Race and Performance in the Digital Age
What was Miley Cyrus thinking during the 2013 MTV Music Video Awards? Why is it that some of our most contentious conversations emerge from discussions about sagging pants or Halloween costumes? In this seminar, we will develop a critical vocabulary with which to address these questions and, more broadly, why concerns of race and performance remain inextricably linked in contemporary life. Specifically, we will use YouTube and music videos, sketch comedy, video games, and other contemporary performances to explore how race, as a category of identity, is not so much what someone is, as it is the effect of what someone does. Throughout, we will pay particular attention to the roles that the Internet, social media, and other technological advancements play in the production and unsettling of racial identity.