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Performance is Not Benign


UCSD Teach-In Address in Another University is Possible

San Diego: University Readers

February 2010

pp. 9-15


Chapter excerpt


I’ve been asked to explain the historical and social context surrounding the “Compton Cookout” to help people understand why the originating incident is “a big deal.” I’ll be honest with you, when first asked, I was concerned, ambivalent and a bit outraged about this charge. My entire body of scholarship is dedicated to analyzing and articulating the negotiations of power in terms of race, class and gender through performance on and off stage. So it makes sense that I was asked. But how do I condense that rich and complex scholarship into 15 minutes? But as events escalated I decided that I wanted to use this opportunity to do a small part toward battling ignorance. 

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