The Scene of Harlem Cabaret: Race, Sexuality, Performance (Paperback)Shane Vogel (author)
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Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Number of pages: 264
Weight: 386 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 20 mm
"Evocative, elegant, and engrossing are words that characterize this lively study that resurrects the lush, smoke-filled atmosphere of Harlem cabarets. Reading the contested space of the cabaret as material to compose and perform alternative narratives of race and sex, this study makes visceral the queer intimacies of cabaret's everynight life and analyzes the lives of performers from Lena Horne, Bricktop, and Ethel Waters, poetic works by Claude McKay and Langston Hughes, and embodied movements of audiences. Scholars in performance studies, history, literary modernism, and queer theory have much to learn from this excellent book."--Jennifer DeVere Brody, Duke University
"In The Scene of Harlem Cabaret, Shane Vogel combines performance studies and literary studies with deftness, acuity, and prescience, looking boldly to the future of the field. His illuminating thesis about the generative experiences produced by these jook-joint, honky-tonk, sin-cellar, concert-saloon night spots--small enough for 'public intimacy, ' large enough for social 'breathing space' and 'wiggle room'--reimagines the works of the 'Cabaret School' in a new light, proving not that life is a cabaret, but that cabaret was a life for some the greatest American artists of the twentieth century--vital, risky, and transformative."--Joseph Roach, Yale University
"At the turn of the last century, W. E. B. Du Bois took up what he called 'the problem of amusement' with prescience as well as reticence. That problem is now taken up again by Shane Vogel with the kind of rigorous critical imagination that would disturb and, finally, gratify Du Bois, forcing him literally and figuratively to attend (to) scenes he might otherwise strenuously have avoided. Vogel illuminates and amplifies in too many ways to count the singular cultural politics of the scene of Harlem cabaret. Happily, he gives us occasion once again to consider how the terrible ruses and potential reconstruction of democracy in America are marked, on the one hand, and initialized, on the other, in our ludic underground."--Fred Moten, Duke University
"An artful intersection of literary and performance studies, The Scene of Harlem Cabaret combines rich readings of the so-called Cabaret School of Harlem Renaissance writers with an innovative study of the cabaret itself. . . . Vogel 'reads' the cabaret both as an object of literary imagination and as a social text, a method that affords him new approaches to the evanescent evidences of the queer, black, and underground."--Tavia Nyong'o "American Quarterly "
"Vogel's best passages are brimming with arresting ideas and brilliant observations. He has mined some very recondite archives to illuminate the conditions of the cabaret's alterity and resistance. Few scholars have trawled through the voluminous but elusive material of the cabaret, largely because few scholars have Vogel's knack for making poignant sense of what occurs in late-night enclaves. This is groundbreaking work, telling a rarely told tale both compassionately and powerfully."--Modernism/modernity
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