The Scene of Harlem Cabaret: Race, Sexuality, Performance by Shane VogelThe Scene of Harlem Cabaret: Race, Sexuality, Performance by Shane Vogel

The Scene of Harlem Cabaret: Race, Sexuality, Performance

byShane Vogel

Paperback | April 1, 2009

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Harlem’s nightclubs in the 1920s and ’30s were a crucible for testing society’s racial and sexual limits. Normally tacit divisions were there made spectacularly public in the vibrant, but often fraught, relationship between performer and audience. The cabaret scene, Shane Vogel contends, also played a key role in the Harlem Renaissance by offering an alternative to the politics of sexual respectability and racial uplift that sought to dictate the proper subject matter for black arts and letters. Individually and collectively, luminaries such as Duke Ellington, Lena Horne, Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, Wallace Thurman, and Ethel Waters expanded the possibilities of blackness and sexuality in America, resulting in a queer nightlife that flourished in music, in print, and on stage.

Deftly combining performance theory, literary criticism, historical research, and biographical study, The Scene of Harlem Cabaret brings this rich moment in history to life, while exploring the role of nightlife performance as a definitive touchstone for understanding the racial and sexual politics of the early twentieth century.

Shane Vogel is assistant professor of English at Indiana University.
Title:The Scene of Harlem Cabaret: Race, Sexuality, PerformanceFormat:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.9 inPublished:April 1, 2009Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226862526

ISBN - 13:9780226862521

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Introduction: Against Uplift: Performance, Literature, and the Queer Harlem Renaissance
Chapter 1: American Cabaret Performance and the Production of Intimacy
Chapter 2: The Scene Of Harlem Cabaret: 1926 and After
Chapter 3: Closing Time: Langston Hughes and the Queer Poetics of Harlem Nightlife
Chapter 4: Re-reading Du Bois Reading McKay: Uplift Sociology and the Problem of Amusement
Chapter 5: Lena Horne’s Impersona
Afterword: Irrealizing the Queer Harlem Renaissance


Editorial Reviews

"An artful intersection of literary and performance studies, The Scene of Harlem Cabaret combines rich readings of the so-called Cabaret School of Harlem Renaissance writers with an innovative study of the cabaret itself. . . . Vogel 'reads' the cabaret both as an object of literary imagination and as a social text, a method that affords him new approaches to the evanescent evidences of the queer, black, and underground."