Abstract

This article examines the performances of Elizabeth Greenfield and Mary Webb, two African American women who toured the US and the UK in the mid nineteenth century. The author argues that the understated performances of these understudied women challenged the culture’s strategies for representing them: The way Greenfield and Webb sounded affected the way they were seen. The texts and images that attempted to represent Greenfield and Webb actually documented and reenacted the performers’ project. These verbal and visual materials reproduced the experience of attending one of Greenfield’s or Webb’s performances. Both spectator and reader were unable to determine the performer’s identity.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6490
Print ISSN
0003-0678
Pages
pp. 619-639
Launched on MUSE
2011-09-15
Open Access
No
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