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April 7: The Story of the Lost Watch: The Calypso Craze and the Ontology of Black Fad Performance



The Story of the Lost Watch: The Calypso Craze and the Ontology of Black Fad Performance

a lecture by Shane Vogel

April 7, Tuesday
6:30 to 8 pm

Shane Vogel, English, Indiana University

What does it mean to be a fad? This presentation outlines a historically specific ontology of black fad performance that unfolds within the political economy of race and entertainment between the 1890s and the 1960s. To be a fad is to experience your existence within a circumscribed temporality and to perform your own obsolescence. Within such a horizon of (im)possibility during the long Jim Crow era, the repetition of fad cycles over time trapped performers in cycles of racialized consumption. But it also allowed some fad performances to—only momentarily—coopt this coopted time. In this talk, I look to the gravel-voiced calypso chanteuse Josephine Premice who, at the height of the 1950s calypso craze, allegorized the ontology of black fad performance by explicitly thematizing such opportunities to pilfer the time of the fad for oneself.

Performance Studies Studio
721 Broadway, 6th Floor

Co-sponsored by the NYU Center for the Study of Gender & Sexuality and Department of Performance Studies.


This event is free & open to the public. Venue is wheelchair accessible.

For more information about this event, please contact the NYU Center for the Study of Gender & Sexuality at 212-992-9540 or csgs(at)nyu.edu.

Facebook event page here.



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