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 Prof. Arlene R. Keizer Talked About Black Feminist Postmodernism 

Submitted by Carlo Becker on Mon, 01/26/2015 - 17:05

On January 16, 2015, guest professor Arlene R. Keizer (University of California, Irvine) held a lecture titled "'Emancipated, and On Tour': Black Feminist Postmodernism in Literature, Visual Art, and Performance." About sixty people attended the event, which was part of Keizer's lecture tour through Middle Germany.


Providing an historical overview, Keizer talked about the spectacularization of the black female body, beginning with racist colonial legislation in 1662 Virginia, to the "Hottentot Venus" Sara Bartman in the early 1800s, up to the "Nipplegate" scandal at the 2004 Super Bowl. Keizer argued that, through the process of hypermagnification, the black female body is expected to carry a much greater significance than the statistical proportion of African American women actually provides for. She then presented some creative reactions by black female artists, such as Kara Walker's exhibition A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby (2014), which is centered around a colossal suger-coated sphinx that features qualities strongly reminiscent of the mammy archetype.


In the concluding Q&A, Keizer answered questions posed by the audience concerning tensions between irony and authenticity in works that deal with race, as well as the problematic idea that historical texts had to be rewritten if their contents are deemed politically incorrect today.


Prof. Koenen introduces Prof. Keizer
Prof. Arlene R. Keizer
Prof. Arlene R. Keizer
Images tagged Keizer

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