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Theatres in the Round

Multi-ethnic, Indigenous, and Intertextual Dialogues in Drama

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Edited By Dorothy Figueira and Marc Maufort

This collection of essays explores some of the avenues along which the field of comparative drama studies could be reconfigured at the dawn of the twenty-first century. It offers a comparative analysis of theatre across national and linguistic boundaries while simultaneously acknowledging newer trends in ethnic studies. Indeed, the contributors to this critical anthology productively combine traditional comparative literature methodologies with performance approaches and postcolonial perspectives. In this way, they shed new light on the intertextual, multi-ethnic, and cross-cultural dialogues linking theatrical traditions from Europe, North America, Asia, Africa, and the Pacific region. This book’s broad scope bears testimony to the fact that transnational studies can fruitfully illuminate the multiple dramatic voices of our increasingly globalized age.

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Harry J. Elam, Jr. and Michele Elam The High Stakes of Mixed Race: Post-Race, Post-Apartheid Performance in the U.S. and South Africa 71

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The High Stakes of Mixed Race: Post-Race, Post-Apartheid Performance in the U.S. and South Africa Harry J. ELAM, JR. and Michele ELAM Stanford University Strange to wake up and realize you’re in style… It was the first day of the new millennium and I woke to find that mulattos had taken over… According to the racial zodiac, 2000 is the official Year of the Mulatto. Pure breeds (at least the black ones) are out and hybridity is in. America loves us in all our half-caste glory. (Senna 12) There is no doubt that the Coloureds are citizens of this country. There is just as little doubt that they are not part of this homogenous identity that can be described as the nation. (H. F. Verwoerd, represented in A Coloured Place 228).1 I. Introduction: Performing Identity Our essay begins with the premise that any critical understanding of the dynamics of race in the twenty-first century needs to account for the emerging politics of mixed race. In and before the 1980s scientific and critical scholarship pointed to the social, cultural and historical construction of race. This work proclaimed the situational nature of race with the impacts and meanings of race dependent on the contexts of its use. The 1990s pushed this discussion further, ushering in a new debate over the idea that if race was indeed constructed then race no longer mattered. In the U.S., many popular and scholarly discourses alike asserted that we had moved beyond race and that the...

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