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Grant number: FA-58240-15

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Shane Vogel
Indiana University, Bloomington (Bloomington, IN 47405-7000)

A Cultural History of the 1950s Calypso Craze in the United States

This project will be the first book-length cultural history of the "calypso craze" that swept the United States in the late 1950s. "Black Performance and the 1950s Calypso Craze" tracks the popularity of calypso across different types of postwar middlebrow entertainment, including sound recordings, nightclub acts, television broadcasts, Broadway musicals, and films. Across these media, I ask how black performers used the professional, historical, and musical opportunities afforded by this mass cultural event to expand African American history and deepen its relationship to diasporic consciousness. This monograph will introduce original research and analysis that contributes to humanistic inquiry by illuminating the calypso craze as a complex cultural formation and an important moment of mid-century African American performance.

Project fields:
African American Studies; American Studies; Theater History and Criticism

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2015 – 5/31/2016