• Who Killed B. B. Homemaker? Normative and Critical Whiteness in Beyoncé’s Music Videos

    Author(s):
    Willamae Boling (see profile)
    Date:
    2015
    Group(s):
    Performance Studies
    Subject(s):
    Critical race studies, Performance studies, Popular culture studies
    Item Type:
    Thesis
    Institution:
    Reed College
    Tag(s):
    Beyoncé, critical whiteness studies
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/38j4-rd87
    Abstract:
    This thesis focuses on the ways that Beyoncé traverses the boundaries between black and white. In his oft-quoted maxim from White, Richard Dyer states the goal of his book: to make whiteness strange. Using the lenses of critical whiteness studies, and performance studies, I mark the ways in which Beyoncé, one of the pre-eminent pop star of our time, uses her music videos to relate to whiteness, and, ultimately, to distance herself from whiteness. My thesis presents an arc in Beyoncé’s career: from much more normative performances of whiteness, to a new aesthetic, rooted in rap culture. This emphasizes the transience of race, and further stresses just how much of race is based, not on skin tone, but on performance. Beyoncé embodies and performs a tension that I explore throughout my thesis: how can someone, in particular a black person, embody whiteness?
    Metadata:
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    5 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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