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Resistance, Parody, And Double Consciousness In African American Theatre, 1895-1910

Overview

The history of African American performance and theatre is a topic that few scholars have closely studied or discussed as a critical part of American culture. In this fascinating interdisciplinary volume, David Krasner reveals such a history to be a tremendously rich one, focusing particularly on the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the 20th century. The fields of history, black literary theory, cultural studies, performance studies and postcolonial theory are utilized in an examination of several major...

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Overview

The history of African American performance and theatre is a topic that few scholars have closely studied or discussed as a critical part of American culture. In this fascinating interdisciplinary volume, David Krasner reveals such a history to be a tremendously rich one, focusing particularly on the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the 20th century. The fields of history, black literary theory, cultural studies, performance studies and postcolonial theory are utilized in an examination of several major productions. In addition, Krasner looks at the aesthetic significance of African American performers on the American stage and the meaning of the technique entitled "cakewalking." Investigating expressions of protest within the theatre, Krasner reveals that this period was replete with moments of resistance to racism, parodies of the minstrel tradition, and double consciousness on the part of performers. An enlightening work which unveils new information about its subject, Resistance, Parody, and Double Consciousness in African American Theatre offers insights into African American artistry during an era of racism and conflict.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Krasner's combination of extensive archival research and far-ranging knowledge provides an exhilarating intellectual experience.” —Library Jourbanal

“The first winner of the Errol Hill Award for notable studies of African American theater, Krasner's insightful book examines a slighted period in the history of theater and entertainment.” —Choice

Booknews
Within the racial tensions and constraints of the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the US, black performers channeled resistance to stereotypes of blacks as inferior via both parody (countering white blackfaced images of minstrels) and maintaining what W.E.B. Du Bois termed "double consciousness." Krasner (undergraduate theatre studies, Yale U.) analyzes the strategies (e.g. cakewalking, trickster folk characters, and insistence on non-segregated seating) to foster solidarity and undermine racism that were enacted on the stages of diverse major black productions of that era<-->for their historical, social, and political implications for African American identity. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312173630
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 9/1/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 226
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

David Krasner is Director of Undergraduate Theatre Studies at Yale University.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Black Theatre and American Culture
• "The Mirror Up To Nature:" Modernist Aesthetics and Racial Authenticity in African American Theatre, 1895-1900
• "Glimpses of Higher Possibilities:" Class and Race in African American Theatre During the Early Progressive Era
• Rewriting the Body: Aida Overton Walker and the Social Formation of Cakewalking
• "Have You Ever Seen Anyone Stick So Close to a Cracker?:" Parody, Romance, and History in Williams and Walker’s Abyssinia
• "The Ladder of Fame:" Pragmatist Ideology and Overlapping Diasporas in African American Theatre, 1906-1910
• "A Way of Telling Things:" The Past Is Now Present
• Endnotes
• Bibliography

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