Street Scenes focuses on the intersection of modern city life and stage performance. From street life and slumming to vaudeville and early cinema, to Yiddish theater and blackface comedy, Esther Romeyn discloses racial comedy, passing, and masquerade as gestureUltimately, she demonstrates how these diverse and potent immigrant works influenced the emergence of a modern metropolitan culture.Richly researched, analytically sharp, and written with grace and wit, Street Scenes is an ambitious and thoroughly original contribution to the field.You
Richly researched, analytically sharp, and written with grace and wit, is an ambitious and thoroughly original contribution to the field.
Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, author of
The turn of the twentieth century in New York City was characterized by radical transformation as the advent of consumer capitalism confronted established social hierarchies, culture, and conceptions of selfhood. The popular stage existed in a symbiotic relationship with the city and uniquely captured the contested terms of immigrant identity of the time. It was exactly this idea of â€œauthenticâ€ immigrant selfhood that was at stake in many performances on the popular stage, and Romeyn ultimately demonstrates how these diverse and potent immigrant works influenced the emergence of a modern metropolitan culture.
$25.00 paper ISBN 978-0-8166-4522-0
$75.00 cloth ISBN 978-0-8166-4521-3
312 pages, 10 b&w photos, 6 x 9, 2008
Esther Romeyn is assistant scholar at the Center for European Studies at the University of Florida.
Romeyn should be commended for providing a comprehensive and masterful study and for providing us with an intricate scholarly apparatus that greatly enhances our understanding of the intersection of ethnicity, race, and performativity.
The history is admirably researched, drawing together information from hard-to-find plays, popular magazines, newspapers, memoirs, and song lyrics, as well as from secondary sources from a wide variety of disciplines. Romeynâ€™s work is an immensely useful resource for interdisciplinary scholars interested in the convergence of immigrant lie and popular culture forms.&Street Scenes â€” University of Minnesota PressEsther Romeyn