Drawing on the revelations in her new book, Michèle Mendelssohn looks at the history behind An Octoroon and reveals the untold story of blackface minstrelsy. Her talk takes you behind the scenes to track the uses of blackface by Oscar Wilde, P.T. Barnum, and Dion Boucicault, the Irish playwright and showman whose sensational melodrama inspired Jacobs-Jenkins’s play.
Michèle Mendelssohn is a literary critic, cultural historian and Associate Professor of English Literature at Oxford University. She earned her doctorate from Cambridge University and was a Fulbright Scholar at Harvard University. Her previous books include Henry James, Oscar Wilde, and Aesthetic Culture and two co-edited collections of literary criticism, Alan Hollinghurst and Late Victorian Into Modern (shortlisted for the 2017 Modernist Studies Association Book Prize). She has published in the New York Times, the Guardian, African American Review, Journal of American Studies, Nineteenth Century Literature, and Victorian Literature and Culture.
Tickets £7 (concessions £5)