Carnival with painted faces and multi-colored umbrellas

Barbouillage/Blackface à la française

Thursday, October 4, 2018
4:30 pm
040 Irvin Hall

In this talk, Noémi Ndiaye will discuss the long-forgotten history of blackface in early modern France and interrogate the cultural work that this set of performance practices effected. She will highlight and sample plays belonging to different genres, moments, and theatrical cultures, from religious mystères of the 1530s to Racine’s neoclassical tragedy Bajazet, via the Norman theatre of the 1600s, and baroque court ballets. Ultimately, Ndiaye will reflect upon the seeming disappearance of blackface from the public stage in the 1620s and from French performance culture at large in the 1660s in order to show how, in neoclassical drama, race often hides in plain sight.

This event is sponsored by the Department of French & Italian, Department of English.

Noémi Ndiaye
Noémi Ndiaye
Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Carnegie Mellon University