2018 Deshon Ryan Starks

This thesis explores Blackness through performance focusing on how representations of race, sexuality and gender intersect in a reconceptualization of identity through transdisciplinary practices. It focuses on the multiple facets of past and present blackness in my life. More specifically, it focuses on the performances that occur in the church, club, and fitness spaces. Sexualized, gendered, and racialized bodies are explored and dissected as they reframe identity and desire. These bodies have the ability to reach transformation yet the objective is not to create the perfect identity or body, but to enable space(s) in which black bodies (minorities, the other, anyone who feels excluded) may frequent.