Contemporary Canadian Blackface: An Introductory Reading List

Contemporary Blackface in Canada

  • Alvarez, N., & Johnson, S. (2011). Minstrels in the classroom: Teaching, race, and blackface. Canadian Theatre Review, 147, 31–37.
  • Howard, P.S.S. (2018) “A Laugh for the National Project: Contemporary Canadian Blackface Humour and its Constitution through Canadian Anti-Blackness.” Ethnicities. (Published online: July 8, 2018).
  • Howard, P.S.S. (2017) “On the back of Blackness: Contemporary Canadian blackface and the consumptive production of post-racialist, white Canadian subjects.”  Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation and Culture. (Published online: January 23, 2017).

Other Media:

Blackface Minstrelsy in Canada (Historical)

  • Johnson, S. (Ed.). (2012). Burnt Cork: Traditions and Legacies of Blackface Minstrelsy. University of Massachusetts Press.
  • Johnson, S.  (1999) “Uncle Tom and the Minstrels: Seeing Black and White on Stage in Canada West prior to the American Civil War.” In (Post)Colonial Stages: Critical & Creative Views on Drama, Theatre & Performance, ed. Helen Gilbert, 55-63.
  • Johnson, S. (2017)  “Shield us from this base ridicule”: the petitions to censor blackface circus clowns, Toronto, 1840-43. In Davis-Fisch, H (ed), Canadian Performance Histories and Historiographies.  Toronto: Playwrights Canada Press. 254-279.
  • Le Camp, L. (2005). "Racial considerations of minstrel shows and related images in Canada" (doctoral dissertation). Toronto: University of Toronto.
  • Nicks, J & Sloniowski, J. (2010) “Entertaining Niagara Falls, Ontario: Minstrel Shows, Theatres and Popular Pleasures.” In Covering Niagara: Studies in Local Popular Culture, eds. Joan Nicks and Barry Keith Grant, pp. 285-310. Waterloo: Wilfred Laurier University Press.
  • Thompson, B.C. (2015). Anthems and minstrel shows: The life and times of Calixa Lavallée, 1842–1891. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Contemporary Blackface Elsewhere

  • Chauvin, S., Y. Coenders & T. Koren (2017) "Never Having Been Racist: Explaining the Blackness of Blackface in the Netherlands."  Article forthcoming in Public Culture.  
  • Coenders, Y., & Chauvin, S. (2017). Race and the Pitfalls of Emotional Democracy: Primary Schools and the Critique of Black Pete in the Netherlands. Antipode.
  • Patton, T.O.  (2008). Jim Crow on Fraternity Row: A study of the Phenomenon of Blackface in the White Southern Fraternal Order. Visual Communication Quarterly, 15(3): 150-168.

Some General Reading on Blackface and Racial Humour

  • Ellison, R. (1964). Shadow and Act. New York: Random House.
  • Hartman S (1997) Introduction and Innocent Amusements.  In S. Hartman, Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in Nineteenth-Century America (Introduction & Chapter 1). New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Howard, P.S.S. (2015) Drawing Dissent: Post-Racialist Pedagogy, Racist Literacy, and Racial Plagiarism in Anti-Obama Political Cartoons.”  Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies, 36(5), 386-402
  • Mueller J.C, Dirks D, Picca L.H. (2007) Unmasking racism: Halloween costuming and engagement of the racial other. Qualitative Sociology, 30(3): 315-335.
  • Roediger, D. R. (1999). White Skins, Black Masks: Minstrelsy and “white” Working Class Formation before the Civil War.  In D.R. Roediger, The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the making of the American working class, Chapter 6).  London: Verso.
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