Source: Institute for Research in African American Studies at Columbia University
IRAAS Conversations Lecture
Thursday March 26th, 2015 6:15pm -8:15pm
Columbia School of Social Work – Room C03
“Feeling Arab and Black: Conversations about Race and Disability in Literature”
Theri Pickens, Assistant Professor of English – Bates College
In her first book, New Body Politics: Narrating Arab and Black Identity in the Contemporary United States, Therí Pickens begins with following premise: In the increasingly multi-racial and multi-ethnic American landscape of the present, understanding and bridging dynamic cross-cultural conversations about social and political concerns becomes a complicated humanistic project. What can the experience of corporeality offer social and political discourse? And, how does that discourse change when those bodies belong to Arab Americans and African Americans? By way of answer, she argues that Arab American and African American narratives rely on the body’s fragility, rather than its exceptional strength or emotion, to create urgent social and political critiques.
Suturing critical race studies, and disability studies, Pickens turns to Du Bois’s question “how does it feel to be a problem?” since it hovers over her book project. She zeroes in on the verb “to feel,” accepting the invitation for phenomenological inquiry. In this talk, she examines Du Bois’s question as a framework that opens up new possibilities in analyzing Arab American author Rabih Alameddine. Alameddine’s fiction not only lingers on what it means to ‘feel’ like a problem but also proffers the space of the hospital as a way to orient a critique. Side-stepping the erasure of “Arab as the new Black,” Pickens proffers the conversation between Du Bois and Alameddine as a way to answer the exigencies of feeling, and being now.
Her critical work has appeared in MELUS, Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies, Women & Performance, Polymath: An Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences Journal, Disability Studies Quarterly, Al-Jadid, Journal of Canadian Literature, Al-Raida, the ground-breaking collection, Blackness and Disability: Critical Examinations and Cultural Interventions, and the critical volume, Defying the Global Language: Perspectives in Ethnic Studies (Teneo Ltd). She also has more upcoming critical work in the journal, Hypatia.
She is also a creative writer. Her poetry has appeared in Black Renaissance/Renaissance Noire, Save the Date, and Disability Studies Quarterly. Her drama has been performed at the NJ State Theater.
3rd Floor Lecture Hall – 2950 Broadway
2015 marks the 75th anniversary of the making of the film Gone With the Wind. New York University professor, Deborah Willis will consider a comparative perspective of the historic film and the role photography and art played in re-membering and restaging events from the Civil War and American Slavery before and after Emancipation. Taking cues from the recent 150th anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation
, this talk also examines the public’s memory of Slavery through photographs and how images influenced the making of the film. Professor Willis will present overlapping historical narratives from popular culture to literary text making visible the complexities of the film.
This lecture will weave a narrative on the history of American photography during its early years with iconic moments in the film looking closely at the role black American history played in making this film both controversial and celebratory. Willis will include Civil War images and 20th century video clips of scenes from the film, clips of Hattie McDaniel and Carol Burnett’s skit, Went with the Wind.
New York University professor Deborah Willis will weave together a narrative of the early years of American photography and film with a reading of iconic moments in Gone With the Wind. In rendering visible the complexities of the film, Professor Willis will also examine the role history played in producing such a controversial and celebrated cultural phenomenon.
FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
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Thurs 3/5@6pm Talk W/ You Like A Woman:African American Women,Justice&Reform in New York, 1890-1935″ Cheryl D. Hicks pic.twitter.com/oe60MhALEj
— IRAASColumbia U (@IRAASColumbiaU) March 2, 2015
TOPIC: “Talk With You Like A Woman: African American Women, Justice and Reform in New York,1890-1935” with Prof. Cheryl D. Hick
Location :Columbia Journalism School -3rd Floor Lecture Hall;
2950 Broadway, New York, NY 10027
Free & Open to the Public
Cheryl D. Hicks is an associate Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where she is a faculty affiliate in Africana Studies and an adjunct faculty member in Women and Gender Studies. She holds a B.A. in American History from the University of Virginia and a M.A. as well as Ph.D. in American History from Princeton University.
Her research addresses the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, and the law. She has published in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review and the Journal of the History of Sexuality. She is the recipient of several awards including the University of Virginia’s Carter G. Woodson Postdoctoral fellowship and a Scholar-in-Residence fellowship from the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
Her first book, Talk With You Like a Woman: African American Women, Justice, and Reform in New York, 1890-1935 (University of North Carolina Press, 2010) received the 2011 Letitia Woods Brown Book Award from the Association of Black Women Historians and honorable mentions from the 2011 John Hope Franklin Prize from the American Studies Association and the 2011 Darlene Clark Hine Prize from the Organization of American Historians. Her new book project, “The Case of Hannah Elias: Interracial Intimacy and Civil Rights in Turn-of-the-Century New York,” interrogates the trajectory of a covert, consensual interracial relationship that ultimately precipitated murder, scandal, and civil rights protest.