Abstract

This article examines how the externalisation of gender identity by 1900 configured a new type of agency of identity for consumers of Physical Culture products. I examine the importance to Jean Toomer of the publications of Bernarr Macfadden, the most successful Physical Culture entrepreneur in the US at the time, and in particular the relevance of the pose as a strategy for overriding biological determinism. Toomer's adoption of these techniques became a subversive way of obscuring physiological racial determinations, determinations which certain eugenic scientists were attempting to classify ever more precisely. I finish by examining how Physical Culture as a mode of racial obfuscation is evident in Toomer's short story "Bona and Paul."

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6601
Print ISSN
1071-6068
Pages
pp. 597-615
Launched on MUSE
2003-12-03
Open Access
No
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