Chad Heap


On his book Slumming: Sexual and Racial Encounters in American Nightlife, 1885-1940

Cover Interview of August 04, 2009

Editor’s note

Originally, this interview ran on the Rorotoko cover page under the headline

“Mapping the relationship between racial formation and sexual classification in the United States.”

We highlighted two quotes.

On the first page:

“Instead of the place defining the activity, slumming came more and more to define the urban districts and populations upon which it converged, recasting significantly less dilapidated and impoverished neighborhoods in terms of the slum.”

On the second:

“Despite its occasional egalitarian impulses, slumming proved to be largely complicit both in the efforts of previously nonwhite or “in-between” racial groups to secure whiteness at the expense of black subjugation and in the refashioning of sexual normalcy and difference from a gendered system of marginalized fairies and mannish women to a cultural dyad that privileged heterosexual object choice.”