Shades of Intimacy: Women in the Time of Revolution

Hortense Spillers
Feb 16, 2017 | 6:00pm

James Room, 4th Floor Barnard Hall
3009 Broadway, New York, NY 10027

Hortense Spillers

Hortense Spillers considers the aftermath of the notion of partus sequitur ventrem—the “American ‘innovation’ that proclaimed that the child born of an enslaved mother would also be enslaved.” In her fall lecture, “Shades of Intimacy: Women in the Time of Revolution,” she deepens this ongoing exploration by engaging the idea of the “shadow” family as one of the tectonic shifts in the concept and practice of social relations in the New World from the 18th century forward. Join us for Spillers’ critical examination of this period of profound contradiction and change when dangerously hegemonic definitions of race, gender, and family took hold.

Registration for the evening lecture is preferred but not required. To register, click the button below.



Capacity is limited and seating is first-come, first-served. Doors will open at 5:45.

The event will be livestreamed on Facebook at

About Hortense Spillers

Hortense Spillers is the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor in the English Department at Vanderbilt University, where she has been on faculty since 2006. She is the editor (along with Marjorie Pryse) of Conjuring: Black Women, Fiction, and Literary Tradition (1985) and Comparative American Identities: Race, Sex, and Nationality in the Modern Text (1991). She published a collection of essays, Black, White, and in Color: Essays on American Literature and Culture (2003), which spans the breadth of her professional interests in African American culture and history.


The Barnard Center for Research on Women engages our communities through programming, projects, and publications that advance intersectional social justice feminist analyses and generate concrete steps toward social transformation.

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