“In Skin Acts, Michelle Ann Stephens provides a valuable contribution to the study of race and representation by offering a thorough account of the relationship between black skin and white gaze and the production of difference in twentieth-century US popular culture.” — Brandi T. Summers, Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies
"Skin Acts is challenging but marked by intellectual bliss. Highly recommended." — G. R. Butters, Jr., Choice
"Skin Acts provides highly productive discourses for anyone interested in black cultural studies, performance theory, and/or racialization." — Lia T. Bascomb, Contemporary Theatre Review
"The book is well written and rich with analytic detail regarding each of the four case studies, particularly through the use of visual materials. Skin Acts is a valuable contribution to the literatures of race, psychoanalytic theory, masculinity, and performance." — Devon R. Goss, Men and Masculinities
"Skin Acts is an admirable and learned study." — Jared Sexton, philoSOPHIA
"[T]his is an important book that should be read by a transdisciplinary audience interested in the intersection of racism, gender, performance, and the politics of visual culture." — Floyd W. Hayes III, Spectrum
"Skin Acts is an ambitious and well-researched study that anyone interested in the intersections of psychoanalysis and critical race theory should read." — Rocío Pichon-Rivière, e-misférica
"By pushing the reader to think about how multiple sites of self-definition and societal gaze create the racial, bodily landscape of the black masculine performer, Stephens makes an important contribution to black masculinity studies and performance studies, and articulates the importance for the field of skin studies. Stephens’s interdisciplinary project effortlessly blends performance theory, psychoanalysis, and historical theories of race, corporeality, and physiognomy to produce an accessible framework for understanding black masculine performers in the twentieth century." — Brandon J. Manning, Callaloo
"Michele Ann Stephens adds an important layer to our understanding of black masculinity in the U.S. and the Caribbean during the twentieth century. This is a compelling, thorough, and cohesive treatment of the complex intersections of black masculinity, performance, and psychoanalysis. Well-written and clearly argued, Skin Acts will make an indispensable contribution."
— Alexander G. Weheliye, author of Habeas Viscus: Racializing Assemblages, Biopolitics, and Black Feminist Theories of the Human
"Michelle Ann Stephens has written a book that anyone interested in race and psychoanalysis will want to pay attention to, and one that even those who do not consider themselves interested in the topic will have to pay attention to. She has taken the most immediate and seemingly obvious site of racialization, the skin, and given it a revelatory new genealogy. She sets the standard for all future engagements with what Frantz Fanon termed 'epidermalization.' Through arresting readings of modern and contemporary art and performance, Stephens unfolds the racializing and engendering of skin within modernity, and makes a powerful argument for reading it through the lens of feminist, antiracist, and haptic visuality."
— Tavia Nyong'o, author of The Amalgamation Waltz: Race, Performance, and the Ruses of Memory