Beyoncé: Black Feminist Thought in Popular Culture
Jan 20-22 2:30-4:30pm and Jan 23 2:30-4:00pm
Activity Leader: Prof. Sandy Alexandre
This course explores Beyoncé’s songs, music videos, and photographs as a way to reflect on issues of black feminism, womanism, and intersectionality. What do those terms even mean? How exactly does race and feminism intersect, and why is that particular intersection important, especially in the case of this singer? How successful or forced are efforts to view Beyoncé as a paragon of black feminism? What does a practice of womanism in action actually look like, and how might a performance of it on a music video, for example, invite someone to emulate it (or tailor it for feasible, productive, and pleasurable use) in the real world? How can we use popular entertainment as a foray into deeper examinations of race, gender, class, and sexuality? Is palatable, and entertaining black feminism any different from—a diluted version of— the black feminism we read about in scholarly books? This course will include in-class discussions of Black Feminist Thought (1990) by Patricia Hill Collins, along with supplemental essays, which we will read over the course of one week.
Mobile Marathon Reading: Arabian Nights
W, Jan 28 9:00-5:00
11:00a-2:30p Spofford Room
2:30p-4:00p Stella Room
4:00 – 5:00p TBD
Once upon a time there was an IAP event in which members and friends of the MIT community took turns reading selections aloud from The Arabian Nights over the course of an entire day. Hard copies of the selections were aplenty and made available to those in attendance. They traveled far and wide to various locations on the MIT campus to simulate the different settings where the many stories of that text occur. Some trudged. Some even skipped (to my Lou, but also skipped some of the venues altogether, since everyone was welcome but not obligated to stay the whole day)! But I digress. During the first few minutes at the first venue, a wonderfully charming and eloquent professor placed the text in historical and cultural context while also debunking some myths about the stories popularly–yet incorrectly–associated with and allegedly included in The Arabian Nights. After the brief lesson, everyone in the room clapped with delight and appreciation. They were all the wiser for listening. Overall, the event was a tremendous success, and when they reached their final destination of the day, they were all happily surprised to discover that…
Don’t let the suspense kill you! Let it keep you wanting more! Join us to hear and to make how the story ends!
Come! Bring a friend! Tweet as you participate: #TheArabianNights
On the Screen: The Films of Alfred Hitchcock
M, T, W, R Jan 5-29 3:00-5:00pm
Activity Leader: Prof. Eugenie Brinkema
Films listed on calendar below. See also the For-Credit Subject: 21L.345 On the Screen: The Films of Alfred Hitchcock.
Kevin Pilkington: New Poems
Jan 15 2:30-4:30pm
Award-winning poet Kevin Pilkington will read from his forthcoming book, Where You Want To Be.
Kevin Pilkington teaches writing at Sarah Lawrence College and is the author of six books of poetry, including Spare Change (La Jolla Poets Press National Book Award winner), Ready to Eat the Sky (Independent Publishers Books Award finalist) and In the Eyes of a Dog (2011 New York Book Festival Award winner). His poems and reviews have appeared in many magazines including The Harvard Review, Boston Review, and North American Review. His first novel, Summer Shares, was published in 2012.