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The Past Is Not Dead

Facts, Fictions, and Enduring Racial Stereotypes

2004
Author:

Allan Pred

The Past Is Not Dead

A study of the genealogy and perpetuation of stereotyping

Allan Pred shows how stereotypes endure through the repeated confusion of facts and fiction, providing a highly original perspective on the perpetuation of racializing stereotypes in the West. The Past Is Not Dead is a bold inquiry into both the collective memory and the amnesia of those who stereotype versus the personal remembering and forgetting of the stereotyped.

The Past Is Not Dead is a brilliant and original contribution, a passionate and courageous exploration of a deep vein of pain and shame, and a compelling read.

Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, author of Destination Culture: Tourism, Museums, and Heritage

Through one figure—Badin, an eighteenth-century Afro-Caribbean slave given to the Swedish royal court—Allan Pred shows how stereotypes endure through the repeated confusion of facts and fiction, providing a highly original perspective on the perpetuation of racializing stereotypes in the West.

In the first of two interlocking montages inspired by Walter Benjamin, the book focuses on Badin, who died in Stockholm in 1822, and representations of his life that appeared from the 1840s through the 1990s. In the second montage, Pred brings the late nineteenth century and the present into play, shifting to urban sites where racialized stereotyping is on public display, including a museum that has exhibited the bodily remains of the African male.

Intriguing for its insight into the workings of race and immigration on the national imagination of a European nation—but with implications and ramifications far beyond that specific example—The Past Is Not Dead is a bold inquiry into both the collective memory and the amnesia of those who stereotype versus the personal remembering and forgetting of the stereotyped.


The Past Is Not Dead

Allan Pred is professor of geography at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of numerous books, most recently Even in Sweden: Racisms, Racialized Spaces and the Popular Geographical Imagination and Recognizing European Modernities: A Montage of the Present.

The Past Is Not Dead

The Past Is Not Dead is a brilliant and original contribution, a passionate and courageous exploration of a deep vein of pain and shame, and a compelling read.

Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, author of Destination Culture: Tourism, Museums, and Heritage

Pred’s work is a courageous assault on the ‘unspeakable unspoken.’ As a case study of historically and geographically specific racisms, the book demands to be read, its message taken to heart.

Cultural Geographies

A must read for those interested in the pervasiveness of racism and racial stereotypes in northern Europe.

Biography

The Past Is Not Dead

Contents

Acknowledgments
Past and Present Tense: Perpetuations of the Preseen (and Preknown) Previewed

Part I. The Remembering and Forgetting of Badin: A Montage of (F)acts Fictionalized and Fictions (F)actualized

Foremontage: Representations of the Racialized Other
Entrances Beginnings Namings
Advances(?) Love(making)s? (Anti)Climaxes(?)
Re Reading Rereadings Reading Numbers Numerously
Memory Etchings Memory Diggings Memories in Constellation
Geography Lessons Night and Day Weather Navigating Darkness and Lightness
Departure Tears Exits Endings
Epilogue

Part II. The Unaddressable Addressed: A Montage of Racisms on Exhibit

Foremontage: Unspeakable Spaces
On Exhibit: Hartkopf’s Unspeakable Space, or Past Moment as Forenow
On Exhibit: Unspeakable Spaces of 1999, or Forenow and Present in Constellation

Notes

Index