Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


Book Talk: Deadpan - The Aesthetics of Black Inexpression

15 May 2023, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm

Portrait of Tina Post

Tina Post (University of Chicago) will be talking about her first monograph, Deadpan: The Aesthetics of Black Inexpression

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Institute of Advanced Studies


Haldane Room
Ground floor, Wilkins building
UCL, Gower Street, London
United Kingdom

Arguing that inexpression is a gesture that acquires distinctive meanings in concert with blackness, Post will discuss instances and meanings of deadpan - a vaudeville term meaning “dead face” - across literature, theatre, visual and performance art, and the performance of self in everyday life. Post argues that the performance of purposeful withholding is a critical tool in the work of black culture makers, intervening in the persistent framing of African American aesthetics as colourful, loud, humorous, and excessive. She will discuss how deadpan aesthetics function in and between opacity and fugitivity, minimalism and saturation, excess and insensibility.
The talk will be chaired by Dr Clive Chijioke Nwonka.

This event is co-funded by the UCL Centre for Humanities Education and the UCL Sarah Parker Remond Centre for the Study of Racism and Racialisation. The Centre is funded by generous support from the Lord Randolph Quirk Endowment Fund at UCL

About the Speaker

Tina Post

at University of Chicago

Tina Post is an Assistant Professor of English and Theatre and Performance at the University of Chicago. Her recent first monograph, Deadpan: The Aesthetics of Black Inexpression, is the first book in NYU Press’s new Minoritarian Aesthetics series. Her scholarly articles have appeared in Modern Drama, TDR: The Drama Review, International Review of African American Art (IRAAA), ASAP/Journal, and the edited collection Race and Performance after Repetition (Duke University Press, 2020). Post’s creative work can be found in Imagined Theatres, Stone Canoe, and The Appendix.