Performance Studies Research Group Lecture

Image of an early twentieth-century Valentine (from the collection of Harvey Young, used with permission)
An early twentieth-century Valentine (from the collection of Harvey Young, used with permission)

The UW Performance Studies Research Group is pleased to present a lecture by Harvey Young, Northwestern University, on Friday, January 22, in the Simpson Center for the Humanities.

A Racist Love Note: Stereotypes and Caricatures in early 20th Century Valentine’s Day Cards

Friday, January 22, 5:00 PM
Free and open to the public, no RSVP required
Communications Building, room 120 

This presentation spotlights the darker side of Valentine’s Day, the sending of caricature greeting cards featuring popular (and negative) stereotypes of African Americans. Harvey Young reveals the wide appeal of such cards and discusses how their circulation informed 20th century US racial discourse. Applying the language of performance studies to activate the material archive, Young demonstrates how early valentines enabled “race play,” a role playing of and a reveling in the excesses of imagined black identity.

A reception will follow. Learn more about Dr. Young on the event webpage.