Hamilton, History and Hip-Hop

Essays on an American Musical


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About the Book

The volume is a collection of scholarly essays and personal responses that contextualizes Hamilton: An American Musical in various frameworks: hip-hop theatre and history, American history, musicals, contemporary politics, queer theory, feminism, and more. Hamilton is arguably the most important piece of American theatre in 25 years in terms of both national impact and shaping influence on American theatre. It is part of a larger history of American theatre that reframes the United States and shows the nation its face in a manner not before seen but that is resolutely true.

With essays from a number of scholars, artists, political scientists, and historians, the book engages with generational differences in response to the play, transformations of the perception of the musical between the Obama and Trump administrations, youth culture, color-conscious casting, feminist critiques, comparisons with black-ish, The Mountaintop, Assassins, and In the Heights, as well as Hamilton’s place in hip hop theatre.

About the Author(s)

Kevin J. Wetmore, Jr., is a professional actor and director whose previous books have covered topics ranging from Star Wars to Renaissance faires. He is a professor and chair of the theater department at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Kevin J. Wetmore, Jr.
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 276
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2024
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7179-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5089-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Introduction: Writing, Erasing and Versioning Hamilton
Kevin J. Wetmore, Jr. 1
I. “Grow into more of a phenomenon”: Hamilton as History and Cultural Experience
The Battle for Hamilton: Then and Now
Michael A. Genovese 17
“Watching the afterbirth of a nation, watching the tension grow”: Meta-Hamilton and the ­Citizen-Artist During Two Presidencies
Kevin J. Wetmore, Jr. 28
“This is not a moment, it’s a movement”: Why Millennials Are “Hamiltrash”
Vicki L. Hoskins 42
II. “A bunch of revolutionary manumission abolitionists?” Race and Class in Hamilton
Hamilton Hype and Hamilton Hate: In Dahomey, A Raisin in the Sun, and a Genealogy of Race in American Popular Theater
Megan E. Geigner 57
Parodying Through Song: How Comic Devices in King George III’s Songs in Hamilton Challenge Contemporary Dispositions About the Symbolic Value of Youth Culture
Evi Stamatiou 73
“The villain in your history”: The Complications of ­Color-Conscious Casting in Hamilton’s America
Laura London Waringer 89
III. “Who tells your story?” Exclusive Inclusivity and Whose Story Gets Told
“A woman who has never been satisfied”: A Feminist Critique of Hamilton
Alexa Schreiber 115
“Compel him to include female agency in the sequel,” or Gender Construction in Hamilton
Lisa Quoresimo 127
“Here comes the general”: An Examination of the Depiction of the African American Man as the Father of America in Hamilton
Aaron Brown 139
IV. “Even though we started at the very same time…” Comparative Hamiltons
“You hear that music in the air?” Consciousness of Music in In the Heights and Hamilton
Dan Rubins 155
Contextualizing ­Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights and Hamilton Within ­Hip-Hop Theater History
Priscilla Maria Page 169
Race, Casting, and Politics: A Comparative Study of ­Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton and Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop
Anne Stefani 183
“Everybody’s got the right to their dreams”: The Violent Pursuit of the American Dream in Assassins and Hamilton
Stephanie Lim 199
White Supremacy and ­Hyper-Masculinity: Hamilton, Hip-Hop and Homicide
Alisa C. Roost 214
Conclusion: A Hamilton Evolution
Daniel Banks 227
Works Cited 253
About the Contributors 263
Index 265