Worlds of Shange

Jennifer DeVere Brody, Farah Jasmine Griffin, Alexis Pauline Gumbs ’04, Vanessa K. Valdés, and more

Ntozake Shange

In a culture in which black women’s stories have been consistently marginalized, Ntozake Shange ’70 unflinchingly delved into experiences of “colored girls” in America, transcending genre and defying expectations with several of the most powerful and lyrical works of art in the twentieth century.

This February, the Africana Studies Program, the Consortium for Critical Interdisciplinary Studies (CCIS), and BCRW will hold a one-day conference devoted to the life, works and legacy of Shange. Almost forty years after the first production of For Colored Girls Shange’s work continues to challenge and inspire. This event brings together scholars and artists from across the country who are shaping scholarly and popular conversations about African-American arts and letters as well as gender in the African Diaspora.

The conference kicks off with Performing Shange on Thursday, February 14 when Shange joins acclaimed dance artist Dianne McIntyre in a conversation about her life, work, and legacy. Barnard students round out the evening with performances of excerpts from Shange’s work, led by music producer and Barnard Center for Research on Women Alumnae Fellow Ebonie Smith ’07.

Featured conference speakers include Jennifer DeVere Brody, Professor of Dance and Theatre Performance at Stanford University and author of Punctuation: Art, Politics and Play; Farah Jasmine Griffin, Professor of English and Comparative Literature and African-American Studies at Columbia University and author of If You Can’t Be Free, Be a Mystery: In Search of Billie Holiday; Alexis Pauline Gumbs ’04, independent scholar, poet, activist, and founder of Mobile Homecoming; and Vanessa K. Valdés, Assistant Professor of Spanish and Portuguese.

This event is free and open to the public. Venue is wheelchair accessible.

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