Rising Road: A True Tale of Love, Race, and Religion in America

Posted in Books, History, Law, Media Archive, Monographs, Religion, United States on 2013-09-24 01:13Z by Steven

Rising Road: A True Tale of Love, Race, and Religion in America

Oxford University Press
2010-02-16
352 Pages
15 b/w photos
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches
Hardcover ISBN: 9780195379792
Paperback ISBN: 9780199794454

Sharon Davies, Professor of Law; Gregory H. Williams Chair in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties; Director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity
Ohio State University, Moritz College of Law

It was among the most notorious criminal cases of its day. On August 11, 1921, in Birmingham, Alabama, a Methodist minister named Edwin Stephenson shot and killed a Catholic priest, James Coyle, in broad daylight and in front of numerous witnesses. The killer’s motive? The priest had married Stephenson’s eighteen-year-old daughter Ruth to Pedro Gussman, a Puerto Rican migrant and practicing Catholic.

Sharon Davies’s Rising Road resurrects the murder of Father Coyle and the trial of his killer. As Davies reveals with novelistic richness, Stephenson’s crime laid bare the most potent bigotries of the age: a hatred not only of blacks, but of Catholics and “foreigners” as well. In one of the case’s most unexpected turns, the minister hired future U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black to lead his defense. Though regarded later in life as a civil rights champion, in 1921 Black was just months away from donning the robes of the Ku Klux Klan, the secret order that financed Stephenson’s defense. Entering a plea of temporary insanity, Black defended the minister on claims that the Catholics had robbed Ruth away from her true Protestant faith, and that her Puerto Rican husband was actually black.

Placing the story in social and historical context, Davies brings this heinous crime and its aftermath back to life, in a brilliant and engrossing examination of the wages of prejudice and a trial that shook the nation at the height of Jim Crow.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • 1. The Best Laid Plans
  • 2. A Parish to Run
  • 3. Until Death Do Us Part
  • 4. A City Reacts
  • 5. A Killer Speaks
  • 6. The Building of a Defense
  • 7. The Engines of Justice Turn
  • 8. Black Robes, White Robes
  • 9. Trials and Tribulations
  • 10. A Jury’s Verdict
  • Epilogue
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Family Money: Property, Race, and Literature in the Nineteenth Century

Posted in Books, History, Law, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, Slavery, United States on 2013-06-10 00:00Z by Steven

Family Money: Property, Race, and Literature in the Nineteenth Century

Oxford University Press
November 2012
224 Pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
Hardcover ISBN: 9780199897704

Jeffory A. Clymer, Professor of English
University of Kentucky

  • Sophisticated interdisciplinary treatment of literature’s interaction with the law
  • Dramatically revises scholarship on racial identity by emphasizing race’s connection to family and property rights
  • Demonstrates that race was entwined with economics well beyond direct issue of slavery in the nineteenth century
  • Nuanced, flexible, non-doctrinaire interpretations of both well-known and less familiar literary works

Family Money explores the histories of formerly enslaved women who tried to claim inheritances left to them by deceased owners, the household traumas of mixed-race slaves, post-Emancipation calls for reparations, and the economic fallout from anti-miscegenation marriage laws. Authors ranging from Nathaniel Hawthorne, Frank Webb, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Charles Chesnutt, to Lydia Maria Child recognized that intimate interracial relationships took myriad forms, often simultaneously-sexual, marital, coercive, familial, pleasurable, and painful. Their fiction confirms that the consequences of these relationships for nineteenth-century Americans meant thinking about more than the legal structure of racial identity. Who could count as family (and when), who could own property (and when), and how racial difference was imagined (and why) were emphatically bound together. Demonstrating that notions of race were entwined with economics well beyond the direct issue of slavery, Family Money reveals interracial sexuality to be a volatile mixture of emotion, economics, and law that had dramatic, long-term financial consequences.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • 1. “This Most Illegal Family”: Sex, Slavery, and the Politics of Inheritance
  • 2. Blood, Truth, and Consequences: Partus Sequitur Ventrem and the Problem of Legal Title
  • 3. Plantation Heiress Fiction, Slavery, and the Properties of White Marriage
  • 4. Reparations for Slavery and Lydia Maria Child’s Reconstruction of the Family
  • 5. The Properties of Marriage in Chesnutt and Hopkins
  • Coda “Race Feeling”
  • Notes
  • Index
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What Comes Naturally: Miscegenation Law and the Making of Race in America

