Dancing around white fragility: El vez 4 prez in the time of trump

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article initially analyzes the 2016 political landscape to pinpoint the forces that fueled Donald J. Trump’s campaign and election. Turning to artist Robert Lopez’s performance as El Vez at San Diego’s Taco Fest, I discuss how his performance conjoins Chicanidad with popular entertainment, using humour, spectacle, and music to forestall the defensive moves of white fragility, allowing him to speak across divisive lines. Lopez-as-El-Vez deftly sidesteps defensive reactions as he asserts uncomfortable racial truths. By grounding this show in the shared culture of popular entertainment, he uses performance to make a pointed political, cultural, and racialized intervention. In performance, El Vez not only outmanoeuvres white fragility, but also constructs a contact-zone audiotopia that allows for the practice of a fun, messy, raucous collectivity. His performances lay bare the structures of racism as they simultaneously envision a more equitable future, accessible through El Vez himself. Karen Jean Martinson is an Assistant Professor in the Communications, Media Arts and Theatre programme. She also works professionally as a dramaturg and director.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-19
Number of pages14
JournalPopular Entertainment Studies
Volume8
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

performance
entertainment
humor
assistant
theater
racism
artist
director
communications
music
university teacher
campaign
election
time
Dancing
contact
art
Popular Entertainment
Collectivity
Racism

Keywords

  • Audiotopia
  • Chicanidad
  • El Vez
  • Elvis
  • Post-racial
  • Trump
  • Trumpism
  • White fragility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Music

Cite this

Dancing around white fragility : El vez 4 prez in the time of trump. / Martinson, Karen Jean.

In: Popular Entertainment Studies, Vol. 8, No. 2, 01.01.2017, p. 6-19.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{d21a723fb9fa4d6fa61dcc83f27be83f,
title = "Dancing around white fragility: El vez 4 prez in the time of trump",
abstract = "This article initially analyzes the 2016 political landscape to pinpoint the forces that fueled Donald J. Trump’s campaign and election. Turning to artist Robert Lopez’s performance as El Vez at San Diego’s Taco Fest, I discuss how his performance conjoins Chicanidad with popular entertainment, using humour, spectacle, and music to forestall the defensive moves of white fragility, allowing him to speak across divisive lines. Lopez-as-El-Vez deftly sidesteps defensive reactions as he asserts uncomfortable racial truths. By grounding this show in the shared culture of popular entertainment, he uses performance to make a pointed political, cultural, and racialized intervention. In performance, El Vez not only outmanoeuvres white fragility, but also constructs a contact-zone audiotopia that allows for the practice of a fun, messy, raucous collectivity. His performances lay bare the structures of racism as they simultaneously envision a more equitable future, accessible through El Vez himself. Karen Jean Martinson is an Assistant Professor in the Communications, Media Arts and Theatre programme. She also works professionally as a dramaturg and director.",
keywords = "Audiotopia, Chicanidad, El Vez, Elvis, Post-racial, Trump, Trumpism, White fragility",
author = "Martinson, {Karen Jean}",
year = "2017",
month = "1",
day = "1",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "8",
pages = "6--19",
journal = "Popular Entertainment Studies",
issn = "1837-9303",
publisher = "University of Newcastle",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Dancing around white fragility

T2 - El vez 4 prez in the time of trump

AU - Martinson, Karen Jean

PY - 2017/1/1

Y1 - 2017/1/1

N2 - This article initially analyzes the 2016 political landscape to pinpoint the forces that fueled Donald J. Trump’s campaign and election. Turning to artist Robert Lopez’s performance as El Vez at San Diego’s Taco Fest, I discuss how his performance conjoins Chicanidad with popular entertainment, using humour, spectacle, and music to forestall the defensive moves of white fragility, allowing him to speak across divisive lines. Lopez-as-El-Vez deftly sidesteps defensive reactions as he asserts uncomfortable racial truths. By grounding this show in the shared culture of popular entertainment, he uses performance to make a pointed political, cultural, and racialized intervention. In performance, El Vez not only outmanoeuvres white fragility, but also constructs a contact-zone audiotopia that allows for the practice of a fun, messy, raucous collectivity. His performances lay bare the structures of racism as they simultaneously envision a more equitable future, accessible through El Vez himself. Karen Jean Martinson is an Assistant Professor in the Communications, Media Arts and Theatre programme. She also works professionally as a dramaturg and director.

AB - This article initially analyzes the 2016 political landscape to pinpoint the forces that fueled Donald J. Trump’s campaign and election. Turning to artist Robert Lopez’s performance as El Vez at San Diego’s Taco Fest, I discuss how his performance conjoins Chicanidad with popular entertainment, using humour, spectacle, and music to forestall the defensive moves of white fragility, allowing him to speak across divisive lines. Lopez-as-El-Vez deftly sidesteps defensive reactions as he asserts uncomfortable racial truths. By grounding this show in the shared culture of popular entertainment, he uses performance to make a pointed political, cultural, and racialized intervention. In performance, El Vez not only outmanoeuvres white fragility, but also constructs a contact-zone audiotopia that allows for the practice of a fun, messy, raucous collectivity. His performances lay bare the structures of racism as they simultaneously envision a more equitable future, accessible through El Vez himself. Karen Jean Martinson is an Assistant Professor in the Communications, Media Arts and Theatre programme. She also works professionally as a dramaturg and director.

KW - Audiotopia

KW - Chicanidad

KW - El Vez

KW - Elvis

KW - Post-racial

KW - Trump

KW - Trumpism

KW - White fragility

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85030251534&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85030251534&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85030251534

VL - 8

SP - 6

EP - 19

JO - Popular Entertainment Studies

JF - Popular Entertainment Studies

SN - 1837-9303

IS - 2

ER -