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Cherise Smith, Ph.D, Director JES A232A, Mailcode D7200, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-1784

Performing Blackness workshop

Fri, October 20, 2006 • Multiple locations

October 19-22 Austin to host the International Drag King Extravaganza (IDKE) which will bring more than 100 performers from around the world to the stage here in Austin.

In the spirit of the Center for African and African American Studies' Performing Blackness series this semester The Conference will feature two workshops specifically about race and racial performance both to be held in the Texas Union: On Friday, October 20th from 4:30 to 6pm in the Eastwood Room 2.102 there will be a special Panel on Race and Drag King Communities and Performance. and on Saturday October 21st from 3:45-5pm in the Quadrangle Room 3.304 Nappy Grooves, an all-Black drag king troupe from Oakland, California will host a discussion of Peforming Blackness: Representing Black Culture and Queer Gender Peformance. Both workshops will include participation from Professor Matt Richardson from English, CAAAS and WGS.

Workshop details:

This workshop will address issues of drag and racial performance, specifically performing Black characters and cultures. Performances of Black people happen in the context of a long history of grotesquely distorted images that continues until this day. The predominant fantasy of Black masculinity and femininity comes from music videos which, depict Black people as intellectually vacant and oversexed objects of immediate sexual gratification. As Black drag performers, how can we interfere with these dominant representations of Blackness? What are the Black feminist possibilities for representing Black genders and sexualities? How do we hold each other accountable for performances of Blackness when there is such an overwhelming concentration of caricatures in popular culture? We will invite participants to talk about these issues using our own numbers as a starting point for discussion. The workshop will be facilitated by Nappy Grooves, a feminist and anti-racist all-Black drag king troupe from Oakland , California .

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