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Seeing Jews and Gypsies in 1753

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Abstract:

In the written accounts detailing the 'scandals of 1753', the Jewish Naturalization Bill and the Elizabeth Canning case, and in the images produced in their wake, Jews and Gypsies are depicted as both utterly different and terrifyingly similar to the English, their proximity and apparent indistinguishability from the English the source of their threat, the mutual imprinting or syncretic combination the source of the greatest anxiety. While the pamphlets warn of the assimilability of each group and their mutual dependence, the images emerge as the medium in which difference could be marked on the bodies, facial features and clothing of all the groups in question in an attempt to reassert and reinscribe the distinctions between them.

Keywords: DIFFERENCE; EIGHTEENTH CENTURY; GYPSIES; JEWS; RACE; SUPPLEMENT

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2752/147800410X477331

Affiliations: University of Illinois

Publication date: March 1, 2010

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