Masquerade

Essays on Tradition and Innovation Worldwide

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About the Book

In its conventional meaning, masquerade refers to a festive gathering of people wearing masks and elegant costumes. But traditional forms of masquerade have evolved over the past century to include the representation of alternate identities in the media and venues of popular culture, including television, film, the internet, theater, museums, sports arenas, popular magazines and a range of community celebrations, reenactments and conventions.
This collection of fresh essays examines the art and function of masquerade from a broad range of perspectives. From African slave masquerade in New World iconography, to the familiar Guy Fawkes masks of the Occupy Wall Street movement, to the branded identities created by celebrities like Madonna, Beyoncé and Lady Gaga, the essays show how masquerade permeates modern life.

About the Author(s)

Deborah Bell is a professor of costume design at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she has taught for three decades.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Deborah Bell
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 288
Bibliographic Info: 36 photos, appendix, notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7646-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1804-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Achnowledgments ix

Introduction (Deborah Bell) 1

Section I. The Convergence of Historic ­Non-Western and Contemporary Masquerade

Slavery, Violence and Power in African Masquerades (John Wallace Nunley) 19

Playing Mas or Mass Playing: Contemporary Carnivals and Street Parades (Loyce L. Arthur) 46

Colliding Cultures in the Carnival of Cuba and the Philippines (Laura Crow) 64

Sublime Images: Masked Performances and the Aesthetics of Belonging in Malawi (Peter Probst) 84

Fiestas, Dances and Masks of Mexico: Community Masquerade and Ritual Art (Marta Turok) 91

Section II. Public Masquerade

Mirroring Communities in Transition Masquerade, Pride, Drag, Love and Marriage (Hilary Baxter) 103

Halloween Masquerade: Contemporary Trends and Hidden Meanings (Kara McLeod) 113

Dragon Con as Hip Spiritual Destination for Geeks and Pop Culture Lovers (Deborah Bell) 121

Section III. Performance Masquerade as Social and Political Commentary

“Exotick and Irrational”: Opera, Masquerades and Carnival (Richard Fallis) 133

Open Secrecy: ­Self-Presentation by Queer Male Musicians (Vincent Stephens) 145

Behind the Mask: Guerrilla Girls and Others Exposing Unfair Practices and Voicing Protest (Mary Robinson) 156

The Fifth of November: Masquerade and Social Tensions (Derrick Vanmeter) 167

Section VI. Visual Art’s Influence on Masquerade: Graphic and Performance Art, Branding, Photography and Comic Books

Pop Art to Pop Masquerade—Warhol to Lady Gaga: When Does the Mask Become the Reality? (Marianne Custer and Johann Stegmeir) 177

Masquerades of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano (Deborah Bell) 188

The Drama of Identity: Masking and Evolving Notions of Self in Contemporary Photography (M. Kathryn Shields) 196

The (Super) Hero’s Masquerade (Ron Naversen) 215

Section V. The Universality of Digital Masquerade for a Global Audience

Animators as Professional Masqueraders: Thoughts on Pixar (Heather L. Holian) 231

Post-Feminist Radical: Jenna Marbles and the Digital Masquerade (Ted Gournelos) 241

Cosplay: Masquerade for the Millennials (Laura Crow) 252

Appendix: Masquerade in Selected Plays, Broadway Musicals and Operas 265

About the Contributors 269

Index 273


Book Reviews & Awards

“fascinating essays that examine masquerade from many different perspectives…recommended”—Choice.