Projections of Race at the Nouveau Cirque: The Clown Acts of Foottit and Chocolat

Author, Researcher, or Creator

Matthew McMahan, Emerson CollegeFollow

Affiliation of Author, Researcher, or Creator

School of the Arts


Visual and Media Arts


Matthew McMahan

Resource Type


Publication, Publisher or Distributor

Theatre History Studies

Publication Date


Related Information

The Robert A. Schanke Research Award: Honorable Mention

Brief Description

The essay reveals through an analysis of the famous Parisian circus clown, Chocolat, how the performer may find moments of adaptation, innovation, and subversion within the confines of comic and racialized stereotypes. Amid the commodification of his race, through moments of irony, deceit, and insubordination, he also created opportunities that undermined the black/white dichotomy within the clown/auguste paradigm.


Circus, Clown, Race, Comedy, Stereotypes, Paris, France

Preferred Citation Style

Chicago Manual

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