1st Edition

Stamps, Nationalism and Political Transition

Edited By Stanley D Brunn Copyright 2022
    424 Pages 190 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    This book explores how states in political transition use stamps to promote a new visual nationalism.

    Stamps as products of the state and provide small pieces of information about a state’s heritage, culture, economies and place in the world. These depictions change over time, reflecting political and cultural changes and developments. The volume explores the transition times in more than a dozen countries from Africa, Latin America, Asia and Europe. Specifically addressed are the stamp topics, issues and themes in the years before and after such major changes occurred, for example, from a European colony to political independence or from a dictatorship to democracy. The authors compare the personalities, histories, and cultural representations "before" the transition period and how the state used the "after" event to define or redefine its place on the world political map. The final three chapters consider international themes on many stamp issues, one being stamps with Disney cartoon characters, another on "themeless" Forever stamps, and the third on states celebrating women and their accomplishments.

    This volume has wide interdisciplinary relevance and should prove of particular interest to those studying geopolitics, political transition, visual nationalism, soft power and visual representations of decolonializing.

    Introduction: Stamps as symbols of a visual nationalism

    Stanley D. Brunn

    Chapter 1—Images, semiotics and political transitions: Case studies of first issues from eight nations

    James H. Grayson

    Chapter 2—Using China’s stamp issues to document economic and political changes

    Juncheng Dai and Stanley D. Brunn

    Chapter 3—Post-liberation Korea – The first postage stamps: A comparative semiotic study of nation building in North and South Korea

    James H. Grayson

    Chapter 4—From the Netherlands East Indies to Indonesia: A philatelic iconography of political upheaval

    Ton Dietz, Ot Louw and Arie Zonjee

    Chapter 5—Kazakhstan’s first twenty-five years of postage stamps: Highlighting nature, nationalism, and selective Soviet memory

    Kristopher D. White

    Chapter 6—Imaging political turmoil through postage stamps in the heart of Africa: Congo/Zaire 1950-1971 from colonialism to national identity

    Ton Dietz and Patience Kabamba

    Chapter 7—Couriers of change: The semiotics of Senegalese postage stamps

    Karen S. Barton

    Chapter 8—"Non!" visible: How Guinée stamped its political leadership on Africa's decolonization, 1958-1962

    Jan Jansen

    Chapter 9—Three marked transitions in Ethiopia’s stamp issues: 1960s to present

    Elyas Abdulahi Mahmoued and Habtamu Girma Demiessie

    Chapter 10—Transitions in postage stamp iconography: From apartheid to democracy in South Africa

    Manfred Spocter

    Chapter 11—From UN-mandated territory to independent Namibia

    Stephen Rule

    Chapter 12—Mauritius and its politics on stamps, 1958-1977

    Ton Dietz

    Chapter 13—History as stamped by postage stamps: Poland’s transitions in the 20th century

    Agnieszka Świętek

    Chapter 14—Estonia on stamps: Abrupt and smooth periods of political transition

    Jussi S. Jauhiainen and Taavi Pae

    Chapter 15—The breakup of Yugoslavia: Territorial disintegration and political transition documented through images on stamps, 1986-2010

    Anton Gosar

    Chapter 16—Postage stamps as political transition and integration: The case of North Cyprus Europa stamps 1975 and 1998

    Dilan Çiftçi

    Chapter 17—Stamps of the Palestinian Authority: Asserting national identity while under occupation, 1994-2019

    Calvin H. Allen, Jr.

    Chapter 18—Cuba: The evolution of revolutionary stamps

    Charles O. Collins

    Chapter 19—Local political upheaval and global cultural appropriation: The postage stamps of Grenada, 1974-1988

    Thomas L. Bell and James Senn

    Chapter 20—Cartooning islands for fun and profit: The proliferation of Disney stamps

    William Silvester

    Chapter 21—Reading contemporary America through Forever stamp themes: A visual analysis and interpretation

    Donna Gilbreath

    Chapter 22—Feminine philately: Global unevenness in celebrating women on stamps

    Stanley D. Brunn


    Stanley D. Brunn is Professor Emeritus, Department of Geography, University of Kentucky, Lexington, USA.