(originally posted 09/08 at wordpress)
by Blythe Pavlik
damali ayo, author of the acclaimed book How to Rent a Negro, will kick off B-Word/Bitch magazine’s first lecture series, “Feminist Perspectives in Pop Culture,” on Tuesday, September 30th at Portland State University’s Smith Memorial Ballroom.
The four-evening series will “merge popular culture and critical thought,” says Amy S. Williams, Development Director for B-Word/Bitch magazine. “We’re looking to bring new insights in feminism to a broader audience through the lens of pop culture.”
Portland resident ayo became internationally known through her website, rent-a-negro.com, which examines the intersection of race relations and commerce. She expanded on the site with 2005’s "How to Rent a Negro", which used satire and biting wit to explore our culture’s strained race relations. The book was recently optioned by Coalition Films and will soon be made into a feature film.
The lecture series is a milestone for B-Word/Bitch, which has long hoped its trademark brand of cultural criticism could move from the written word to the spoken sphere. “The voices of feminist culture-makers, commentators, historians, scholars, and artists are often missing from discussions about everything from current events to art to activism,” Williams says. “This series is designed to attract people who already identify as feminists as well as people who might be unaware of or unfamiliar with feminist topics. We want to help feminist media criticism reverberate beyond the confines of academia and women’s media.”
“Feminist Perspectives in Pop Culture” is made possible by the generous funding of theOregon Council for the Humanities and Willamette Week, and is presented in collaboration with Portland State University’s Women’s Resource Center.
Subsequent lectures in the series will feature:
Susie Bright, November 18th, 2008
TBD, February 24th, 2009
Guerrilla Girls, April 28th, 2009
All lectures will be held at 7:00pm at Portland State University’s Smith Memorial
Ballroom, 825 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97201. A Q&A with the speaker will follow each lecture.
Individual tickets and series passes are available through Portland State University’s
box office, located at 1825 SW Broadway, or order by phone at (888) 847-8457.
For more information about the series, please visit www.bitchmagazine.org, or call the
PSU Women’s Resource Center at (503) 725-5672.