Abstract/Details

The politics and poetics of African American women's identity performances: (Re) reading black hair in fictional /nonfictional writings and cultural productions


2007 2007

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Abstract (summary)

This study considers how some African American women use their cultural production (e.g., fictional/non-fictional writings, films, prose, plays, comics, art, and music) to show how hair is central to their identity (re)construction. This study is multidisciplinary in its approach, and uses paradigms from Afro-American studies, Black feminist thought, cultural studies, feminism, literary studies, and performance studies in order to investigate the ways that African American women (re)negotiate hair and identity politics in the world. An important aspect of this study is that for such women, hair is a part of their identity that has a performative dimension. Performance studies provides an alternative perspective that allows some scholars to contemplate African American women's hair politics and identities in a space of critical validation, self-reflexivity, and celebration. The selected works which I consider in this study utilize "natural" hair politics and identity performances that challenge derogatory images of African American women in an effort to present a more realistic and self-defined (re)presentations of African American women and, in turn, deemphasize hegemonic ideas about aesthetics and identity.

Indexing (details)


Subject
American studies;
Black studies;
Womens studies;
American literature
Classification
0323: American studies
0325: Black studies
0453: Womens studies
0591: American literature
Identifier / keyword
Social sciences, Language, literature and linguistics, Black hair, Cultural productions, Identity performances, Women
Title
The politics and poetics of African American women's identity performances: (Re) reading black hair in fictional /nonfictional writings and cultural productions
Author
Whitmal, Eunice Angelica
Number of pages
280
Publication year
2007
Degree date
2007
School code
0118
Source
DAI-A 70/02, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9781109036053
Advisor
Terry, Esther M. A.
Committee member
Terry, Esther
University/institution
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Department
American Studies
University location
United States -- Massachusetts
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
3347799
ProQuest document ID
304838043
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/304838043
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