Love and Theft Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class

ISBN-10: 0195320557
ISBN-13: 9780195320558
Edition: 220th 2013
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Description: For over two centuries, America has celebrated the same African-American culture it attempts to control and repress, and nowhere is this phenomenon more apparent than in the strange practice of blackface performance. Born of extreme racial and class  More...

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Book details

List price: $19.95
Edition: 220th
Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 8/9/2013
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 320
Size: 5.00" wide x 8.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.320
Language: English

For over two centuries, America has celebrated the same African-American culture it attempts to control and repress, and nowhere is this phenomenon more apparent than in the strange practice of blackface performance. Born of extreme racial and class conflicts, the blackface minstrel show appropriated black dialect, music, and dance; at once applauded and lampooned black culture; and, ironically, contributed to a "blackening of America."Drawing on recent research in cultural studies and social history, Eric Lott examines the role of the blackface minstrel show in the political struggles of the years leading up to the Civil War. Reading minstrel music, lyrics, jokes, burlesque skits, and illustrations in tandem with working-class racial ideologies and the sex/gender system,Love and Theftargues that blackface minstrelsy both embodied and disrupted the racial tendencies of its largely white, male, working-class audiences. Underwritten by envy as well as repulsion, sympathetic identification as well as fear--a dialectic of "love and theft"--the minstrel show continually transgressed the color line even as it enabled the formation of a self-consciously white working class. Lott exposes minstrelsy as a signifier for multiple breaches: the rift between high and low cultures, the commodification of the dispossessed by the empowered, the attraction mixed with guilt of whites caught in the act of cultural thievery.This new edition celebrates the twentieth anniversary of this landmark volume. It features a new foreword by renowned critic Greil Marcus that discusses the book's influence on American cultural studies as well as its relationship to Bob Dylan's 2001 album of the same name, "Love & Theft." In addition, Lott has written a new afterword that extends the study's range to the twenty-first century.

Greil Marcus is the author of "Invisible Republic," "Dead Elvis," "Lipstick Traces," & "Mystery Train." His pieces have appeared in a wide range of publications, including "Artforum," "Interview," "The New Yorker," "The New York Times," & "Esquire." He will be teaching at Princeton & Berkeley in fall 2000.

Foreword to the 20th-Anniversary Edition
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Blackface and Blackness: The Minstrel Show in American Culture
Love and Theft: "Racial" Production and the Social Unconscious of Blackface
White Kids and No Kids At All: Working-Class Culture and Languages of Race
The Blackening of America: Popular Culture and National Cultures
"The Seeming Counterfeit": Early Blackface Acts, the Body, and Social Contradiction
"Genuine Negro Fun": Racial Pleasure and Class Formation in the 1840s
California Gold and European Revolution: Stephen Foster and the American 1848
Uncle Tomitudes: Racial Melodrama and Modes of Production
Afterword to the Original Edition
Afterword to the 20th-Anniversary Edition
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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