Posted in Books, History, Law, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2013-03-31 00:57Z by Steven

What Comes Naturally: Miscegenation Law and the Making of Race in America

Oxford University Press
December 2008
404 pages
ISBN13: 9780195094633
ISBN10: 0195094638

Peggy Pascoe (1954-2010), Beekman Professor of Northwest and Pacific History
University of Oregon

  • Winner of the Ellis W. Hawley Prize of the Organization of American Historians (2009)
  • Winner of the Lawrence W. Levine Award of the Organization of American Historians (2009)
  • Winner of the William H. Dunning Prize of the American Historical Association
  • Winner of the James Willard Hurst Prize of the Law and Society Association
  • Winner of the Joan Kelly Memorial Prize of the American Historical Association
  • Finalist, John Hope Franklin Prize of the American Studies Association

A long-awaited history that promises to dramatically change our understanding of race in America, What Comes Naturally traces the origins, spread, and demise of miscegenation laws in the United States–laws that banned interracial marriage and sex, most often between whites and members of other races. Peggy Pascoe demonstrates how these laws were enacted and applied not just in the South but throughout most of the country, in the West, the North, and the Midwest.  Beginning in the Reconstruction era, when the term miscegenation first was coined, she traces the creation of a racial hierarchy that bolstered white supremacy and banned the marriage of Whites to Chinese, Japanese, Filipinos, and American Indians as well as the marriage of Whites to Blacks.  She ends not simply with the landmark 1967 case of Loving v. Virginia, in which the Supreme Court finally struck down miscegenation laws throughout the country, but looks at the implications of ideas of colorblindness that replaced them. What Comes Naturally is both accessible to the general reader and informative to the specialist, a rare feat for an original work of history based on archival research.

Table of Contents

Introduction
 
Part I: Miscegenation Law and Constitutional Equality, 1863-1883
1. Engendering Miscegenation
2. Sexualizing Miscegenation Law
 
Part II: Miscegenation Law and Race Classification, 1860-1948
3. Configuring Race in the American West
4. The Facts of Race in the Courtroom
5. Seeing Like a Racial State
 
Part III: Miscegenation Law and Its Opponents, 1913-1967
6. Between a Rock and a Hard Place
7. Interracial Marriage as a Natural Right
8. Interracial Marriage as a Civil Right
 
Part IV: Miscegenation Law, Civil Rights, and Colorblindness, 1964-2000
9. Lionizing Loving
Conclusion: The Ghost of the Past
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Show Boat: Performing Race in an American Musical

Posted in Books, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2013-03-28 21:18Z by Steven

Show Boat: Performing Race in an American Musical

Oxford University Press
October 2012
328 pages
ISBN13: 9780199759378; ISBN10: 0199759375

Todd Decker, Assistant Professor, Musicology
Washington University in St. Louis

Show Boat: Performing Race in an American Musical tells the full story of the making and remaking of the most important musical in Broadway history. Drawing on exhaustive archival research and including much new information from early draft scripts and scores, this book reveals how Oscar Hammerstein II and Jerome Kern created Show Boat in the crucible of the Jazz Age to fit the talents of the show’s original 1927 cast. After showing how major figures such as Paul Robeson and Helen Morgan defined the content of the show, the book goes on to detail how Show Boat was altered by later directors, choreographers, and performers up to the end of the twentieth century. All the major New York productions are covered, as are five important London productions and four Hollywood versions.

Again and again, the story of Show Boat circles back to the power of performers to remake the show, winning appreciative audiences for over seven decades. Unlike most Broadway musicals, Show Boat put black and white performers side by side. This book is the first to take Show Boat’s innovative interracial cast as the defining feature of the show. From its beginnings, Show Boat juxtaposed the talents of black and white performers and mixed the conventions of white-cast operetta and the black-cast musical. Bringing black and white onto the same stage—revealing the mixed-race roots of musical comedy—Show Boat stimulated creative artists and performers to renegotiate the color line as expressed in the American musical. This tremendous longevity allowed Show Boat to enter a creative dialogue with the full span of Broadway history. Show Boat’s voyage through the twentieth century offers a vantage point on more than just the Broadway musical. It tells a complex tale of interracial encounter performed in popular music and dance on the national stage during a century of profound transformations.

