CONTACT: MARY GERAGHTY KENYON
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0011; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: April 10, 2002
UI visitor to discuss African-American influence on early cinema April
When African-Americans began migrating from the South to northern urban
centers in the early 20th century they created a significant impact on a wide
variety of social and cultural movements, including the development of early
Jacqueline Stewart, an assistant professor of English, cinema and media
studies, and African and African-American studies at the University of Chicago,
will discuss this influence in a free, public lecture at the University of
Iowa on Friday, April 19. Stewart's presentation, "Along the Stroll:
Mapping Chicago's Black Film Culture, 1905-1920," is hosted by the UI
American Studies Department and will begin at 4 p.m. in room 704 Jefferson
Stewart's research on African-American urban film culture illustrates how
African Americans engaged with the cinema as part of their larger effort to
be recognized as New Negroes and full American citizens.
"Black migrants challenged racial segregation of public spaces like
theaters, and questioned stereotypical representations of Blackness in film
and other media by migrating-literally and figuratively-out of their traditional
social roles," she said.
In addition to film, Stewart's broad interests in Black cultural production
include nineteenth and twentieth century African American literature, and
Black literary theory and cultural criticism. Stewart earned her BA in English
at Stanford University in 1991. She received her Ph.D. in English at the University
of Chicago in 1999.
Stewart is a member of the board of Women in the Director's Chair, a nonprofit
organization dedicated to cultivating progressive, independent media by women.
She has also served on the Programming Committee of the Black Harvest International
Film and Video Festival.
Co-sponsors of this event include the African-American World Studies Department
and the Institute for Cinema and Culture.