""Mediated Blackface" is a series of interlocking case studies which surveys racial and racist inscriptions of the 1920s and 1930s in the United States. Kevin Byrne's study takes us through the late work of Bert Williams, Aunt Jemima advertising, amateur minstrel performances, vaudeville touring circuits, and African American Broadway musicals. All reflecting, and sometimes incorporating, the mass-culture technologies of the time, either in their subject matter or method of distribution. The book project oscillates between two different types of performances: the live and the mediated. This book will be of great interest to scholars and researchers in theatre studies, communication studies, race and media, and musical scholarship"--
Minstrel Traditions: Mediated Blackface in the Jazz Age explores the place and influence of black racial impersonation in US society during a crucial and transitional time period. Minstrelsy was absorbed into mass-culture media that was either invented or reached widespread national prominence during this era: advertising campaigns, audio recordings, radio broadcasts, and film. Minstrel Traditions examines the methods through which minstrelsy's elements connected with the public and how these conventions reified the racism of the time. This book explores blackface and minstrelsy through a series of overlapping case studies which illustrate the extent to which blackface thrived in the early twentieth century. It contextualizes and analyzes the last musical of black entertainer Bert Williams, the surprising live career of pancake icon Aunt Jemima, a flourishing amateur minstrel industry, blackface acts of African American vaudeville, and the black Broadway shows which brought new musical styles and dances to the American consciousness. All reflect, and sometimes incorporate, the mass-culture technologies of the time, either in their subject matter or method of distribution. Retrograde blackface seamlessly transitioned from live to mediated iterations of these cultural products, further pushing black stereotypes into the national consciousness. The book project oscillates between two different types of performances: the live and the mediated. By focusing on how minstrelsy in the Jazz Age moved from live performance into mediatized technologies, the book adds to the intellectual and historical conversation regarding this pernicious, racist entertainment form. Jazz Age blackface helped normalize new media technologies and that technology extended minstrelsy's influence within US culture. Minstrel Traditions tracks minstrelsy's social impact over the course of two decades to examine how ideas of national identity employ racial nostalgias and fantasias. This book will be of great interest to scholars and researchers in theatre studies, communication studies, race and media, and musical scholarship
This collection of original essays brings together a group of prominent scholars of blackface performance to reflect on this complex and troublesome tradition. The essays consider the early relationship of the blackface performer with American politics and the antislavery movement; the relationship of minstrels to the commonplace compromises of the touring 'show' business and to the mechanisation of the industrial revolution; and much more.
'My ancestors were minstrels. Their honeyed tongue could weave lyrics out of almost all forms of human interactions and activities. This tradition is encapsulated by the performance of the famous ode poetry prevalent among their descendants, which is presented under numerous kinds of stimuli. Thus the emotional impulses expressed here, the rhetorical modes adopted here and the verbalised rhythmic sequences illustrated here are derived from the minstrel tradition associated with ode poetry performance... The use of alternative poetic models is equally a result of a sophisticated understanding of the forms of performance discernible in other traditions...it is the amalgamation of imaginative narratives, folklore and contemporary concerns... There is no doubt that this cultural model of the minstrel generates abundant inspiration and provides a variety of artistic modes that enable the mind of the poet to distil new chants. I drank from the spring of tradition. My ancestors were minstrels and I have only continued in the same tradition.'
Readings in Nineteenth-Century Blackface Minstrelsy
Author: Annemarie Bean
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
Category: Literary Criticism
A sourcebook of contemporary and historical commentary on America's first popular mass entertainment. As the blackface minstrel show evolved from its beginnings in the American Revolution to its peak during the late 1800s, its frenetic dances, low-brow humor, and lively music provided more than mere entertainment. Indeed, these imitations and parodies shaped society's perceptions of African Americans-and of women-as well as made their mark on national identity, policymaking decisions, and other entertainment forms such as vaudeville, burlesque, the revue, and, eventually, film, radio, and television. Gathered here are rare primary materials-including firsthand accounts of minstrel shows, minstrelsy guides, jokes, sketches, and sheet music-and the best of contemporary scholarship on minstrelsy.
This book traces blackface types from ancient masks of grinning Africans and phallus-bearing Roman fools through to comedic medieval devils, the pan-European black-masked Titivillus and Harlequin, and racial impersonation via stereotypical 'black speech' explored in the Renaissance by Lope de Vega and Shakespeare. Jim Crow and antebellum minstrelsy recycled Old World blackface stereotypes of irrationality, ignorance, pride, and immorality. Drawing upon biblical interpretations and philosophy, comic types from moral allegory originated supposedly modern racial stereotypes. Early blackface traditions thus spread damning race-belief that black people were less rational, hence less moral and less human. Such notions furthered the global Renaissance’s intertwined Atlantic slave and sugar trades and early nationalist movements. The latter featured overlapping definitions of race and nation, as well as of purity of blood, language, and religion in opposition to 'Strangers'. Ultimately, Old World beliefs still animate supposed 'biological racism' and so-called 'white nationalism' in the age of Trump.