Features

  • First book to look at the complete history of this landmark work of the Broadway stage through the prism of race.
  • Uses exhaustive archival research conducted in Hollywood, New York, London, and elsewhere
  • Draws on previously unknown sources, including scripts and scores from the earliest productions, rejected draft scripts for all three Show Boat films, and a musical source for Jerome Kern’s famous melody for “Ol’ Man River.”
  • Moves important historical figures such as Paul Robeson to the center of the story of how Show Boat was made.
  • Based on over twenty stage productions of Show Boat—including those in London’s West End—and four Hollywood film versions
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The Slum [O Cortiço]

Posted in Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Novels on 2013-03-19 21:30Z by Steven

The Slum [O Cortiço]

Oxford University Press
March 2000 (First published in 1890)
240 pages
Paperback ISBN 13: 9780195121872; ISBN 10: 0195121872

Aluísio Azevedo

Edited and Translated by David H. Rosenthal

Features an informative introduction by translator David H. Rosenthal

First published in 1890, and undoubtedly Azevedo’s masterpiece, The Slum is one of the most widely read and critically acclaimed novels ever written about Brazil. Indeed, its great popularity, realistic descriptions, archetypal situations, detailed local coloring, and overall race-consciousness may well evoke Huckleberry Finn as the novel’s North American equivalent. Yet Azevedo also exhibits the naturalism of Zola and the ironic distance of Balzac; while tragic, beautiful, and imaginative as a work of fiction, The Slum is universally regarded as one of the best, or truest, portraits of Brazilian society ever rendered.

This is a vivid and complex tale of passion and greed, a story with many different strands touching on the different economic tiers of society. Mainly, however, The Slum thrives on two intersecting story lines. In one narrative, a penny-pinching immigrant landlord strives to become a rich investor and then discards his black lover for a wealthy white woman. In the other, we witness the innocent yet dangerous love affair between a strong, pragmatic, “gentle giant” sort of immigrant and a vivacious mulatto woman who both live in a tenement owned by said landlord. The two immigrant heroes are originally Portuguese, and thus personify two alternate outsider responses to Brazil. As translator David H. Rosenthal points out in his useful Introduction: one is the capitalist drawn to new markets, quick prestige, and untapped resources; the other, the prudent European drawn moth-like to “the light and sexual heat of the tropics.”

A deftly told, deeply moving, and hardscrabble novel that features several stirring passages about life in the streets, the melting-pot realities of the modern city, and the oft-unstable mind of the crowd, The Slum will captivate anyone who might appreciate a more poetic, less political take on the nineteenth-century naturalism of Crane or Dreiser.

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Land of the Cosmic Race: Race Mixture, Racism, and Blackness in Mexico

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Mexico, Monographs, Social Science on 2013-02-09 02:24Z by Steven

Land of the Cosmic Race: Race Mixture, Racism, and Blackness in Mexico

Oxford University Press
January 2013
256 pages
2 photographs; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4
Hardback ISBN13: 978-0-19-992548-3; ISBN10: 0-19-992548-8
Paperback ISBN13: 978-0-19-992550-6; ISBN10: 0-19-992550-X

Christina A. Sue, Assistant Professor of Sociology
University of Colorado, Boulder

Land of the Cosmic Race is a richly-detailed ethnographic account of the powerful role that race and color play in organizing the lives and thoughts of ordinary Mexicans. It presents a previously untold story of how individuals in contemporary urban Mexico construct their identities, attitudes, and practices in the context of a dominant national belief system. The book centers around Mexicans’ engagement with three racialized pillars of Mexican national ideology – the promotion of race mixture, the assertion of an absence of racism in the country, and the marginalization of blackness in Mexico.

The subjects of this book are mestizos—the mixed-race people of Mexico who are of Indigenous, African, and European ancestry and the intended consumers of this national ideology. Land of the Cosmic Race illustrates how Mexican mestizos navigate the sea of contradictions that arise when their everyday lived experiences conflict with the national stance and how they manage these paradoxes in a way that upholds, protects, and reproduces the national ideology. Drawing on a year of participant observation, over 110 interviews, and focus-groups from Veracruz, Mexico, Christina A. Sue offers rich insight into the relationship between race-based national ideology and the attitudes and behaviors of mixed-race Mexicans. Most importantly, she theorizes as to why elite-based ideology not only survives but actually thrives within the popular understandings and discourse of those over whom it is designed to govern.

