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The Oxford History of Popular Print CultureVolume Six: US Popular Print Culture 1860-1920$
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Christine Bold

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199234066

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199234066.001.0001

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The Yellow Claw

The Yellow Claw

The Optical Unconscious in Anglo-American Political Culture

Chapter:
(p.477) 23 The Yellow Claw
Source:
The Oxford History of Popular Print Culture
Author(s):

John Kuo Wei Tchen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199234066.003.0024

This chapter focuses on the iconography of the ‘yellow claw’ and its place in the Anglo-American political culture. More specifically, it examines how the yellow claw icon was created and disseminated by a transnational circuit of popular print culture and visual media, and its link to anti-Chinese measures implemented in the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It first looks at the origins of the yellow-claw-like drawings before discussing its visual elaboration into visceral peril, along with the political impacts of yellow peril fears. Finally, the chapter analyses the yellow claw icon’s lasting legacy in the unconscious of Anglo-American and European political culture.

Keywords:   iconography, yellow claw, political culture, popular print culture, visual media, anti-Chinese measures, United States, drawings, visceral peril, yellow peril

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