From Looney Coons to Tacos & Tequila: The Aesthetics of Race in Middle Class America
Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum 600 South Gregory Street Urbana
Jim Anderson explores the ways in which evolving forms of race and ethnic performance entered into and shaped the culture of middle class America from the late nineteenth century to the present. He begins with an analysis of the art and lyrics of minstrel sheet music in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and then traces its legacy through television, “playful” racialized antics in educated environments and into the theme parties of contemporary campus life. Then and now, race performances have supplied America’s middle class with fun and entertainment while offering up ethnic and race caricatures that have reinforced entrenched dynamics of race superiority, national identity and citizenship status.
Gutgsell Professor of Educational Policy Studies