What is it about?

The racial domination that is showcased in the spectacle of lynching leads to an intersection of discourse, critique, and reflection on identity. Tortured black bodies are situated in a reversed position of authority with those in power that have condemned them through a Foucault perspective, and the role of the ‘king’ or figure of authority that places judgment with each of these leisure festivals of racial violence.

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Why is it important?

The discussion of lynchings as violent acts of leisure in various settings creates a vehicle for the field of leisure studies to contribute to dialogues on meaning(s) of place and the significance of race, more specifically.


Utilizing visual methodologies along with a critical theory focus, the documented history in photographic images and textual accounts provides a window to human leisure behavior as it is situated in a setting through displays of power. This is the earliest published body of work on what has now been over 20 years of research on lynching.

Rasul Mowatt
North Carolina State University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: The King of the Damned: Reading Lynching as Leisure, Policy Futures in Education, January 2009, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.2304/pfie.2009.7.2.185.
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