The Cognitive Psychology of Epic, Ballads, and Counting-out Rhymes
Author: David C. Rubin
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
"Dr. Rubin has brought cognitive psychology into a wholly unprecedented dialogue with studies in oral tradition. The result is a truly new perspective on memory and the processes of oral tradition." --John Miles Foley, University of Missouri
Jacob Neusner is Research Professor of Religion and Theology at Bard College and Senior Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Theology at Bard. He has published more than 900 books and unnumbered articles, both scholarly and academic, popular and journalistic, and is the most published humanities scholar in the world. He has been awarded nine honorary degrees, including seven US and European honorary doctorates. He received his A.B. from Harvard College in 1953, his Ph.D. from Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary in 1961, and Rabbinical Ordination and the degree of Master of Hebrew Letters from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 1960. Neusner is editor of the 'Encyclopedia of Judaism' (Brill, 1999. I-III) and its Supplements; Chair of the Editorial Board of 'The Review of Rabbinic Judaism, ' and Editor in Chief of 'The Brill Reference Library of Judaism', both published by E. J. Brill, Leiden, The Netherlands. He is editor of 'Studies in Judaism', University Press of America. Neusner resides with his wife in Rhinebeck, New York. They have a daughter, three sons and three daughters-in-law, six granddaughters and two grandsons.
Covering everything from sports to art, religion, music, and entrepreneurship, this book documents the vast array of African American cultural expressions and discusses their impact on the culture of the United States. According to the latest census data, less than 13 percent of the U.S. population identifies as African American; African Americans are still very much a minority group. Yet African American cultural expression and strong influences from African American culture are common across mainstream American culture—in music, the arts, and entertainment; in education and religion; in sports; and in politics and business. African American Culture: An Encyclopedia of People, Traditions, and Customs covers virtually every aspect of African American cultural expression, addressing subject matter that ranges from how African culture was preserved during slavery hundreds of years ago to the richness and complexity of African American culture in the post-Obama era. The most comprehensive reference work on African American culture to date, the book covers topics such as black contributions to literature and the arts, music and entertainment, religion, and professional sports. It also provides coverage of less-commonly addressed subjects, such as African American fashion practices and beauty culture, the development of jazz music across different eras, and African American business. • Identifies influential aspects of African American culture through entries on topics such as African Americans in sports, in musical genres such as blues, gospel, hip hop, and jazz, and in religions such as Christianity, Islam, and Yoruba • Makes clear the numerous ways African Americans have produced, maintained, and evolved their culture in the United States • Enables readers to truly comprehend what "diversity" is by gaining substantive knowledge of how a particular group of persecuted people has learned to thrive artistically and culturally in the United States
A study of the world of competitive singing in the context of the Turkish coffee house. It investigates the ashik or minstrel and his relationship to music, poetry, and compositional strategies. One of the main focuses is the interaction between the ashik and the audience at a small coffee house in Kars, Turkey. The social milieu in which the song contest tradition has developed and flourished forms an important part of the study, as does the role of spontaneously composed poetry and the problem of how meaning is derived from social interaction during a song contest. Annotation copyright by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
Describes the Ukrainian folk tradition of blind mendicants who sung Ukrainian epics, organized into professional guilds that set standards for training and performance and provided singers with protection and support. Ukrainian minstrelsy has been little studied until now, partly due to secrecy surrounding the guilds' rites of membership and partly due to repression of Ukrainian culture in the Stalin era. Part I describes the private and professional lives of performers and shows how traditional culture supported needs of the handicapped as well as the cultural and spiritual needs of the larger community. Part II provides some 70 pages of song lyrics. Includes bandw photos and a bibliographic essay. This is the first in a series aimed at offering primary texts and scholarly works on major subjects in Eastern European folklore and folk culture. Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
A Biography of the Works Through Mavra, Two-volume Set
Author: Richard Taruskin
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Taruskin demonstrates how Stravinsky achieved his modernist technique by combining what was most characteristically Russian in his musical training with stylistic elements abstracted from Russian folklore. The stylistic synthesis thus achieved formed Stravinsky as a composer for life, whatever the aesthetic allegiances he later professed.
It is said that Bascom Lamar Lunsford would "cross hell on a rotten rail to get a folk song" -- his Southern highlands folk-song compilations now constitute one of the largest collections of its kind in the Library of Congress -- but he did much more than acquire songs. He preserved and promoted the Appalachian mountain tradition for generations of people, founding in 1928 the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival in Asheville, North Carolina, an annual event that has shaped America's festival movement. Loyal Jones pens a lively biography of a man considered to be Appalachian music royalty. He also includes a "Lunsford Sampler" of ballads, songs, hymns, tales, and anecdotes, plus a discography of his recordings.
During the past twenty years or so, Othello has become the Shakespearean tragedy that speaks most powerfully to our contemporary concerns. Focusing on race and gender (and on class, ethnicity, sexuality, and nationality), the play talks about what audiences want to talk about. Yet at the same time, as refracted through Iago, it forces us to hear what we do not want to hear; like the characters in the play, we become trapped in our own prejudicial malice and guilt.
This anthology draws bold comparisons between secularist strategies to contain, privatize, and discipline religion and the treatment of racialized subjects by the American state. Specializing in history, literature, anthropology, theology, religious studies, and political theory, contributors expose secularism's prohibitive practices in all facets of American society and suggest opportunities for change.
This volume covers opera in Italy, France, England and the Americas during the long nineteenth century (1789-1914). The book is divided into four sections that are thematically, rather than geographically, conceived: Places-essays centering on contexts for operatic culture; Genres and Styles-studies dealing with the question of how operas in this period were put together; Critical Studies of individual works, exemplifying particular critical trends; and Performance.