Prof. Kimberly Mack (African American Literature and Culture, Univ. of Toledo) “Big Mama Thornton, Cynthia Dagnal-Myron, and the Power of Black Women’s Narratives”
Date: Wednesday Oct. 26, 2022
Time: 4:00-6:00PM (reception to follow)
Location: 701C Dodge Hall (The Center for Ethnomusicology), Columbia Univ. Morningside Campus, Broadway @ 116th St.
Free and Open to the Public, Attendance Limited, Attendees should be vaccinated and prepared to wear a mask during the talk.
Please contact aaf19 [at] columbia.edu for further information or to arrange special accommodations.
Focusing on her monograph Fictional Blues: Narrative Self-Invention from Bessie Smith to Jack White (University of Massachusetts Press, 2020), winner of the 2021 College English Association of Ohio’s Nancy Dasher Award, and her in-progress book tentatively titled The Untold History of American Rock Criticism (under contract with Bloomsbury), Kimberly Mack will explore how Black women’s narratives—literary and musical, autobiographical and biographical—serve as vehicles to assert power and agency. Using examples culled from popular music and music journalism, Dr. Mack will demonstrate how Black women’s strategic use of storytelling has the power to correct historically inaccurate or incomplete records about musical artists and their works, music writers and their contributions, and the construction of the genres in which musicians and music writers navigate.
Speaker Bio: Kimberly Mack holds a Ph.D. in English from UCLA, and she is Associate Professor of African American literature and culture at the University of Toledo. She is the author of Fictional Blues: Narrative Self-Invention from Bessie Smith to Jack White (University of Massachusetts Press, 2020), which won the 2021 College English Association of Ohio’s Nancy Dasher Award. Kimberly is writing a new book, tentatively titled The Untold History of American Rock Criticism (under contract with Bloomsbury Academic), about the BIPoC and White women writers who helped develop American rock criticism and journalism during the 1960s and 1970s. For this project, she is the recipient of a senior scholar research grant from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) and the Charles Hamm Fellowship from the Society for American Music. Another book, Living Colour’s Time’s Up, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 book series, will be published in May 2023. Kimberly’s scholarly and public-facing articles have appeared, or are forthcoming, in African American Review, Popular Music and Society, Journal of Popular Music Studies, AMP: American Music Perspectives, Longreads, No Depression, and elsewhere.