(Dis)incubations: Performances of Color(s) as Within/Without/Against Restricted; Files & ToC

Saldana, Isabelle H. (2017)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/8623hz57t?locale=en


In this thesis, I use works by black mixed race/mulattx/afro-diasporic artists in order to posit that their performances of color(s)--ontologically black in color and off-color in their queerness--offer us (those of us interested in performance and all of us who live as social, socialized, and socializing beings in the world) opportunities to reconsider the frameworks we use as we move through the world. I aim to look beyond the surface of these performances--the simple "what happens and what does it mean"--and instead theorize what haptic qualities--what material excesses that allow for possibility--lie hidden in the works. In doing so, I am essentially asking: what sort of disruptive forces are made available by the contents of these performances? How do these forces reconfigure the societal concepts that construct our social categories (of race, of sexuality, of gender)? And in these reconfigurings, how are these performances evoking ontological blackness, queerness, and femininity? I take on these questions less in hopes of defining or universalizing any answers to them and more so in the spirit of letting them guide my excavation of the worldmaking potential of performances of color(s). That is to say, it is my wish that this project will reveal how elements of these performances work within (often constricting) social and material realities, without majoritarian power, against the limitations imposed by this world in order to provide the imaginative fodder for entirely new ones.

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