Robert J. Gordon

Robert J. Gordon has worked for long periods in South Africa, Papua New Guinea, and Lesotho. His other books include Mines, Migrants and Masters: Life in a Namibian Mine Compound, The Bushmen Myth and the Making of a Namibian Underclass, and Law and Order in the New Guinea Highlands (with Mervyn Meggitt). He is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Vermont.

Listed in: History · Sociology

Picturing Bushmen · The Denver African Expedition of 1925
By Robert J. Gordon

The Denver African Expedition of 1925 sought “the cradle of Humanity.” The explorers returned claiming to have found the “Missing Link” in the Heikum bushmen of the Kalahari—and they proceeded to market this image. As Robert J. Gordon shows in Picturing Bushmen, the impact of the expedition lay not simply in its slick merchandising of bushmen images but also in the fact that the pictures were exotic and aesthetically pleasing.

“The pleasure of reading Gordon’s wit and erudition never compromises the chilling account of western culpability for the manufacture of a vision of culture that has harmed those trapped in its gaze.”

Luise White, author of The Comforts of Home: Prostitution in Colonial Nairobi