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Title: Site-seeing : postcards of Palestine/Israel and the visual construction of place, 1890s to 1990s
Author: Rogers, Seonaid M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7971 3731
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2019
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This PhD thesis explores postcards depicting Palestine/Israel in the period from 1890 - 1990, from the archives of the British Museum and comparable collections, to analyse the ways in which commercial visual media of this type reflected, and at times shaped, national narratives and identit(ies). It also examines the interrelations between the postcards and wider visual culture by looking at motifs featured on postcards and imagery in contemporaneous newspaper and travel photography, posters, and advertisements. I argue that postcards are an understudied visual medium when discussing the formation of national narratives and place-making, and that while they often repeat the same sights and generic landscapes, they function as unique commercial objects for single purchase, which commodify political and ideological positions and sites for the tourist gaze. In the century covered by my study, postcards and visual culture of Palestine/Israel changed and adapted to represent the shifting social, political, and economic circumstances, as well as evolving market tastes. I explore these sociopolitical changes by outlining broad themes in postcard imagery: the depiction of biblical, picturesque Palestine; the agricultural display of the Yishuv; images of Tel Aviv's architectural development; commercial imagery of the military; postcards depicting resorts and beaches; and in the final chapter, the visual culture of urban and rural settlement in Palestine/Israel. This visual archive allows for an examination of multiple narratives and perspectives that developed around a particularly contested landscape, through a consideration of European travel attitudes deeply shaped by religious-imperialist cultural contexts, and the self-presentation or lack thereof of local inhabitants of Palestine/Israel.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: DS Asia ; NC Drawing. Design. Illustration