Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Communication Studies

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

This critical performance ethnography presents the theory, methodology, and practice surrounding the fieldwork, scripting, and performance of Baton Rouge SLAM!: An Obituary for Summer 2016. As participant-observer, director, and co-performer, I unpack social drama, performance ethnography, and slam culture by employing a lens rooted in critical race theory. Local poets permitted me to de- and re-contextualize their interviews into ensemble scenes and theatricalize their slam poems about the recent summer’s charged events. One year later, this involved and embodied process of ethnographic bricolage became the ensemble cast performance of Baton Rouge SLAM!: An Obituary for Summer 2016. Community members and live audiences in Louisiana and Georgia were invited to reflect on a capital divided. A performance-based analysis of this slamnography reveals why local slam communities matter as modes of redress following times of crises, and how the neoliberal nature of the slam form can be revealed and transcended by its members.

Committee Chair

Stephenson Shaffer, Tracy

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