Imaging the USA’s Pacific empire

Quanchi, Max (2015) Imaging the USA’s Pacific empire. History of Photography, 39 3: 213-226. doi:10.1080/03087298.2015.1067055

Author Quanchi, Max
Title Imaging the USA’s Pacific empire
Journal name History of Photography   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0308-7298
Publication date 2015-08-05
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/03087298.2015.1067055
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 39
Issue 3
Start page 213
End page 226
Total pages 14
Place of publication Oxon United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Language eng
Formatted abstract
In 1898 America made a dramatic switch from isolationism to an expansionist international agenda. After a short war with Spain, the USA acquired Guam and the Philippines, Congress agreed on the annexation of Hawai‘i and Wake Island, and, shortly after, tripartite negotiations led to the acquisition of American Samoa. The USA had become a colonial power and acquired a Pacific ‘empire’. In 1899 this new status met with the publication of Our Islands and their People as Seen with Camera and Pencil, a two-volume text that included twelve hundred photographs. The pictorialising or visualising of empire in the text was a publishing coup. Although historians have been reluctant to acknowledge the USA as an imperial power, the analysis here links the visual record of new territories in illustrated publications to expanded public awareness and a political debate that potentially took Americans to a new level of understanding of the Pacific Islands. The analysis of American ‘empire’ suggests that territorial expansion was a long-standing characteristic of the nineteenth century that was visualised in photographs for national debate.
Keyword American empire
US imperial photography
Pacific history
Our Islands and their People (1899)
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Non HERDC
School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry
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Created: Mon, 01 Feb 2016, 18:44:54 EST by Lucy O'Brien on behalf of School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry