Josephine Morcashani: Playing with Gender and Race in Music across Europe

Dr. Jeff Bowersox
Event date
Event time
18:00 - 19:15
Common Ground Oxford
37-38 Little Clarendon Street
Event type
Lectures and seminars
Event cost
Disabled access?
Booking required

Josephine Morcashani was a Black British music hall star known across Europe as a glamorous cross-dressing diva. Come see how she played with stereotypes and refused to be boxed in.

Uncomfortable Oxford is excited to be hosting Dr Jeff Bowersox from UCL on April 28 at 6pm at Common Ground Café in Oxford.

Josephine Morcashani (1870-1929) was a Black British entertainer who made a long career touring venues across Europe and beyond. Known for her dramatic deep voice, her glamorous outfits, and her humour, her story gives us a fascinating glimpse into how Black women performers could make careers for themselves in the face of racial and gendered stereotypes. Contemporary press reports and images from her own personal photograph collection, generously shared by her family, give us a rich picture of her unique self-styling as an elegant Creole diva or as a comedic cross-dressing trickster who refused to be boxed in.

About the Speaker: Dr Jeff Bowersox is an Associate Professor of German History at UCL, where he teaches and researches German colonial history, Black European studies, and the history of toys. He is currently working on a book following Black stage entertainers across central Europe before the jazz age. He is also the managing editor of, a web resource offering 1,000 years of Black histories in the German-speaking lands - check it out!

Tickets are free but limited so please book ahead to avoid disappointment!

About Uncomfortable Oxford:

Uncomfortable Oxford was founded by Oxford University students to raise awareness and create discourse in Oxford about 'uncomfortable' aspects of our shared history.

We run walking tours, blogs, public lectures, and outreach programs that engage with these histories and their impact on the modern city.

Find out more.