In/appropriate Personae: Contemporary Culture and the Politics of Appropriation

This project, a prospective monograph entitled In/appropriate Personae: Contemporary Cultural Production and the Politics of Appropriation, seeks to examine the growing awareness of the politics of representation and ethics of appropriation in contemporary culture, especially in relation to depictions of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. Writers, artists, filmmakers, teachers, and curators are increasingly alert to questions about who might be appropriate to tell which kinds of stories, how, and for what audiences. My book explores these important questions and their artistic and political ramifications through a series of case studies from literature, fine art, music, and public-sphere debates in South Africa and the United States, two contexts in which these issues have played out with perhaps unique force and resonance (on account of histories of racial segregation and of uncommonly lively debates about constitutional protection for free expression in each location).

Project leader(s):
  • Andrew van der Vlies (School of English and Drama, Queen Mary University of London)

Leave a Reply