Staging Whiteness

Overview

In Staging Whiteness, Mary Brewer offers close textual readings of plays by American and British 20th century playwrights—both canonical and some that fall outside the mainstream—looking at how whiteness as an identity is created onstage, and how this has changed historically. With clarity and persuasion, Brewer argues that configurations of whiteness are dispersed and reflected through discourses that range from theory to literature and common social language, and that discursive performances of whiteness are a ...
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Overview

In Staging Whiteness, Mary Brewer offers close textual readings of plays by American and British 20th century playwrights—both canonical and some that fall outside the mainstream—looking at how whiteness as an identity is created onstage, and how this has changed historically. With clarity and persuasion, Brewer argues that configurations of whiteness are dispersed and reflected through discourses that range from theory to literature and common social language, and that discursive performances of whiteness are a crucial feature of everyday social interactions.

Includes discussions of:
G.B. Shaw’s Captain Brassbound’s Conversion
W. Somerset Maugham’s The Explorer
W.H. Auden and Christopher Isherwood’s The Ascent of F6
Eugene O’Neill’s The Hairy Ape
Langston Hughes’ Mulatto
Thornton Wilder’s Our Town
Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes
Bridget Boland’s The Cockpit
T.S. Eliot’s The Cocktail Party
John Osborne’s The Entertainer
Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh
Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire
Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge
Edward Albee’s The American Dream
Amiri Baraka’s Dutchman
David Rabe’s Sticks and Bones
Adrienne Kennedy’s A Movie Star Has to Star in Black and White
Edward Bond’s Early Morning
John Arden’s and Margarette D’Arcy’s The Island of the Mighty
Caryl Churchill’s Cloud Nine
Wendy Wasserstein’s The Heidi Chronicles
Tony Kushner’s Angels in America
Suzan-Lori Parks’ The America Play
Philip Osment’s This Island’s Mine
Michael Ellis’ Chameleon
David Hare’s The Absence of War

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What People Are Saying

David Roediger
"Staging Whiteness is a work of great ambition and reach, providing at once an apt introduction to the critical study of whiteness and an arresting application of such study to Anglo-American "theorists and theater makers" over the last century and more."
David Roediger, Babcock Professor of History and African American Studies, University of Illinois
David Roediger
“Staging Whiteness is a work of great ambition and reach, providing at once an apt introduction to the critical study of whiteness and an arresting application of such study to Anglo-American “theorists and theater makers” over the last century and more.”
Kate Davy
"This is a thoughtfully and carefully written piece of scholarship. At the same time, what distinguishes this work is its readability. Brewer avoids theory-speak without diluting her points and translates theory into language readers can understand."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780819567703
  • Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
  • Publication date: 7/29/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

MARY BREWER is a Senior Lecturer in the School of English and Performance Studies at De Montfort University in the U.K. She is the author of Race, Sex and Gender in Contemporary Women’s Theatre (1999) and the editor of Exclusions in Feminist Thought (2002).
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Table of Contents

“That’s White of You...”: Civilizing Whiteness
Militant Whiteness: G.B. Shaw’s Captain Brassbound’s Conversation
The Heart of Whiteness: W. Somerset Maugham’s The Explorer
Waving the White Flag: W.H. Auden’s and Christopher Isherwood’s The Ascent of F6
The Borders of Whiteness in the New World
Emasculated Whiteness: Eugene O’Neill’s The Hairy Ape
Violating the Color Line: Langston Hughes’ Mulatto
The Grammar of Whiteness: Thornton Wilder’s Our Town
White Reconstruction: Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes
Whiteness in Post-Imperial Britain
Whiteness at War: Bridget Boland’s The Cockpit
Whiteness and Polite Society: T.S. Eliot’s The Cocktail Party
Angry White Men: John Osborne’s The Entertainer
Locating Race in Post-War US Culture
Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Whiteness: Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh
Primitive Whiteness: Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire
Queering Whiteness: Arthur Miller’s View From the Bridge
Countercultures of Whiteness
White Absurdities: Edward Albee’s The American Dream
Castrating Whiteness: Amiri Baraka’s Dutchman
Whiteness as a Simulacrum of Death: David Rabe’s Sticks and Bones
The U.S. Women's Movement and Black Feminist Subculture
White Talking Black: Adrienne Kennedy’s A Movie Star Has to Star in Black and White
Undigestible Difference: Powellism and New White Racism
Whiteness made Flesh: Edward Bond’s Early Morning
Legends of White Britannia: John Arden’s and Margaretta D’Arcy’s The Island of the Mighty
Feminism in Britain: Black versus White Responses to Women's Subordination
Racial Oppression: Caryl Churchill’s Cloud Nine
The White Backlash: A Second U.S. Revolution
Postfeminism and White Womanhood: Wendy Wasserstein’s The Heidi Chronicles
White Identity Politics: Tony Kushner’s Angels in America
(E)Racing American History: Suzan-Lori Parks’ The America Play
“Swamped by People with a Different Culture”: Race, Sexuality and The Active British Citizen
White/Balck Paradigms and Brtitish Gay Sub-Culture: Philip Osment’s This Island’s Mine
Being Black, Seeing White: Michael Ellis’ Chameleon
The State of Whiteness: David Hare’s The Absence of War
Notes
Works Cited
Index
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