Vocal Signs (HUM425)

Really enjoyed the conversation in class. Maybe one way to attempt to sum it up would be to note that the image (in all its forms) in functioning as a sign becomes a means of asserting and constructing identity. However you feel about Iggy’s performance in “Fancy” her voice works as a signifier which evokes concepts (signifieds) such as 1) musical genre 2) cultural tradition 3) class/ gender/ racial identity practices.

If you’re interested in the history of Racial Masquerade, you can look at a brief discussion of “Black vernacular speech”, check out these links and images or screen this montage sequence from Spike Lee’s film Bamboozled. There has been an enormous amount of scholarship on Blackface Performance in recent years by people such as Louis Chude-Sokei, Eric Lott, WT Lhamon, and Donald Bogle among many others.

If you have any thoughts about the discussion or remarks about the videos please feel free to address your comments to this blog.

Thursday we’ll work through Hall, Sturken&Cartwright, Weedon and Barthes. Come prepared to do some writing.