Room 130, 80 Queen's Park
Free and open to the public. Presentation will be followed by a casual reception.
The subject of this presentation is Millie-Christine McCoy (1851-1912), African-American conjoined twins who became “The Two-Headed Nightingale,” one of the most successful musical attractions in turn-of-the-century freakshows in America and abroad. In this paper, we unearth freakshow ephemera and reconstruct Millie-Christine’s musical act to study the process by which the sisters were made into and promoted as freaks—a process that disability scholars have termed “enfreakment.” We reveal how Millie-Christine’s visual and musical enfreakment traded on the consumers' pre-existent expectations with regards to gender, race, and class, while cultivating new sonic fantasies about a disabled, black, female body.