Performing America: Cultural Nationalism in American Theater

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University of Michigan Press, Aug 7, 2001 - History - 250 pages
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Performing America provides fresh perspectives on the development of visions of both America and "America"--that is, the actual community and the constructed concept--on a variety of theatrical stages. It explores the role of theater in the construction of American identity, highlighting the tension between the desire to categorize American identity and the realization that such categorical uniformity may neither be desirable nor possible.
The topics covered include the links between politics and the stage during the Federalist period, the appropriation of "Indian" artifacts, an exploration of early gender roles, and the metaphorical connections between the theater and western expansion. Other essays treat vaudeville's artistically colonized cultures; Chautauqua's attempt to homogenize culture and commercialize American ideals; W. E. B. Du Bois's pageant, The Star of Ethiopia, as a strategy for constructing "African-American" as "Other" in an attempt to promote a vision of black nationalism; and how theater was used to help immigrants form a new sense of community while joining the resident culture.
The collection then turns to questions of how various ethnic minorities through their recent theatrical work have struggled to argue their identities, especially in relation to the dominant white culture. Two final essays offer critiques of contrasting aspects of the American male.
Throughout, the collection addresses questions of marginality and community, exclusion and inclusion, colonialism and imperialism, heterogeneity and homogeneity, conflict and negotiation, repression and opportunity, failure and success, and, above all, the relationship of American stages at large. It will appeal to readers of a wide range of disciplines including history, American culture, gender studies, and theater studies.
Jeffrey D. Mason is Professor of Theatre, California State University, Bakersfield. J. Ellen Gainor is Associate Professor of Theatre Studies and Women's Studies, Cornell University.

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This is a good book, I'm just upset that all the pages aren't viewable. I'm a college student and it helps so much to have to books online to be read so that I can actually afford food with the extra money that I've saved. Also you should make the pages available to be downloaded or printed. Thanks. 


Defining Party on Early Bostons Rival Stages
Performance and American Museums in the Earlier Nineteenth Century
Augustin Daly Ada Rehan and the Discourse of Imperial Frontier Conquest
American Vaudeville American Empire
Producing National Identities in Chautauqua 19041932
Black Nationalism and The Star of Ethiopia
Settlement House Idealism and the Neighborhood Playhouse
Reconciling Feminism and Cultural Nationalism in Asian American Theater
The Female Body as Cultural Critique in the Teatro of Cherrie Moraga
An Examination of The America Play by SuzanLori Parks
Contemporary Performance and Mens Autobiographical Selves
Queering the Nation
American Stages Afterpiece

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About the author (2001)

J. Ellen Gainor is Associate Professor of Theatre, Women's Studies, and American Studies, Cornell University.

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