Cracking Up: Black Feminist Comedy in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Century United States (Studies Theatre Hist & Culture) (Paperback)
Katelyn Hale Wood interprets these artists not as tokens in a white, male-dominated field, but as part of a continuous history of Black feminist performance and presence. Broadly, Cracking Up frames stand-up comedy as an important platform from which to examine citizenship in the United States, articulate Black feminist political thought, and subvert structures of power. Wood also champions comedic performance and theatre history as imperative contexts for advancing historical studies of race, gender, and sexuality. From the comedy routines popular on Black vaudeville circuits to stand-up on contemporary social media platforms, Cracking Up excavates an overlooked history of Black women who have made the art of joke-telling a key part of radical performance and political engagement.
Katelyn Hale Wood is assistant professor of theatre history at the University of Virginia. Their previous writing has been published in Performance Matters, Theatre Topics, QED: A Journal in GLTBQ Worldmaking, Departures in Critical Qualitative Research, and the Routledge Companion to African American Theatre and Performance. Wood lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.