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Sitting in DarknessMark Twain's Asia and Comparative Racialization$
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Hsuan L. Hsu

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781479880416

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479880416.001.0001

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Body Counts and Comparative Anti-imperialism

Body Counts and Comparative Anti-imperialism

(p.139) 5 Body Counts and Comparative Anti-imperialism
Sitting in Darkness

Hsuan L. Hsu

NYU Press

This chapter examines the development of Mark Twain's anti-imperialist writings from his reflections on European colonialism in Following the Equator to his bitter criticisms of the U.S.–Philippine War and the Western response to the Boxer uprising in China. Through close readings of Twain's nonfiction and allegorical writings, the chapter shows how racialization—in both domestic and imperial contexts—functions at the level of populations and how monuments and mortality statistics train audiences to value and devalue differentiated lives. It also explains how Twain's direct observations of life under British imperial rule influenced his shift from fiction and travelogues about national race relations to incisive critiques of U.S. imperialism.

Keywords:   colonialism, Mark Twain, Following the Equator, U.S.–Philippine War, Boxer uprising, anti-imperialism, racialization, monuments, mortality, imperialism

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