syllabus of the holy clown

this new syllabus on the hc homepage presents meditations on the role of the clown across time in poetry, painting, and performance. its starting point is the “harlequin” in “harlequin creature,” to critically contend with a history of the word that has recently come to our attention: that the Harlequin figure as first conceived in italian commedia dell’arte theater, and re-adapted in the centuries since, has ties to a history of racialized appropriation and stereotyping connected to blackface. several of the resources in this list interrogate the ways in which the clown figure has both been imbricated historically in racist, sexist, and classist performance. but the list also presents examples of how the figure of the clown or trickster in their many guises has been activated as a powerful tool of subversion and resistance.     

the year 2021 will mark ten years of harlequin creature. to celebrate this milestone — more details coming soon! — a special, final 10th issue will be published next fall, with the title “hcx.” the title represents both an end, and an openness to new possibilities. what might “hcx” stand for for you? we invite you to suggest new names in the comments, and add other resources to the list!

Continue reading “syllabus of the holy clown”