The Tautology of Blackface and the Objectification of Racism: A “How-To” Guide

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This essay examines U.S. blackface performance in the twentieth century through the lens of Adorno’s mass culture critiques, specifically of jazz music. Despite being rooted in the divisive logic of antiquated live performance traditions, blackface as a racist glyph flourishes in the technologically mediated social environment of the twentieth century. By replacing Adorno’s critique of jazz with a direct investigation of blackface, the essay argues for a more materialist approach to minstrelsy studies that acknowledges both circulation and accumulation as oppressive hegemonic forces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)664-674
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Legacy
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2 2016


  • Blackface
  • cultural materialism
  • performance theory
  • racial impersonation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Philosophy


Dive into the research topics of 'The Tautology of Blackface and the Objectification of Racism: A “How-To” Guide'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this