Reading Guide

Black Feminist Theory and American Culture

  • hooks, bell. 1990. Yearning: Race, Gender and Cultural Politics. Boston: South End Press.
  • Wallace, Michelle. 1992. “Negative Images: Towards a Black Feminist Cultural Criticism.” in the Cultural Studies Reader, edited by Simon During. New York: Routledge.

Black Music and Race Theory

  • Gilroy, Paul. 1993. The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness. Cambridge: Harvard Univeristy Press.
  • Radano, Ronald. 2000. “Hot Fantasies: American Modernists and the Ida of Black Rhythm.” Critical Inquiry 22/1: 506-544.
  • Radano, Ronald. 2003. Lying up a Nation: Race and Black Music. Chicago: University of Chicago Pres.
  • Wald, Gayle. 2000. “Mezz Mezzrow and the Voluntary Negro Blues” in Crossing the Line: Racial Passing in Twentieth century US Literature and Culture. Durham: Duke University Press, pp. 53-81.

Black Performing Women and American Culture

  • Bogle, Donald. 1980. Brown Sugar: Eighty Years of America’s Black Female Superstars. New York: Da Capo Press.
  • Brown, Jennifer Jayna. 2008. Babylon Girls: Black Women Performers and the Shaping of the Modern. Durham: Duke University Press.
  • Carby, Hazel. 1999. “The Sexual Politics of Women’s Blues” and “Policing the Black Woman’s Body in an Urban Context.” Cultures in Babylon: Black Britain and African America. London: Verso, pp. 7-39.
  • Davis, Angela. 1998. Blues Legacies and Black Feminism: Gertrude ‘Ma’ Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday. New York: Random House.
  • Harrison, Daphne Duval. 1990. Black Pearls: Blues Queens of the 1920s. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press.
  • Hayes, Eileen, and Linda F. Williams. 2007. Black Women and Music: More than the BLues. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Hunter, Tera. 2000. “Sexual Pantomimes, the Blues Aesthetic, and Black Women in the New South.” Music and the Racial Imagination. Chicago: the University of Chicago Press, pp.145-166.
  • Margolick, David and Cassandra Wilson.2000. Strange Fruit: Billie Holiday, Café Society, and an Early Cry for Civil Rights. Philadelphia: Running Press.
  • Miller, Mark. 2007. High Hat, Trumpet and Rhythm: The Life and Music of Valaida Snow. Toronto: Mercury.
  • Reed, Bill. 1998. Hot From Harlem: Profiles in Classic African-American Entertainment.Los Angeles: Cellor Door. 
  • Waters, Ethel. (1950) 1989. His Eye is on the Sparrow: An Autobiography by Ethel Waters. Da Capo Press: Cambridge, Mass.

Black Musical Theatre and American Culture

  • Riis, Thomas L. 1989. Just Before Jazz: Black Musical Theater in New York, 1890 to 1915. Washington D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.

Black Performers in Black Film/ Black Film History

  • Carbine, Mary. 1990. “The Finest outside the Loop: Motion Picture Exhibition in Chicago’s Black Metropolis, 1905-1928.” Camera Obscure 23: 8-41.
  • Cripps, Thomas. 1993. Making Movies Black: The Hollywood Message Movie from World War II to the Civil Rights Era. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Stewart, Jacqueline Najuma. 2005. Migrating to the Movies: Cinema and Black Urban Modernity. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Feminist Theory and American Culture

  • Huyssen, Andreas. 1986. “Mass Culture as Woman: Modernism’s Other.” After the Great Divide: Modernism, Mass Culture, Postmodernism. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press: 44–64.
  • Modleski, Tania. 1991. Feminism without Women: Culture and Criticism in a “Postfeminist” Age. New York: Routledge.

