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  • The Pleasure Principle: A Post Hip-Hop Search for a Black Feminist Politics of Pleasure

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - 5:30pm to 7:30pm
Roble Hall Theater
374 Santa Teresa Street
Stanford, CA 94305
Phone: 650.723.4402

Join IDA for a panel discussion on black female sexuality and articulations of pleasure in popular culture led by IDA Visiting Artist Joan Morgan

Wednesday, February 27, 5:30-7:30pm

Roble Hall Theater
374 Santa Teresa St.

Food will be served.

Joan Morgan began a career in journalism as a freelance writer for The Village Voice, where she quickly established herself as "a black-feminist writer who was unafraid of tackling the most highly charged topics." Since then, Morgan has won an Excellence Merit Media Award, become an Executive Director of Essence Magazine, written for various national magazines, and established herself as a leading voice in the field of "hip-hop feminism," appearing on CNN, BET, MTV, and VH-1 and touring the country to discuss the intersection of hip-hop and gender. Morgan was born in Jamaica and raised in the South Bronx. A graduate of Wesleyan University, she has taught at The New School, Duke University, and Vanderbilt University. Her book, When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost, was published in 1999 by Simon and Schuster. She is currently pursuing her Ph. D in American Studies at NYU.

The panel will also feature black feminist scholars/thinkers who are deeply invested in theorizing a politics of pleasure and creating safe erotic spaces for black and brown bodies, including:

  • Esther Armah, former BBC journalist; WBAI radio host; playwright
  • Dr. Brittney Cooper,  Assistant Professor in Women's Studies and Africana at Rutgers University; founder of the Crunk Feminist Collective 
  • Dr. Kaila Story, Assistant Professor, Women's and Gender Studies / Pan-African Studies; Audre Lorde Chair in Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at University of Louisville
  • Dr. Treva Lindsey, Assistant Professor, Women's and Gender Studies at University of Missouri

This program is co-sponsored by the Program in Feminist Studies

Kaila Adia Story (Ph.D., African American Studies & Women’s Studies Temple University M.A., African American Studies Temple University; B.A. Women’s Studies DePaul University) is an assistant professor and currently holds the Audre Lorde Chair in Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality in the Departments of Women’s & Gender Studies & Pan-African Studies at the University of Louisville. Dr. Story’s research explores the intersections of race, class, and sexuality in identity performance, mass media, body politics, and the like. Currently, she is looking at how reality television posits Black and Female identity and reinforces past controlling images of Black women. Her other research interests are Gender Socialization, Transnational Sexualities, Black feminisms, and Transnational Feminisms. Dr. Story was recently quoted by Tanzina Vega in “A Show Makes Friends and History: ‘Scandal’ on ABC Is Breaking Barriers in The New York Times and by Akiba Solomon in "Smart People Talk Beyonce So I don't Have to" in Colorlines.com (a daily news site offering award-winning reporting, analysis, and solutions to today's racial justice issues).

Dr. Brittney Cooper (Ph.D. Emory University in American Studies; summa cum laude Phi Beta Kappa B.A. Howard University in English and Political Science) is an assistant professor of Women's Studies and Africana Studies at Rutgers University. Her research and teaching interests fall into two key areas: Black women's intellectual history and Black feminist thought. Currently, Dr. Cooper is completing her first book project, Race Women: Gender and the Making of a Black Public Intellectual Tradition, 1892-Present. She has published several book chapters and articles on representations of Black women in popular culture, including a piece on the representation of the "baby-mama" figure in Hip Hop music and film, the feminist implications of Janet Jackson's 2004 Super Bowl mishap, and the importance of Michelle Obama in the tradition of Black female leadership. She has a forthcoming article on Sapphire's Push as a hip hop novel. Dr. Cooper is co-founder along with Dr. Susana Morris of the Crunk Feminist Collective, a feminist of color scholar-activist group that runs a highly successful blog. A native of Ruston, Louisiana, Dr. Cooper considers herself a small-town Southern girl at heart, which explains her affinity for soul food, crunk music, and warm weather.

Esther Armah is a New York radio host, playwright, award-winning international journalist and national best-selling author. Esther has been in the media in Europe, Africa and now America for almost 15 years. In New York, you can hear her on New York”s WBAI99.5FM”s morning talk show “Wake Up Call, Mon-Thurs 6-8am. She has hosted WNYC’s “The Next New York Conversation”; GRITtv with Laura Flanders and MNN’s Ancestor House with Nana Camille Yarbrough. Esther Armah is a political commentator on MSNBC’s Up With Chris Hayes and Melissa Harris Perry. As an international journalist she has written for The Guardian” newspaper in London, “Essence” magazine in the US, and “West Africa” magazine in Africa. Her most recent writing is an essay on her life”s work “Emotional Justice”, entitled “The Posse” and has appeared in the 2012 book: Black Cool: One Thousand Streams of Blackness edited by Rebecca Walker, daughter of the Pulitzer prize winner, Alice Walker.

Dr. Treva Lindsey (Ph.D. in History and a Graduate Certificate in African and African American Studies from Duke University) is an Assistant Professor of Women's and Gender Studies at the University of Missouri. She is also a faculty affiliate of the Black Studies Program and has a graduate teaching appointment in the Department of History. Her research and teaching interests include black female expressive culture, African American women's history, critical race and gender theory, black feminism(s), hip hop studies, and sexual politics. She is currently completing her first monograph, Re-Imagining Public Culture: New Negro Womanhood in the Nation's Capital.  At the core of her scholarship is historical and contemporary African American women's expressive culture. Dr. Lindsey researches, presents, and publishes on topics ranging from skin bleaching practices among African American women in the early twentieth century to explorations of hip hop soul as a unique space for African American women's storytelling. In her more recent research, Dr. Lindsey investigates digital feminism and how African American women use new and social media as dynamic expressive sites.