Patterns of Symbolic Violence
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Mladenova, Radmila: Patterns of Symbolic Violence: The Motif of ‘Gypsy’ Child-theft across Visual Media, Heidelberg: Heidelberg University Publishing, 2019 (Interdisciplinary Studies in Antigypsyism – Book series initiated by the Research Centre on Antigypsyism, Vol. 1).

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Creative Commons License BY-SA 4.0

ISBN 978-3-947732-47-0 (PDF)
ISBN 978-3-947732-48-7 (Softcover)

Published 05.06.2019.


Radmila Mladenova

Patterns of Symbolic Violence

The Motif of ‘Gypsy’ Child-theft across Visual Media

Interdisciplinary Studies in Antigypsyism – Book series initiated by the Research Centre on Antigypsyism

Drawing on a number of paradigmatic works of art, the book explores the motif of ‘gypsy’ child-theft and its visualisations. The analytical focus is on the colour coding of bodies in texts and images and their racialised/anti-gypsy uses. Offering a comprehensive survey of the motif’s adaptations to different visual media, the author elaborates on its multiple layers of meaning and functions. The analysis starts with a critical review of Cervantes’ tale “La gitanilla”, moving through seventeenth-century Dutch history painting to take a cursory look at nineteenth-century printed images, and end up with an annotated filmography of 49 cinematic works.

Radmila Mladenova is a literary and film scholar, pursuing a PhD degree at Heidelberg University’s Institute of Slavic Studies with her research project The ‘White’ Mask and the ‘Gypsy’ Mask in Film. She graduated in English and American Studies at Sofia University, and Culture in the Process of Modernity at Mannheim University. Her research interests lie at the intersection of racism and art.

Front Matter
Table of Contents
Foreword by the Series Editors
Vorwort der Reihenherausgeber
Author’s Note
1. Introduction
2. Humanæ – Work in Progress
Objectively about Human Skin Colour
3. Yo no soy trapacero
On the Variety of Human Types among the Roma
4. “La gitanilla” (“The Gypsy Girl”) by Miguel de Cervantes
A Proto-racist Narrative from Today’s Point of View
5. The Motif of ‘Gypsy’ Child-theft in Dutch History Painting
The Fetish of Whiteness and Dutch Realism
6. A Child Stolen by ‘Gypsies’ Must Be a ‘White’ One
The Child-theft Motif in Nineteenth-century Print Media
7. The Child-theft Motif in the Silent Film Era and Afterwards
8. Concluding Words
9. Bibliography