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Racial WorldmakingThe Power of Popular Fiction$
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Mark C. Jerng

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780823277759

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823277759.001.0001

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Worlds of Color

Worlds of Color

(p.31) Chapter 1: Worlds of Color
Racial Worldmaking

Mark C. Jerng

Fordham University Press

This chapter describes how the term “world” becomes a category of racial meaning. Tracking the new coining of phrases such as “colored world,” “yellow world,” and “brown world” during and after the Russo-Japanese War, it shows the ways in which this discourse constructs new ways of seeing that are linked less to scientific racism or social Darwinism and more to modes of futurology that animate race as a historical tendency in the world. It analyzes popular and influential histories of the future such as B.L. Putnam Weale’s Conflict of Colour (1909), Charles Pearson’s National Life and Character: A Forecast (1893), and Brooks Adams’s Law of Civilization and Decay: An Essay on History in relation to newspaper discourse on the yellow peril in order to see how race is used as forecast.

Keywords:   Colored world, Futurology, Pearson, Charles, Prediction, Russo-Japanese War, Weale, B.L. Putnam, Yellow peril

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