Film and American History and Culture

  • Bradley, Edwin M. 2005. The First Hollywood Sound Shorts: 1926-1931. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc.
  • Eyman, Scott. 1997. The Speed of Sound: Hollywood and the Talkie Revolution, 1926-1930. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press.
  • Crafton, Donald. 1997. The Talkies: American Cinema’s Transition to Sound, 1926-1931. Berkeley: University of California Press.  
  • Hall, Ben. 1961. The Best Remaining Seats: The Story of the Golden Age of the Movie Palace. New York: Clarson N. Potter.
  • Rogin, Michael. 1996. Blackface, White Noise: Jewish Immigrants in the Hollywood Melting Pot. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Negra, Diane. 2001. Off-White Hollywood: American Culture and Ethnic Female Stardom. London: Routledge.
  • Pieterse, Jan Nederveen. 1992. White on Black: Images of Africa and Blacks in Western Popular Culture. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press.
  • Stanfield, Peter. 2002. “An Excursion into the Lower Depths: Hollywood, Urban Primitivism, and “St. Louis Blues,” 1929-1937.” Cinema Journal 41/2: 84-108.
  • Terenzio, Maurice, Scott MacGillivray, Scott and Ted Okuda. 1991. The Soundies Distributing Corporation of America: A History and Filmography. London: McFarland & Company, Inc.
  • Valentine, Maggie. 1994. The Show Starts on the Sidewalk: An Architectural History of the Movie Theater, Starring S. Charles Lee. New Haven: Yale University Press.
  • Williams, Linda. 2001. “Posing as Black, Passing as White.” Playing the Race Card: Melodramas of Black and White From Uncle Tom to O.J. Simpson.

Jazz and American Culture

  • Erenberg, Lewis A. 1998. Swingin’ the Dream: Big Band Jazz and the Rebirth of American Culture. Chicago: The University of Chicago.
  • Gennari, John. 1991. “Jazz Criticism: Its Development and Ideology.” Black American Literature  Forum 25, no. 3: 449-523.
  • Kofksy, Frank. 1998. Black Music, White Business: Illuminating the History and Political Economy of Jazz. New York: Pathfinder.
  • Ogren, Kathy. 1989. The Jazz Revolution: Twenties America & The Meaning of Jazz. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Peretti, Burton. 1992. The Creation of Jazz: Music, Race and Culture in Urban America. Urbana, Ill: University of Illinois Press.
  • Reginald T. and Steven Weiland. 1993. Chicago Jazz: A Cultural History 1904-1930. NY: Oxford University Press.
  • Rhodes, Chip. 1998. Structures of the Jazz Age: Mass Culture, Progressive Education, and Racial Discourse in American Modernism. (The Haymarket Series). New York: Verso.
  • Schuller, Gunther. 1968. Early Jazz: Its Roots and Musical Development. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Stowe, David W. 1994. Swing Changes: Big Band Jazz in New Deal America. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
  • Tucker, Mark. 1993. The Duke Ellington Reader. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Wang, Richard. 1973. “Jazz Circa 1945: A Confluence of Styles.” Musical Quarterly 59/4: 531-46.
  • Welburn, Ron. 1989. “The American Jazz–Writer–Critic of the 1930s: a profile.” Jazzforschung 21: 83–94.

Jazz and American Film

  • Gabbard, Krin, ed. 1995. Representing Jazz. Durham: Duke University Press.
  • Gabbard, Krin. 1996. Jammin’ at the Margins: Jazz and the American Cinema. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
  • Knight, Arthur. 1995. “Jammin’ the Blues, or the Sight of Jazz, 1944″ in Representing Jazz ed., Krin Gabbard. Durham: Duke University Press.
  • Meeker, David. 1977. Jazz in the Movies: A Guide to Jazz Musicians 1917-1977. New York: Arlington House Publishers.
  • Reed, Bill. 1998. “The Movies: Hazel Scott.” Hot From Harlem: Profiles in Classic African American Entertainment, LA: Cellar Door Press, pp. 110-128.
  • Williams, Alan.1981. “The Musical Film and Recorded Popular Music” Genre: the Musical. Ed. Rick Altman. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, pp. 147-158.
  • Yanow, Scott. 2004. Jazz on Film: The Complete Story of the Musicians & Music Onscreen. San Francisco: Back Beat Books.

Race and American Mass Culture

  • Lott, Eric. 1993. Love and Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and Working Class Culture. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Reed, Adolph L. 1997. W.E.B. Du Bois and American Political Thought: Fabianism and The Color Line. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Roediger, David. 1991. The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class. New York: Verso.

Sexuality and American Mass Culture

  • Lugowski, David M. 1999. “Queering the New Deal: Lesbian and Gay Representation in the Depression Era Cultural Politics of Hollywood’s Production Code.” Cinema Journal 38/2: 3-35.
  • Westbrook, Robert. 1990. “I Want a Girl, Just Like the Girl that Married Harry James’: American Women and the Problem of Political Obligation in World War II.” American Quarterly 42/4: 587-614.
  • Whiteley, Sheila (ed.). 1997. Sexing the Groove: Popular Music and Gender. London: Routledge.

