Saving white face : lynching and counter-hegemonic lynching performances
Akbar, Maisha Shabazz
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"Saving White Face: Lynching and Counter Hegemonic Lynching Performances," examines American lynching as hegemonic performances constitutive of discursive and material practices that reinforce a cultural fiction, white supremacy. "Lynching studies" is identified as an interdisciplinary academic project that includes lynching history, analysis and (activist) cultural production. Among other approaches, "Saving White Face" uses psychoanalysis and ethnography to unmask lynching as a site where race- and gender-based identities originate. Lynching's "materialities," such as lynching photographs and souvenirs are examined as the bases of American consumer culture, especially as they relate to football and (the) O.J. Simpson (ordeal). This work also documents the production of my Chamber Theater adaptation of Bebe Moore Campbell's 1992 novel, Your Blues Ain't Like Mine (also entitled "Saving White Face"). I also contextualize this counter hegemonic performance as a lynching drama, as well as among radical black feminist activism and blues performance. As such, lynching is identified as an emergent performance practice which not only reinforces white identity, but lynched subjectivities, as well.