Features

  • The first serious study to address how race functions among Mexican mestizos

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgements
  • Chapter 1: Introduction
  • Chapter 2: Mapping the Veracruz Race-Color Terminological Terrain
  • Chapter 3: Beneath the Surface of Mixed-Race Identities
  • Chapter 4: Mestizos’ Attitudes on Race Mixture
  • Chapter 5: Inter-Color Couples and Mixed-Color Families in a Mixed-Race Society
  • Chapter 6: Situating Blackness in a Mestizo Nation
  • Chapter 7: Silencing and Explaining Away Racial Discrimination
  • Chapter 8: What’s at Stake? Racial Common Sense and Securing a Mexican National Identity
  • Epilogue: The Turn of the Twenty-First Century: An Ideological Shift?
  • Appendix
  • References
  • Index
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Beyond Loving: Intimate Racework in Lesbian, Gay, and Straight Interracial Relationships

Posted in Books, Gay & Lesbian, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science on 2013-02-08 01:39Z by Steven

Beyond Loving: Intimate Racework in Lesbian, Gay, and Straight Interracial Relationships

Oxford University Press
2012-08-07
240 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4
ISBN13: 9780199743568; ISBN10: 0199743568

Amy C. Steinbugler, Assistant Professor of Sociology
Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania

Beyond Loving provides a critical examination of interracial intimacy in the beginning decades of the twenty-first century—an era rife with racial contradictions, where interracial relationships are increasingly seen as symbols of racial progress even as old stereotypes about illicit eroticism persist. Drawing on extensive qualitative research, Amy Steinbugler examines the racial dynamics of everyday life for lesbian, gay, and heterosexual Black/White couples. She disputes the notion that interracial partners are enlightened subjects who have somehow managed to “get beyond” race. Instead, for many partners, interracial intimacy represents not the end, but the beginning of a sustained process of negotiating racial differences. Her research reveals the ordinary challenges that partners frequently face and the myriad ways that race shapes their interactions with each other as well as with neighbors, family members, co-workers and strangers. Steinbugler analyzes the everyday actions and strategies through which individuals maintain close relationships in a society with deeply-rooted racial inequalities-what she calls “racework.” Beyond Loving reveals interracial intimacy as an ongoing process rather than a singular accomplishment. This analytic shift helps us reach a new understanding of how race “works” – not just in intimate spheres, but across all facets of contemporary social life.

Features

  • Interviews with same-sex interracial couples–a topic on which there is very little research—allow Steinbugler to examine for the first time how everyday racial practices are shaped by sexuality and gender.
  • Amy Steinbugler challenges the widespread assumption that interracial intimacy represents the ultimate erasure of racial differences.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: The Historical Roots of Lesbian, Gay, and Heterosexual Black/White Intimacy
  • Chapter 2: Public Interraciality: Navigating Racially Homogeneous Social Spaces
  • Chapter 3: Public Interraciality: Managing Visibility
  • Chapter 4: Intimate Interactions: Racework as Emotional Labor
  • Chapter 5: Interracial Identities: Racework as Boundary Work
  • Chapter 6: White Racial Identities Through the Lens of Interracial Intimacy
  • Conclusion: The Intimate Politics of Interraciality
  • Appendix A. Research Methods
  • Appendix B. Respondent Characteristics
  • Table 1. Design of Interview Sample
  • Table 2. Sample Details by Group
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The Obamas and a (Post) Racial America?

Posted in Anthologies, Barack Obama, Books, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2012-10-03 18:49Z by Steven

The Obamas and a (Post) Racial America?

Oxford University Press
January 2011
336 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4
Hardback ISBN13: 9780199735204; ISBN10: 0199735204

Edited by

Gregory Parks, Assistant Professor of Law
Wake Forest University, Winston Salem, North Carolina

Matthew Hughey, Associate Professor of Sociology
University of Connecticut

The United States has taken a long and winding road to racial equality, especially as it pertains to relations between blacks and whites. On November 4, 2008, when Barack Hussein Obama was elected as the forty-fourth President of the United States and first black person to occupy the highest office in the land, many wondered whether that road had finally come to an end. Do we now live in a post-racial nation?

