Date of Award

Spring 1-14-2014

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Women's Studies

First Advisor

Amira Jarmakani

Second Advisor

Julie Kubala

Third Advisor

Jonathan Gayles

Abstract

My research provides an inquiry of Black southern queerness situated through the artistic performance of j-setting. I explore j-setting as a dance style created by Black gay men by mapping out its beginnings, and how it has (not) traveled through mainstream culture. With this in mind I interrogate how j-setting exists as a cultural scene for Black queer men in the South to celebrate who we are, while also representing a strategy for our survival against racism, heteronormativity, and other dominant forces that pathologize our realities. This project suggests that an exploration of j-setting exemplifies the resilience and vulnerabilities of Black gay men when engaging dominant/mainstream culture. I contend that j-setting represents a form of worldmaking that allows Black gay men to create new racial and gendered possibilities while grappling with the everyday experiences of anti-Black racism and homo/queerphobia.

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