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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 22 April 2021

The Yellow Claw

The Yellow Claw

The Optical Unconscious in Anglo-American Political Culture

(p.477) 23 The Yellow Claw
The Oxford History of Popular Print Culture

John Kuo Wei Tchen

Oxford University Press

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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