Sounding Like a No-No: Queer Sounds and Eccentric Acts in the Post-Soul Era
Sounding Like a No-No traces a rebellious spirit in post–civil rights black music by focusing on a range of offbeat, eccentric, queer, or slippery performances by leading musicians—such as Michael Jackson, Grace Jones, Stevie Wonder, Eartha Kitt, and Meshell Ndegeocello—who demonstrate how embodied sound and performance became a means for creativity, transgression, and social critique. In addition, these artists sought to engender new sexualities and desires and escape the sometimes-constrictive codes of respectability and uplift from within the black community. Francesca T. Royster is Professor of English at DePaul University, where she teaches a variety of courses, including performance studies, critical race theory, and gender and queer theory. She is the author of Becoming Cleopatra: The Shifting Image of an Icon as well as numerous book chapters and scholarly essays in Shakespeare Quarterly, Shakespeare Studies, Performance Research International, and Women in Performance, among others.