Kinship and Performance in the Black and Green Atlantic advances an innovative and compelling approach to writing comparative studies of performance in transnational, intercultural relation to one another. Its chosen subject in this case is the cultural and political intersection of African and Irish diasporic peoples and movements.
Gough approaches her subject via five key "flashpoints" in Black/Green relations, moving from the mid-nineteenth century to the early twenty-first century. In turn, each of these is related to mediums of performance that were prevalent at the time, such as abolitionist oratory and melodrama, photography and tableaux, architecture and folk drama, television and political demonstrations, and visual art and dramaturgy.
By examining the unlikely kinship between social actors such as Ida B. Wells and Maud Gonne, Lady Augusta Gregory and Zora Neale Hurston, and Bernadette Devlin and Alice Childress, along with a host of old and new theatrical "characters," this book explores how a transmedial investigation of gender, community, and performance allows for a revision of historiography in Atlantic studies, while the study itself revises and reimagines key concepts central to performance studies.In 2014 Kinship and Performance was given the Errol Hill Award for Outstanding Scholarship in African American Theatre from the American Society for Theatre Research.
Winner of the 2014 Errol Hill Award for outstanding scholarship in African American theater
"Startlingly original […] This invigorating critical and creative project is a challenge to scholars and artists to acknowledge and address the implications for ethical practice of gendered instabilities in archives, performance, and their multiplying interactions."
- New Theatre Quarterly
"A novel addition to a field that demands novelty […] Gough’ s insistence that we need to think differently about the actors of this history is necessarily coupled with a historical approach that can enable that type of reading. Kinship and Performance in the Black and Green Atlantic is "a dramaturgy of the figure of woman in movement" that allows us to read "the figure of woman" as a social actor across time."
– Theatre Survey
"Gough’s ambitious and evocative book offers new analytical engagements with the performance of gender, race, and identity among key Irish and African American figures from the 1850s through the present day […] Serves as a reminder that archives, researchers, and history are in constant motion, and that awareness of changing relationships among them leads to new insights into past and present."
– Modern Drama
"Gough’s sophisticated study relies on a range of theoretical ideas, reworking, for example, Richard Schechner’s "restoration of behavior" in order to rethink both the telos that Schechner implies, and his primary focus on the social actor, with Gough emphasizing instead that restoration of behavior "moves backward and forward in the archive."
- TDR: The Drama Review
List of Figures
Chapter One - Introduction: Kinship, Performance, and the Historical Real
Chapter Two - Orientation: Slavery meets the Famine
Chapter Three - The Image: Joan of Arc, Jim Crow, and the "Irish Question"
Chapter Four - Between the Words: Syncopated Rhythm and Tender Mapping
Chapter Five - Political Action: Kinship, Civil Rights, and Analog(ous) Troubles
Chapter Six - What Fresh Ghost Is This?