College of Arts and Sciences

African American Studies Lecture Series continues

January 17, 2009

The African American Studies Department at WIU is offering a lecture series called “African American Studies Today,” designed to introduce students and the community to the research and activities of faculty members. The next presentation is “From Mammy to Militant to Baby Mama: The Media Pictures African American Women,” on February 4, 2009. AAS faculty member Jo-Ann Morgan, an art historian and author of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” as Visual Culture (Missouri, 2007), says of her topic:
“During the 2008 presidential campaign, candidate Barack Obama’s wife Michelle, an African American woman, was caricatured on the cover of one mainstream magazine as a gun-totting militant, while another publication named her among their “internationally best-dressed women.” A conservative cable news program called her “Obama’s baby mama,” while her every gesture was scrutinized for significance.”
Morgan will present an historical overview of the representation of African American women in American popular culture and offer insight about what might have motivated choices made by the media in portraying Michelle Obama.

Other “AAS Today” faculty members scheduled to speak are Audrey Watkins, “Journeys of our Mothers: the Transnational Experience of African Jamaican Women” on March 4, 2009 and Safoura Boukari, “Toward a New Vision: Race, Class & Gender as Canons of Analysis & Connection – Combating Controlling Images” on April 1, 2009.

“AAS Today” lectures are in Malpass 180 at 6 pm on the first Wednesday of the month. For more information contact Jo-Ann Morgan at 298-2298.

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: Jo-Ann Morgan, African American Studies