According to this book’s contributors, a more nuanced and contemporary analysis and measurement of racial attitudes undercuts this assumption. They contend that despite the election of the first black President and rise of his family as possibly the most recognized family in the world, race remains a salient issue-particularly in the United States. Looking beyond public behaviors and how people describe their own attitudes, the contributors draw from the latest research to show how, despite the Obama family’s rapid rise to national prominence, many Americans continue to harbor unconscious, anti-black biases. But there are whispers of change. The Obama family’s position may yet undermine, at the unconscious level, anti-black attitudes in the United States and abroad. The prominence of the Obamas on the world stage and the image they project may hasten the day when America is indeed post-racial, even at the implicit level.

Features

  • Draws on a growing body of scholarly literature on implicit racial bias.
  • Discusses the implications of the entire First Family’s rise to prominence, not simply the President’s.

Contents

  • Contributors
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Measuring Racial Progress in America: The Tangled Path of Race – by Matthew W. Hughey (Commentary: Constraint and Freedom in the “Age of Obama” – by Kenneth Mack)
  • Chapter 2: Implicit Bias: A Better Metric for Racial Progress? – Leslie Ashburn-Nardo, Robert Livingston and Joshua Waytz (Commentary: The Erasure of the Affirmative Action Debate in the Age of Obama – by Ian Ayres)
  • Chapter 3: Black Man in the White House: Ideology and Implicit Racial Bias in the Age of Obama – by Kristin Lane and John Jost (Commentary: Black Man in the White House: A Commentary – Marc H. Morial)
  • Chapter 4: Obama-nation?: Implicit Beliefs about American Nationality and the Possibility of Redefining Who Counts as “Truly” American – by Nilanjana Dasgupta and Kumar Yogeeswaran (Commentary: As American as Barack Obama – by Lawrence Bobo)
  • Chapter 5: Does Black and Male Still = Threat in the Age of Obama? – by Jennifer A. Richeson and Meghan G. Bean (Commentary: Threat, Fantasy, and President Obama – by Eddie Glaude, Jr.)
  • Chapter 6: Michelle Obama: Redefining Images of Black Women – by Shanette C. Porter and Gregory S. Parks (Commentary: First Lady Michelle Obama: Getting Past the Stereotypes – Julianne Malveaux)
  • Chapter 7: Barack, Michelle and the Complexities of a Black “Love Supreme” – Clarenda M. Phillips, Tamara L. Brown and Gregory S. Parks (Commentary: The Obamas: Beyond Troubled Love – by Jenée Desmond-Harris)
  • Chapter 8: Malia and Sasha: Re-envisioning Black Youth – by Valerie Purdie-Vaughns and Rachel Sumner (Commentary: Re-envisioning Black Youth: A Commentary by Marc Lamont Hill)
  • Chapter 9: Obama and Global Change in Attitudes about Group Status – by George Ciccariello-Maher and Matthew Hughey (Commentary: Commentary on Obama and Group Change in Attitudes about Group Status – Michael Dawson)
  • Chapter 10: The Role of Race in American Politics: Lessons Learned from the 2008 Presidential Election – by Thierry Devos (Commentary: The State of the Post-racial Union – by Farai Chideya)
  • Chapter 11: Obama’s Potential to Transform the Racial Attitudes of White Americans – by Jack Dovidio, Samuel L. Gaertner, Tamar Saguy and Eric Hehman (Commentary: Black Behavior and Moral Dissonance: Missing Mechanisms in Theorizing the Obama Effect – by Richard O. Lempert)
  • Chapter 12: New Bottle, Same Old Wine: The GOP and Race in the Age of Obama – by Russell J. Webster, Donald A. Saucier and Gregory S. Parks (Commentary: New Bottle, Same Old Wine: A Response – by Melissa Harris-Lacewell)
  • About the Editors, Contributors, and Commentators
  • Index
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Racechanges: White Skin, Black Face in American Culture

Posted in Books, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, Passing, United States on 2012-09-30 03:58Z by Steven

Racechanges: White Skin, Black Face in American Culture

Oxford University Press
May 1997
356 pages
Paperback ISBN13: 9780195134186; ISBN10: 0195134184

Susan Gubar, Distinguished Professor Emerita and Ruth N. Halls Professor Emerita of English
Indiana University

When the actor Ted Danson appeared in blackface at a 1993 Friars Club roast, he ignited a firestorm of protest that landed him on the front pages of the newspapers, rebuked by everyone from talk show host Montel Williams to New York City’s then mayor, David Dinkins. Danson’s use of blackface was shocking, but was the furious pitch of the response a triumphant indication of how far society has progressed since the days when blackface performers were the toast of vaudeville, or was it also an uncomfortable reminder of how deep the chasm still is separating black and white America?

