Contemporary critical work in the field of new materialism, whose practitioners take seriously the concept of nonhuman agency, has largely neglected the genres of theatre and performance. African American author and folklorist Zora Neale Hurston’s folk revues of the 1930s offer an opportunity to examine the intersections between contemporary new materialist theory and the stage, revealing that black Atlantic performance practices have long explored concepts of nonhuman agency in the service of a cultural and racial politics.

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