Andreassen, Rikke. ‘Representations of Sexuality and Race at Danish Exhibitions of “Exotic” People at the Turn of the Twentieth Century’. NORA – Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research, vol. 20, no. 2, Routledge, June 2012, pp. 126–147.
Denmark hosted a number of exhibitions of “exotic” people between the 1880s and the 1910s, in which people of colour were exhibited as mass entertainment in amusement parks and zoological gardens. This article illustrates how the categories of race, gender, and sexuality were co-constructed in the representations of these exhibitions; it reveals how not only the women but also the men on display were sexualized and constructed as erotic figures. The exhibitions played a role in maintaining contemporary scientific racial hierarchies, but simultaneously they challenged those same hierarchies, as “illegitimate” romantic relationships were allegedly formed between the exhibited men of colour and the white female local audience.