Artfully interweaving theatrical, musical, and ritual performance from the eighteenth century to the present in London and New Orleans, Roach explores Atlantic rim performance cultures in a rich continuum of intercultural exchange that reinvents, recreates, and restores history. Complemented with fifty-five illustrations, including spectacular photos of the famed Mardi Gras Indians, this fascinating work employs an entirely unique approach to the study of culture. Rather than focusing on one region, Cities of the Dead explores broad cultural connections over place and time, showing through myriad examples how performance can revise the unwritten past.
This . . . exploration of Atlantic rim performance cultures restores the centrality of memory and gesture, profession and surrogation-the invention of a modern world out of the forcible destruction of the old-to the diasporic and genocidal histories of Africa, the Americas, and Europe. . . .Roach pursues a pathbreaking version of cultural history.