Paper $30.00 ISBN: 9780226568447 Will Publish August 2018
Cloth $90.00 ISBN: 9780226568300 Will Publish August 2018
E-book $30.00 Available for pre-order. ISBN: 9780226568584 Will Publish August 2018

Stolen Time

Black Fad Performance and the Calypso Craze

Shane Vogel

Stolen Time

Shane Vogel

272 pages | 35 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2018 -- The University of Chicago
Paper $30.00 ISBN: 9780226568447 Will Publish August 2018
Cloth $90.00 ISBN: 9780226568300 Will Publish August 2018
E-book $30.00 ISBN: 9780226568584 Will Publish August 2018
In 1956 Harry Belafonte’s Calypso became the first LP to sell more than a million copies. For a few fleeting months, calypso music was the top-selling genre in the US—it even threatened to supplant rock and roll. Stolen Time provides a vivid cultural history of this moment and outlines a new framework—black fad performance—for understanding race, performance, and mass culture in the twentieth century United States. Vogel situates the calypso craze within a cycle of cultural appropriation, including the ragtime craze of 1890s and the Negro vogue of the 1920s, that encapsulates the culture of the Jim Crow era. He follows the fad as it moves defiantly away from any attempt at authenticity and shamelessly embraces calypso kitsch. Although white calypso performers were indeed complicit in a kind of imperialist theft of Trinidadian music and dance, Vogel argues, black calypso craze performers enacted a different, and subtly subversive, kind of theft. They appropriated not Caribbean culture itself, but the US version of it—and in so doing, they mocked American notions of racial authenticity. From musical recordings, nightclub acts, and television broadcasts to Broadway musicals, film, and modern dance, he shows how performers seized the ephemeral opportunities of the fad to comment on black cultural history and even question the meaning of race itself.
Review Quotes
Daphne Brooks, author of Bodies in Dissent
“One of the boldest and most original studies of race and transnational mass culture in recent memory. Stolen Time promises to break wide open new directions in performance studies, cultural studies, black diaspora studies, and beyond.”
Soyica Colbert, author of Black Movements
Stolen Time provides the first book-length study of the black calypso craze, breaking new and important scholarly ground. Meticulously researched, clearly written, and forcefully argued, Stolen Time demonstrates how mass culture expands conceptions of black freedom and possibility.Vogel provides original insight to the calypso craze while advancing existing conversations in black cultural, literary, and performance studies about mid-twentieth-century popular culturalproduction. Essential reading.”
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