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Critical Dialogues in Latinx StudiesA Reader$
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Ana Y. Ramos-Zayas and Mérida M. Rúa

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781479805198

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2022

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479805198.001.0001

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In Pursuit of Property and Forgiveness

In Pursuit of Property and Forgiveness

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton and In the Heights

Chapter:
(p.332) 25 In Pursuit of Property and Forgiveness
Source:
Critical Dialogues in Latinx Studies
Author(s):

Elena Machado Sáez

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479805198.003.0026

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musicals, In the Heights and Hamilton, are the product of a complex negotiation with the institution of Broadway and its historic (mis)representation of people of color. The musicals ambivalently balance a counternarrative to a history of race and class stereotypes on the Broadway stage with the goal of convincing the predominantly white, highly educated tourists in attendance that the “other” is one of “us.” Both musicals display an ambivalence about the efficacy of the affective strategies used to educate the spectator. The symbolic conflict between the value of community versus capitalism becomes articulated using literal and rhetorical references to blackness. The dynamics of choosing profit over people within the geopolitical locale of New York City ultimately trouble the work of creating audience empathy within Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights and Hamilton.

Keywords:   theater, musical, audience, race, blackness, empathy, class, stereotype, capitalism

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