This class explores the trajectory of African American theatre from The Escape to the modern day, looking into the evolution of its dramatic form, its articulations of identity and blackness, and its ongoing relationship with politics. Although it is a class on dramatic literature, my students spend significant time with important texts devoted to theories of critical race studies, intersectionality, and historiography.
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I was particularly excited with the final papers and the fascinating topics my students selected. Here is a small sample:
- Donald Glover’s oeuvre and the construction of a black nerd aesthetic
- Moonlight, Pariah, and quare coming-of-age narratives
- Paul Tazewell’s Broadway costume designs and (ad)dressing race
- Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and satirically rehistoricizing
- Black ballerinas and dancing as race