Juliane Braun deposited Theater of War: Reconstructing (Trans)National Affiliation and Performance Residue in a Divided City in the group GS Drama and Performance on MLA Commons 5 months ago
This essay examines ethnic strife and cultural friction in New Orleans during the Mexican-American war. Specifically, it explores how the Crescent City’s anglophone and francophone populations navigated the tension between national and transnational affiliation through performance. By considering both the material and the immaterial aspects of performance residue, this essay attempts to bridge the conceptual gap between a performance’s presence and its disappearance, enduring materials and embodied practice, archive and repertoire. Drawing on two case studies, Félix de Courmont’s 1847 opera Le Capitaine May et le Général de la Vega sur les bords du Rio Grande and the street performances that structured General Zachary Taylor’s 1847 visit to New Orleans, this essay attempts to recover the traces of past performances and their afterlife today, while shedding new light on the complexity of transnational relations in New Orleans beyond the period of the Mexican-American war.