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The Black Archives: Fugitive Histories on the Run

Eiland, Le'Miil (2023) The Black Archives: Fugitive Histories on the Run. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This dissertation project considers how various forms of black cultural production and textual remains aid in the preservation of history. Stitched together, they also display a black praxis of historical reproduction and deviation. I argue that material and performance cultures mediate history, and their reproductions of archival objects and practices, across time, shift historiographic interpretations. These historical shifts inform how I think about what I call rupturing archives. Rupturing archives are historical archival sources reproduced through cultural production and performance practices that are altered by genre conventions and racial politics. The cultural entanglements I study are more than relics of imagined communities: black cultural producers play an active role in historical preservation and manipulation. The case studies that follow reflect rupturing archives as both an analytic and methodology to address, redress, and expand how black historical practices and processes store, alter, and preserve historical accounts as they are reengaged across time and geography. Black cultural producers utilized performance practices and cultural production to represent history and historical perspectives—historical interventions also. These practices of correcting and/or altering the historical record reveal interventionist politics in the process of historical redress to privilege racial concerns and perspectives. Cultural deviations and jettisons from predecessor periods in pursuit of novel articulations of black culture in the public sphere inform my concept of fugitive historiography. Fugitive historiography tracks how cultural and performance practices aid cultural producers in efforts to correct historical interpretations focused on racial politics. Examining fugitive historiography also allows me to study how black cultural production and expressive cultures are pivotal practices to define periodization trends, while also deviating from predecessor periods in efforts to expand genre, aesthetics, and racial parameters and politics.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Eiland, Le'Miillle8@pitt.edulle8
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee MemberCroot, Cynthiaccroot@pitt.educcroot
Committee ChairMcKelvey, Patrickptm17@pitt.eduptm17
Committee MemberGeorge, Kathleengeorgeke@pitt.edugeorgeke
Committee MemberOwens,
Date: 6 September 2023
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 21 July 2023
Approval Date: 6 September 2023
Submission Date: 9 August 2023
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 299
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Theater Arts
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Theatre and Performance Black Studies Cultural Production
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2023 14:48
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2023 14:48


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