"SEARCHING" FOR LUTHER VANDROSS: THE POLITICS AND PERFORMANCE OF STUDYING AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN ICON
Parks, Sheri L
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This dissertation explores the pop culture phenomenon of R&B singer Luther Vandross and the politics and performance of studying the performer's image, work, and popular reception. The dissertation first examines how Vandross can be "read" using the methodologies of audience reception theory and queer theory. Then the dissertation considers how analyses that are produced from these readings can be disseminated to non-academic audiences using such mainstream genres as the celebrity biography. For this part of the dissertation, I draw on my experience writing a pop biography of Vandross.