The " common sense" of slavery : race, performance, and a "peculiar" America, 1817-1861
- The economic, socio-political, and cognitive gains attendant to the institution of slavery benefited more people in the antebellum period than ever before, profiting slaveholders and nonslaveholders alike. As such, multiple constituencies turned to the theatre and other sites of cultural performance to defend the institution and its underlying racial logics. Rather than the more-studied philosophical apologies for slavery, the dramatic, theatrical, and performance texts and practices I consider in this interdisciplinary dissertation evince the practical consciousness of proslavery thought and culture. From the conservative pastorals of slave owners to the sentimentalist melodramas of abolitionists, from the ribald minstrel acts of working class publics to the romantic racialists dramas of perfectionist reformers: I explore the personal and collective benefits that imagining and embodying black captivity afforded antebellum publics across categories of ideological, sociological, and geographical difference. These proslavery representations were not unitary but varied and frequently contradictory, constituting a chaotic "common sense" of slavery, to use Gramsci's phrase. The forms and figures of these "common sense" understandings reflect the ways in which proslavery ideology and culture overdetermined racial meanings and representations in the post-Emancipation United States and, in significant ways, continues to inform our contemporary moment.
|Type of resource
|electronic; electronic resource; remote
|1 online resource.
|Jones, Douglas A
|Stanford University, Department of Drama
|Elam, Harry Justin
|Elam, Harry Justin
|Statement of responsibility
|Douglas A. Jones, Jr.
|Submitted to the Department of Drama.
|Thesis (Ph.D.)--Stanford University, 2011.
- © 2011 by Douglas Anthony Jones Jr
- This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).
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