Signs of Race : Volume 8

Signs of Race : Volume 8

Perspectives on African-American Vernacular Culture

Edited by Tony Bolden

African-American music has traditionally provided the primary channel of expression for the majority of African Americans-from the arrival of the slave ships to the great migration to the urban North to the post-Reagan era in the inner cities. The symposium and volume will examine the critical role that black music has served in 20th-century African-American expressive culture. Essays will focus upon any genre of African-American music, emphasizing analyses of the intersections between blues/jazz and literature, dance, and visual art.

In addition, given the centrality of performance in African-American culture, we also seek to dismantle the constructed walls between criticism and creativity, analysis and performativity. Essays will address problems specifically related to creative writing, particularly poetry. Topics may include: The Blues Tradition in African-American Literature; Blues/Jazz and the Harlem Renaissance; The Black Arts Movement; Blues/Jazz Criticism; The Blues/Jazz Aesthetic and African-American Dance; Theorizing Black Performance; Blues/Jazz and African-American Poetry; Representations of Black Musicians in Popular Culture; Representations of Gender in Black Music; Bebop as Black Working Class Resistance; Black Music and the Problem of the Interpellated Subject; Black Nationalism and Avant-Garde Jazz; Hip Hop as a Modality of Postcolonial Agency; The Commodification of Hip Hop; The Political Implications of Graffiti; Black Music and African-American Visual Art

Tony Bolden was previously Assistant Professor of English at the University of Alabama.