ReView Bamboozled: Archival Affects


  • Amma Y. Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin University of Georgia


archives, affect, black memorabilia, embodied knowledge


The first time the author watched Spike Lee’s Bamboozled (2000), the film literally moved her body 3000 miles. In this video reView, Bamboozled moves the author again, this time to the very space that gives the film its continued, urgent relevance: the archive. In moving and being moved, the author surprisingly discovers a little-known archival collection in Buffalo, NY that directly relates to Lee’s film and its usage of black memorabilia. ReVIEW BAMBOOZLED: ARCHIVAL AFFECTS chronicles the author’s journey into this archive and her remarkable discussion with the archivist and her research assistant about the stakes of that collection, Spike Lee’s film, and the affects of both. It also reViews archival practice, showing the tensions of working with what the archivist acknowledges to be, in some ways, “the uncollectible.”

Author Biography

Amma Y. Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin, University of Georgia

Scholartist* Dr. Amma Y. Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin (a.k.a. Dr. Amma) creates artistic works based on archival research for the stage and screen and writes about late-19th-century black performance. An assistant professor with a joint appointment in the Institute for African American Studies and the Department of Theatre and Film Studies at the University of Georgia, she bridges the worlds of academia and arts/entertainment having worked for National History Day, Inc. and A&E® Networks/The History Channel. Her current projects are an historical musical about black performers in the 1901 Pan-American Exposition entitled AT BUFFALO, and a book about the relation between laughter and the American slave experience, entitled Laughing after Slavery: The Performances and Times of Laughing Ben Ellington.


*A term credited to performance studies colleagues Joseph Shahadi and Mila Aponte-Gonzalez.


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How to Cite

“ReView Bamboozled: Archival Affects”. 2018. Performance Philosophy 4 (1): 294-96.





How to Cite

“ReView Bamboozled: Archival Affects”. 2018. Performance Philosophy 4 (1): 294-96.