Apologies for posting this late. My cold got bad again, and I’m still not feeling great. I got nothing done the last couple of days.
In any case, that poses some interesting problems for our class, since you didn’t get your homework until now. So here’s what I’m going to do:
- Monday, I’m going to give a talk about the use of blackface minstrel performances in American entertainment, from the mid-19th century until the 1940s or so, as well as what blackface means in the American context today.
- Wednesday, we’re going to talk about blackface performances in Korean media, and Westerner bloggers’ reactions to them; I expect you to read the following posts regarding the subject for our discussion on Wednesday:
- Three decades of black face in Korea at Gusts of Popular Feeling
- Blackface In Korea? AGAIN? Bubble Sisters were NINE YEARS AGO! at Roboseyo
- Korean Television: Please Never Do This Again at Eat Your Kimchi
- Korean Public Television: Promoting Multiculturalism the Wrong Way at Expathell
- A Simple Suggestion on Racial Prejudice by Tiger JK (of Drunken Tiger) at allkpop.com
- a post at allkpop.com regarding MBC’s apology — if it really is an apology. (“misunderstanding” is a red flag word in this context, and I’ll have more to say about it in class.)
Of course, each of those posts also has links to other related posts and articles, and many of those are also worth checking out. So go wander around the blogosphere for a while.
We will discuss the differences and similarities in context and significance of blackface in Korean media and blackface in American media (especially historical media).
Next week, we will watch and discuss the blackface-related Spike Lee film Bamboozled in class, and discuss it as well; I hope to have accompanying readings prepared for you before we watch the movie.