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Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination


Typecasting chronicles the emergence of the "science of first impressions” and reveals how this framework continues to shape how we see the world and to inform our most fundamental and unconscious judgments of beauty, humanity, and degeneracy. In this groundbreaking exploration of the growth of stereotyping against the backdrop of the rise of modern society, authors Ewen & Ewen demonstrate typecasting as a persistent cultural practice. Drawing on fields as diverse as history, pop culture, racial science, and film, and including over one hundred images, many published here for the first time, the authors present a vivid portrait of stereotyping as it was forged by colonialism, industrialization, mass media, urban life, and the global economy.


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Typecasting is merely the most lucid and instructive history book to be published in the new millennium.”

“In Typecasting, two ace historians offer a profound and sweeping study of the most everyday, often unconscious, forms of prejudice. [It's] bound to make you think—and think again.”

“With exceptional and profound research on visual cultures, Ewen & Ewen have captured a wide-angle view of the impact of racial imaging. Using the history of art as well as popular imagery, they demonstrate the complexity found in mapping and reading this legacy.”

ELIZABETH EWEN is Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of American Studies at SUNY College at Old Westbury, as well as the co-author of Typecasting: On the Arts and Science of Human Inequality

STUART EWEN is CUNY Distinguished Professor of Film & Media Studies at Hunter College and in the PhD Programs in History and Sociology at The CUNY Graduate Center. He is the co-author of Typecasting: On the Arts and Science of Human Inequality.