Six myths lie at the heart of the American experience. Taken as aspirational, four of those myths remind us of our noblest ideals, challenging us to realize our nation's promise while galvanizing the sense of hope and unity we need to reach our goals. Misused, these myths allow for illusions of innocence that fly in the face of white supremacy, the primal American myth that stands at the heart of all the others.
Many professional theater artists attempt to use live performances in formal theater spaces to disrupt racism and create a more equitable society. Privileged Spectatorship: Theatrical Interventions in White Supremacy examines the impact of such projects, looking at how and why they do and do not intervene in white supremacy. In this incisive study, Dani Snyder-Young examines audience responses to a range of theatrical events that focus on race-related conflict or racial identity in the contemporary United States. The audiences for these performances, produced at mainstream not-for-profit professional theaters in major American cities in 2013–18, reflect dominant patterns of theater attendance: the majority of spectators are older, affluent, white, and describe themselves as politically progressive. Snyder-Young studies the ways these audience members consume the stories of racialized others and analyzes how different artistic, organizational, and programmatic strategies can (or cannot) mitigate white privilege.
This book is essential reading for scholars and students of theater, performance studies, and critical ethnic studies and for theater practitioners interested in equity and inclusion.
How can politicians and ordinary citizens face the racial past in a country that frames itself as colorblind? In her timely and provocative book, Resurrecting Slavery, Crystal Fleming shows how people make sense of slavery in a nation where talking about race, colonialism, and slavery remains taboo. Noting how struggles over the meaning of racial history are informed by contemporary politics of race, she asks: What kinds of group identities are at stake today for activists and French people with ties to overseas territories where slavery took place?
Fleming investigates the connections and disconnections that are made between racism, slavery, and colonialism in France. She provides historical context and examines how politicians and commemorative activists interpret the racial past and present. Resurrecting Slavery also includes in-depth interviews with French Caribbean migrants outside the commemorative movement to address the everyday racial politics of remembrance.
Bringing a critical race perspective to the study of French racism, Fleming’s groundbreaking study provides a more nuanced understanding of race in France along with new ways of thinking about the global dimensions of slavery, anti-blackness, and white supremacy.
Now in paperback, The Rural Face of White Supremacy presents a detailed study of the daily experiences of ordinary people in rural Hancock County, Georgia. Drawing on his own interviews with over two hundred black and white residents, Mark Schultz argues that the residents acted on the basis of personal rather than institutional relationships. As a result, Hancock County residents experienced more intimate face-to-face interactions, which made possible more black agency than their urban counterparts were allowed. While they were still firmly entrenched within an exploitive white supremacist culture, this relative freedom did create a space for a range of interracial relationships that included mixed housing, midwifery, church services, meals, and even common-law marriages.
Suspended Apocalypse is a rich and provocative meditation on the emergence of the Filipino American as a subject of history. Culling from historical, popular, and ethnographic archives, Dylan Rodríguez provides a sophisticated analysis of the Filipino presence in the American imaginary. Radically critiquing current conceptions of Filipino American identity, community, and history, he puts forth a genealogy of Filipino genocide, rooted in the early twentieth-century military, political, and cultural subjugation of the Philippines by the United States.
Suspended Apocalypse critically addresses what Rodríguez calls "Filipino American communion," interrogating redemptive and romantic notions of Filipino migration and settlement in the United States in relation to larger histories of race, colonial conquest, and white supremacy. Contemporary popular and scholarly discussions of the Filipino American are, he asserts, inseparable from their origins in the violent racist regimes of the United States and its historical successor, liberal multiculturalism.
Rodríguez deftly contrasts the colonization of the Philippines with present-day disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and Mount Pinatubo to show how the global subjection of Philippine, black, and indigenous peoples create a linked history of genocide. But in these juxtapositions, Rodríguez finds moments and spaces of radical opportunity. Engaging the violence and disruption of the Filipino condition sets the stage, he argues, for the possibility of a transformation of the political lens through which contemporary empire might be analyzed, understood, and perhaps even overcome.