativism in her account of the non-white hand. Instead, the article looks at how her empathetic reading of the African hand in effect unfolds in ways that silence its non-white subject and allow her to bring to light her own adaptability to other cultures, which she perceives as an essentially feminine trait?something male imperial agents cannot have. The article therefore problematizes several moments of Kingsley’s discovery of the African-specific bodily agency and revisits the process whereby she establishes her authorial position at the expense of Africans as a womanly woman imperialist to claim her place within the British Empire.

Keywords: Mary Kingsley, women and travel, racial hand,imperial femininity, contact zone



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