CONTACT: MARY GERAGHTY KENYON
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0011; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Sept. 10, 2001
UI visitor to discuss African-American influence on early cinema Sept.
IOWA CITY, Iowa 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 cinema.
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, Sept. 14. Stewarts presentation, Along the Stroll:
Mapping Chicagos Black Film Culture, 1905-1920, is hosted by the
UI American studies department and will begin at 4 p.m. in Room 704, Jefferson
Stewarts 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, Stewarts broad interests in Black cultural production
include nineteenth and twentieth century African-American literature, and
Black literary theory and cultural criticism. Stewart earned her B.A. 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.