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Queering Black Gay Historiography: Performance, (Mis) Identifications, and Possibilities

  • Author(s): Fitzgerald, Thomas Howard
  • Advisor(s): Case, Sue Ellen
  • et al.
Abstract

This dissertation will examine black gay theatre/ performance in the United States from 1970 to 2010. My intent is to establish a genealogy of black gay performance by situating performance strategies of visibility employed by black gay men in the late 20th century utilizing various performance genres such as revue, theatrical biography, the "event" and history play. Specifically, I am interested that this writing act as a discursive in interrogating the historiography of the tactics of black gay visibility in contrast to and in concert with traditional heterosexual black masculinities where the overall effort was to distinguish a queer black aesthetic separate from the white gay project. My research is necessarily involved with both gay and black performances in this period, since a study of black gay performance practices cannot be pulled away from the black experience in America. Identity politics is the conduit to self-empowerment for black and gay liberation movements, for similar reasons. Accordingly, the project study will concentrate on three areas: (1) social trends and historiography, (2) select black gay performances in this period, and (3) theories of queer and racial identification.

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