Chapter 5 analyses perceptions by light therapists of the suntan (pigmentation) as the external sign of stored solar energy in the body, of the body visualised as literally ‘photogenic’ (light-generating). It does so by focusing specifically on advertisements using colour to convey the glowing tans and radiant smiles of healthy mothers, thriving babies and virile men, who consume light in the battle against ‘sun-starvation.’ Both sunlight and artificial light were directed onto mothers’ malfunctioning breasts to restore lactation, onto ‘backwards’ children to correct normal brain functioning, and onto injured soldiers to disinfect and heal their fetid battle wounds. In the regeneration of these highly-valued subjects, physicians and politicians alike perceived light as an aid to national salvation. Yet in encouraging citizens to emulate the dark skins of ‘primitive’ races, they conveyed ambivalent attitudes towards the merits of suntanned skin. This chapter investigates suntan as simultaneously a visual marker of recharged health and a troubling act of racial transgression during a period of heightened eugenic fervour in Britain and Europe.
When the ‘Studies in Imperialism’ series was founded by Professor John M. MacKenzie more than thirty years ago, emphasis was laid upon the conviction that ‘imperialism as a cultural phenomenon had as significant an effect on the dominant as on the subordinate societies’. With well over a hundred titles now published, this remains the prime concern of the series. Cross-disciplinary work has indeed appeared covering the full spectrum of cultural phenomena, as well as examining aspects of gender and sex, frontiers and law, science and the environment, language and literature, migration and patriotic societies, and much else. Moreover, the series has always wished to present comparative work on European and American imperialism, and particularly welcomes the submission of books in these areas. The fascination with imperialism, in all its aspects, shows no sign of abating, and this series will continue to lead the way in encouraging the widest possible range of studies in the field. ‘Studies in Imperialism’ is fully organic in its development, always seeking to be at the cutting edge, responding to the latest interests of scholars and the needs of this ever-expanding area of scholarship.
SELECTED TITLES AVAILABLE IN THE SERIES
WRITING IMPERIAL HISTORIES
ed. Andrew S. Thompson
EXHIBITING THE EMPIRE
ed. John M. MacKenzie and John McAleer
MISTRESS OF EVERYTHING
ed. Sarah Carter and Maria Nugent
BRITAIN AND THE FORMATION OF THE GULF STATES
CULTURES OF DECOLONISATION
ed. Ruth Craggs and Claire Wintle
HONG KONG AND BRITISH CULTURE, 1945–97
Monarchy and visual culture in colonial Indonesia
MANCHESTER UNIVERSITY PRESS
Copyright © Susie Protschky 2019
The right of Susie Protschky to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
Published by MANCHESTER UNIVERSITY PRESS
ALTRINCHAM STREET, MANCHESTER M1 7JA
British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
ISBN 9781526124371 hardback
First published 2019
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