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Human Zoos - Girl Racers

30 minutes
First broadcast:
Wednesday 10 June 2009

Laurie Taylor discusses 'human zoos', the practice of putting colonial subjects on display to western audiences. He is joined by Charles Forsdick, co-editor of Human Zoos: Science and Spectacle in the Age of Colonial Empires, and the cultural commentator Kate Berridge.

There were 20-25,000 on display, in special villages, in circuses and in bars. Millions of spectators from New York to London, Tokyo to Warsaw visited at their feeding times, watched as they gave birth and came to ogle at their extraordinary physicality as they stood nude behind bars. These were the people of Africa, Aboriginals from Australia, Fijians, Zulus and even Laplanders, brought to the cradle of imperialism to tell a story of savagery and civilisation.

Also Girl Racers, an ethnographic study of car modifiers in Aberdeen, and how the women involved in the youth cult intergrate themselves in a traditionally male pass time. Karen Lumsden from Aberdeen University tells Laurie about her research.

  • Professor Charles Forsdick

    Professor Charles Forsdick, James Barrow Chair of French at the University of Liverpool

    Human Zoos: Science and Spectacle in the Age of Colonial Empires
    by Pascal Blanchard (Author, Editor), Nicolas Bancel (Editor), Gilles Boetsch (Editor), Eric Deroo (Editor), Sandrine Lemaire (Editor), Charles Forsdick (Editor)
    Publisher: Liverpool University Press
    ISBN-10: 1846311748
    ISBN-13: 978-1846311741

    Find out more about Charles Forsdick
  • Kate Berridge

    Kate Berridge, Cultural commentator, journalist and author

    Madame Tussaud: A Life in Wax
    Publisher: John Murray
    ISBN-10: 0719565529
    ISBN-13: 978-0719565526

    Vigor Mortis: The End of the Death Taboo
    Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
    ISBN-10: 1861974116
    ISBN-13: 978-1861974112

  • Karen Lumsden

    Karen Lumsden, Postgraduate Research Student, University of Aberdeen

    Pink Cars and Fluffy Dice: 'Girl Racers' and the Quest for Masculinity
    Presented at the British Sociological Association Annual Conference (April 2009, Cardiff

    Find out more about Karen Lumsden



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