Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Kimberley L Phillips
African American cultural and social history has neglected to interrogate fully a crucial facet of African American political, economic, and social life: African American Freemasonry. "The Freemasonry of the Race": The Cultural Politics of Ritual, Race, and Place in Postemancipation Virginia seeks to remedy this neglect. This project broadly situates African American Freemasonry in the complex and evolving relations of power, peoples, and polities of the Atlantic world. The study develops an interpretative framework that not only recognizes the organizational and institutional aspects of African American Freemasonry, but also interprets it as a discursive space in and through which articulations of race, class, gender, and place are theorized and performed.;"The Freemasonry of the Race" presents a critical cartography of African American Freemasons' responses to the social and political exigencies of the postemancipation period. The study connects the developments of African American Freemasonry in the Atlantic world with the every day culture of African American Freemasonry in Charlottesville, Virginia from the conclusion of the Civil War until the turn of the century. Utilizing African American Freemasonry as a critical optic, the major question this study attempts to respond to is: How can we historicize and (re)present African American Freemasonry in order to rethink the cultural and political space of the postemancipation period in the United States?;Borrowing and blending a number of methodologies from social history, literary theory, and cultural studies, "The Freemasonry of the Race": The Cultural Politics of Ritual, Race, and Place in Postemancipation Virginia presents a set of analytic essays on African American Freemasonry, each intimately concerned with deciphering some of the principles that organized and (re)constructed various regimes of power and normality along the fault lines of race, sex, gender, class, and place. By thinking and working through African American Freemasonry in such a manner, this project seeks to open up new interdisciplinary horizons in African American cultural and social history.
© The Author
Walker, Corey D. B., ""The freemasonry of the race": The cultural politics of ritual, race, and place in postemancipation Virginia" (2001). Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects. William & Mary. Paper 1539623392.