Betwixt, between, or beyond?

Negotiating ‚Trans’ formations from the Liminal Sphere of Contemporary Black Performance Poetry

‘Betwixt, between, or beyond?’ is the first study of contemporary black performance poetry from the viewpoint of transnational American Studies. It investigates a vast array of performances ranging from online recordings to political rallies to the poetry slam and Broadway stage. Black poets discussed come from diverse personal and cultural backgrounds and include, e.g., Patricia Smith, Staceyann Chin, Taalam Acey, Bryonn Bain, and Tshaka Campbell. Developing an approach rooted in anthropological, ethnographic, and theatrical perceptions of performance, the study explores poetry as a liminal site of negotiation, scrutinizes its relationship to national and cultural formations, and addresses issues such as the black experience; memory; identity; and the construction of (imagined) communities. Fusing concepts of African American Studies and Performance Studies with critical questions triggered by the transnational paradigm, the study insists on the participation of black performance poetry in (trans)national processes and highlights its cultural implications and socio-political performativity.


Martin Lüthe in: Anglia, Bd. 133 (2015), Heft 1, 571ff

Martina Pfeiler in: Anglistik, 26.1 (2015), 176ff

Pekka A. Kilpeäinen in: American Studies in Scandinavia, 46:2 (2014), 91-94

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