Critical Race Theory and Copyright in American Dance: Whiteness as Status Property (BOK)
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The effort to win federal copyright protection for dance choreography in the United States was a simultaneously racialized and gendered contest. Copyright and choreography, particularly as tied with whiteness, have a refractory history. This book examines the evolution of choreographic works from being federally non-copyrightable, unless they partook of dramatic or narrative structures, to becoming a category of works potentially copyrightable under the 1976 Copyright Act. Crucial to this evolution is the development of whiteness as status property, both as an aesthetic and cultural force and a legally accepted and protected form of property. The choreographic inheritances of Loie Fuller, George Balanchine, and Martha Graham are particularly important to map because these constitute crucial sites upon which negotiations on how to package bodies of both choreographers and dancers - as racialized, sexualized, nationalized, and classed - are staged, reflective of larger social, political, and cultural tensions.