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What does it mean to “perform race?” How do we, and how can we, understand the relationship between race and performance? This talk will examine the meanings of various performances and explore the interrelation of racial performances in everyday life to those on stage and in film; the case studies in this presentation will be far ranging, going from the horrible spectacle of slavery to the plays of Lorraine Hansberry to the film Bamboozled and finally to the 2012 presidential campaign. After the election, Dr. Elam will look at how power and politics figured into representations of Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.