Blackface Minstrelsy, Then and Now|
AMST 218, THEA 218|
The main objective of this course is to collectively confront the representations and revisions of America's first, original mass entertainment, blackface minstrelsy. From its original conception as a blackened-up white man dancing as an "authentic" crippled African American to its more recent use by avant-garde theatre troupes and popular entertainment figures, minstrelsy has complicatedly facilitated social commentary on race and gender roles in America. The 19th-century examples will be discussed in relation to three distinct eras. Early minstrelsy will focus on the legends of the beginning of minstrelsy and its relatively benign material based on the song and dance of African Americans; middle minstrelsy will bring to light minstrelsy's well-known racism and sexism in the era of women's suffrage and abolitionist movements; and late minstrelsy will facilitate discussions on African Americans' participation in minstrelsy, as well as its absorption into vaudeville and musical theatre. The 20th-century minstrelsy examples will consider the play THE EMPEROR JONES by Eugene O'Neill; Broadway and MGM movie musicals (SHOW BOAT, HOLIDAY, BABES IN ARMS); the work of the SoHo theatre group the Wooster Group in their restaging of EMPEROR JONES and of their own work, ROUTE 1 & 9 (THE LAST ACT); as well as television comedy shows (CHAPPELLE'S SHOW); contemporary film (BULLWORTH, BAMBOOZLED); and public sphere uses of blackface (Ted Danson's roast of Whoopi Goldberg at the Friar's Club in 1993; the 2006 reality TV show, BLACK/WHITE).
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Lecture / Discussion||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
||Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available
|Major Readings: Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore
Bean, Hatch, McNamara, Editors, INSIDE THE MINSTREL MASK; Brown, Wesley, DARKTOWN STRUTTERS: A NOVEL; Lhamon, W.H., JUMP JIM CROW.
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Short writing assignments, midterm group project, and final paper.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
Informed and regular class participation.
|Instructor(s): Bean,Annemarie Times: ..T.R.. 01:10PM-02:30PM; Location: FISK101; |
|Total Enrollment Limit: 25||SR major: 4||JR major: 5|| || |
|Seats Available: 1||GRAD: 0||SR non-major: 4||JR non-major: 4||SO: 8||FR: 0|
|Drop/Add Enrollment Requests|
|Total Submitted Requests: 11||1st Ranked: 0||2nd Ranked: 0||3rd Ranked: 0||4th Ranked: 0||Unranked: 11|