Television and American Culture

  • Beebe, Roger and Jason Middleton. 2007. Medium Cool: Music Videos from Soundies to Cellphones. London: Duke University Press. 
  • Boddy, William. 1990. Fifties Television: The Industry and Its Critics. Chicago: The University of Illinois Press.
  • MacDonald, J. Fred. 1994. One Nation under Television: The Rise and Decline of Network TV. Chicago: Nelson Hall Publishers.
  • Murray, Susan. 2005. Hitch Your Antenna to the Stars: Early Television and Broadcast Stardom. London: Routledge.


  • Kenney, William H. 1986. “The Influence of Black Vaudeville on Early Jazz.” Black Perspectives in Music 14/3:233-248.
  • Kibler, Allison. 1999. Rank Women: Gender, Cultural Hierarchy in American Vaudeville. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.
  • Musser, Charles. 1984. “The Chaser Theory.” Studies in Visual Communication 10 Fall: 24-44.
  • Slide, Anthony. 1994. The Encyclopedia of Vaudeville. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press.
  • Snyder, Robert. 1989. The Voice of the City: Vaudeville and Popular Culture in New York. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Women and American Film

  • Fischer, Lucy. 1981. “The Image of Woman as Image: The Optical Politics of Dames.” Genre: the Musical. Ed. Rick Altman. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, pp. 70-79.
  • Hansen, Miriam. 1991. Babel and Babylon: Spectatorship in American Silent Film. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.
  • Hendershot, Heather. 1995. “Secretary, Homemaker, and ‘White’ Woman: Industrial Censorship and Betty Boop’s Shifting Design.” Journal of Design History, 8/2: 117-130.
  • Roberts, Sherrie. 1993. Seeing Stars: Feminine Spectacle, Female Spectators, and World War II Hollywood Musicals. Chicago: The University of Chicago.
  • Stamp, Shelley. 2000. Movie Struck Girls: Women and Motion Picture Culture After the Nickelodeon. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Women in American Jazz

  • Chilton, Karen. 2008. Hazel Scott: The Pioneering Journey of a Jazz Pianist from Cafe Scoiety to Hollywood to HUAC. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press.
  • Dahl, Linda. 1999. Morning Glory: A Biography of Mary Lou Williams. New York: Pantehon Books. 
  • Dahl, Linda. 1984. Stormy Weather: The Music and Lives of a Century of Jazzwomen. NY: Limelight.
  • Driggs, Frank. 1977. “Women in Jazz, a Survey.” Liner notes to Jazzwomen, A Feminist Retrospective. New York: Stash Records.
  • Handy, D. Antoinette. 1981. Black Women in American Bands and Orchestras. Metuchen: The Scarecrow Press, Inc.
  • Gourse, Leslie. 1995. Madame Jazz: Contemporary Women Instrumentalists. London: Oxford University Press.
  • Placksin, Sally.1982. Jazzwomen, 1900 to the Present, Their Words, Lives and Music. London: Pluto Press.
  • Poole, Jeannie Gayle Pool. 2008. Peggy Gilbert & Her All-Girl Band. Toronto: The Scarecrow Press Inc.
  • Tucker, Sherrie. 2000. Swing Shift: All-Girl Bands of the 1940s. Durham: Duke University Press.
  • Tucker, Sherrie and Nicole Rushtin. 2008. Big Ears: Listening for Gender in Jazz Studies. Durham: Duke University Press.
  • Sophie, Tucker. 1945. Some of these Days: The AUthobiography of Sophie Tucker. New York: Doubleday, Doran and Company, Inc.
  • Williams, Mary Lou. 1977. Liner Notes to Jazz Women: A Feminist Retrospective. New York: Stash Records.
  • Yanv, Scott. 1987. “Rosetta Records: Women in Jazz.” Coda Magazine Feb/March: 10-11.

Women and American Musical Theatre/Vaudeville

  • Kibler, Alison. 1999. “The Corking Girls; White Women’s Racial Masquerades in Vaudeville.” Rank Women: Gender, Cultural Hierarchy in American Vaudeville. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina press, pp. 111-142.
  • Latham, Angela J. 2000. Posing a Threat: Flappers, Chorus Girls, and Other Brazen Performers of the American 1920s. Hanover NH: New England Press.
  • Glenn, Susan A. 2000. Female Spectacle: the Theatrical Roots of Modern Feminism. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.
  • Mizejewski, Linda. 1999. Ziegfeld Girl: Image and Icon in Culture and Cinema. Durham: Duke University Press.

Some Liked It Hot - Jazz Women in Film and Television, 1928-1959