Dr. Shandell Publishes on Langston Hughes’ ‘Mulatto’

February 20, 2018 Jennifer Retter

Dr. Jonathan Shandell, associate professor of Theater Arts, published an essay on Langston Hughes’ 1935 Broadway play Mulatto in Visions of Tragedy in Modern American Drama, a text focused on tragedy in theater and literary studies.

Dr. Shandell explores Hughes' drama as an inversion of the "tragic mulatto" in American literature, arguing that the play models courageous resistance against racial oppression and white chauvinism for its audiences. His essay situates Hughes within the tradition of radical African American playwrights, such as Amiri Baraka and August Wilson, who use the stage to resist racism.

Bringing together essays by eighteen leading scholars of American drama, Visions of Tragedy in Modern American Drama “explore[s] whether there is a distinctively American vision of tragedy developed in the major works of canonical American dramatists and how this may be seen to evolve over the course of the twentieth century through to the present day."

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