In Racechanges: White Skin, Black Face in American Culture, Susan Gubar, who fundamentally changed the way we think about women’s literature as co-author of the acclaimed The Madwoman in the Attic, turns her attention to the incendiary issue of race. Through a far-reaching exploration of the long overlooked legacy of minstrelsy–cross-racial impersonations or “racechanges”—throughout modern American film, fiction, poetry, painting, photography, and journalism, she documents the indebtedness of “mainstream” artists to African-American culture, and explores the deeply conflicted psychology of white guilt. The fascinating “racechanges” Gubar discusses include whites posing as blacks and blacks “passing” for white; blackface on white actors in The Jazz Singer, Birth of a Nation, and other movies, as well as on the faces of black stage entertainers; African-American deployment of racechange imagery during the Harlem Renaissance, including the poetry of Anne Spencer, the black-and-white prints of Richard Bruce Nugent, and the early work of Zora Neale Hurston; white poets and novelists from Vachel Lindsay and Gertrude Stein to John Berryman and William Faulkner writing as if they were black; white artists and writers fascinated by hypersexualized stereotypes of black men; and nightmares and visions of the racechanged baby. Gubar shows that unlike African-Americans, who often are forced to adopt white masks to gain their rights, white people have chosen racial masquerades, which range from mockery and mimicry to an evolving emphasis on inter-racial mutuality and mutability.

Drawing on a stunning array of illustrations, including paintings, film stills, computer graphics, and even magazine morphings, Racechanges sheds new light on the persistent pervasiveness of racism and exciting aesthetic possibilities for lessening the distance between blacks and whites.

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Passing Strange: Shakespeare, Race, and Contemporary America

Posted in Books, Communications/Media Studies, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, Passing, United States on 2012-09-04 00:06Z by Steven

Passing Strange: Shakespeare, Race, and Contemporary America

Oxford University Press
April 2011
240 pages
Hardback ISBN13: 9780195385854; ISBN10: 0195385853

Ayanna Thompson, Professor of English
Arizona State University

Notions, constructions, and performances of race continue to define the contemporary American experience, including America’s relationship to Shakespeare. In Passing Strange, Ayanna Thompson explores the myriad ways U.S. culture draws on the works and the mythology of the Bard to redefine the boundaries of the color line.

Drawing on an extensive—frequently unconventional—range of examples, Thompson examines the contact zones between constructions of Shakespeare and constructions of race. Among the questions she addresses are: Do Shakespeare’s plays need to be edited, appropriated, updated, or rewritten to affirm racial equality and retain relevance? Can discussions of Shakespeare’s universalism tell us anything beneficial about race? What advantages, if any, can a knowledge of Shakespeare provide to disadvantaged people of color, including those in prison? Do the answers to these questions impact our understandings of authorship, authority, and authenticity? In investigating this under-explored territory, Passing Strange examines a wide variety of contemporary texts, including films, novels, theatrical productions, YouTube videos, performances, and arts education programs.

Scholars, teachers, and performers will find a wealth of insights into the staging and performance of familiar plays, but they will also encounter new ways of viewing Shakespeare and American racial identity, enriching their understanding of each.

Features

  • Productively engages a topic of perennial debate: race and Shakespeare
  • Offers first sustained examination of the relationship between contemporary American constructions of Shakespeare and race
  • Explores the seldom considered ways Shakespeare has infiltrated American popular culture, from films like the screwball comedy Bringing Down the House to DIY performances on YouTube

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • 1. Introduction: The Passing Strangeness of Shakespeare in America
  • 2. Universalism: Two Films that Brush with the Bard, Suture and Bringing Down the House
  • 3. Essentialism: Meditations Inspired by Farrukh Dondy’s novel Black Swan
  • 4. Multiculturalism: The Classics, Casting, and Confusion
  • 5. Original(ity): Othello and Blackface
  • 6. Reform: Redefining Authenticity in Shakespeare Reform Programs
  • 7. Archives: Classroom-Inspired Performance Videos on YouTube
  • 8. Conclusion: Passing Race and Passing Shakespeare in Peter Sellars’s Othello
  • Works Cited
  • Index
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