- First Name
- Rhae Lynn
- Last Name
- United States
- NY New York
- Princeton University (Assistant Professor); U.S. History Scene (CEO & Editor)
- Website URL
- American Pop Culture, Blackface, Racism, cultural history of white supremacy, World War II, Japanese Internment, Rosie the Riveters, White Supremacy, Social Movements, Civil Rights, Film, Music, Material Culture, Digital History, Documentary, History of the Book, Gender & Sexuality
- Media Contact
- Additional Contact Information
- Twitter: @DigitalHistory_
- About Me
Rhae Lynn Barnes is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Princeton University and the leading expert on the history of amateur blackface minstrelsy. She is a historian, public speaker, writer, editor, documentarian, and onscreen commenter specializing in the globalization of American popular culture and America between the Civil War and Civil Rights Movement.
Rhae Lynn Barnes is President of the Andrew W. Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography at the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia and serves on the Executive Committee for the Center for Digital Humanities at Princeton.
- Recent Publications
Darkology: When the American Dream Wore Blackface maps the political, economic, and cultural geography of amateur blackface minstrel shows by laying bare its unstudied bibliographic history. Marketed nationally as local entertainment, the nearly ten thousand published minstrel show plays—the bedrock of this project—are material remnants of white supremacy’s intellectual and cultural life between the Civil War and Civil Rights. This prolific and censored archive reveals the crucial role the United States government played in accelerating, funding, and disseminating blackface minstrel shows in amateur form worldwide. The project has received funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Library of Congress, the Council on Library Information Resources, the Western History Association, the Society for American Music, the Harry Ransom Center, the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia, and the Bibliographical Society of America. An interactive website will be released as a companion to the book.
For a preview of Darkology, please consult:
- Rhae Lynn Barnes, “Yes, Politicians Wore Blackface. It Used to be All-American ‘Fun’: Minstrel Shows Were Once So Mainstream That Even Presidents Watched Them.” The Washington Post, February 8, 2019.
- Rhae Lynn Barnes Interviewed by Amy Goodman, “Historian: Americans Must Face Violent History of Blackface Amid Virginia Gov. Racist Photo Scandal” on Democracy Now! February 4, 2019. 14 minutes on live television; syndicated nationally on public radio.
- Rhae Lynn Barnes Interviewed by Nathan Connolly (Host), “The Faces of Racism: A History of Blackface and Minstrelsy in American Culture” for Back Story Radio, February 8, 2019. 35 minutes for national and online radio programming.
- Media Coverage
- Country Focus
- United States
- Expertise by Geography
- United States
- Expertise by Chronology
- 18th century, 19th century, 20th century, 21st century
- Expertise by Topic
- American Civil War, American Presidents, Book History, Family, Gender, Genocide, Human Rights, Material Culture, Military, Public History, Race, Slavery, Sports, Technology, Women, World War II