Duke Univ- Michael Jackson & The Black Performance Archive – Fall Sem 2014

Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 7.39.21 AMCOURSE IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Michael Jackson & The Black Performance Archive

Duke University | Fall Semester 2014

Wednesday @ 6:15pm – 8:45pm | White Lecture Hall (107)

Duke East Campus


Mark Anthony Neal, Ph.D. | man9@duke.edu | 919.684.3987

Twitter: @NewBlackMan

Course Description

A central premise of ‘Michael Jackson and the Black Performance Archive’ is the question, “Where did Michael Jackson come from?” While there are facts—he was born on August 29, 1958 in a Rust Belt city named Gary, Indiana—what the course aims to answer are the broader questions of Jackson’s cultural, social, political and even philosophical origins.

The course posits the Black Performance tradition as a living and breathing archive that helped produce Jackson’s singular creative genius within the realms of music, movement and politics, including the influence of Black vernacular practices like signifying and sampling, the network of Black social spaces known as the Chitlin’ Circuit, the impact of Black migration patterns to urban spaces in the Midwest (like Gary, Chicago and Detroit—all critical to Jackson’s artistic development) and Black performance traditions including Blackface minstrelsy.

As such the course thinks of Jackson’s relationship to the archive in three specific ways:

1) The literal archive of Michael Jackson’s recordings and performances

2) Michael Jackson’s relationship to the archives of African American Performance and American Ephemera

3) Michael Jackson as Archive—exploring Jackson as Intellectual Property

In addition the course will examine the social constructions of Blackness and gender (Black masculinity) through the prism of Michael Jackson’s performance, highlighting his role as a trickster figure and shape-shifter within the context of African-American vernacular practices.


Blues People: Negro Music in America | Leroi Jones (Amiri Baraka)

Introducing Bert Williams: Burnt Cork, Broadway, and the Story of America’s First Black Star | Camille F. Forbes

The One: The Life and Music of James Brown | RJ Smith

Moonwalk | Michael Jackson

Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson | Joseph Vogel

Michael Jackson, Inc.: The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of a Billion-Dollar Empire | Zack O’Malley Greenburg

Read more here:

Department of African American Studies at Duke University – Facebook

Professor Mark Anthony Neal

Sources: New Blackman Blogspot – By Mark Anthony Neal| DAAS – Duke University | All Things Michael


This entry was posted in Academic Study of Michael Jackson, In His Words, Inspirational Vanguards For MJ, Michael News, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s