The Humanities Symposia

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The 2017 Defining Herself event will take as its focus the life and work of Gladys Bentley (1907-1960), whose remarkable musical performances are matched only by her equally remarkable persona. Bentley was headlining singer/pianist, performing in clubs in Harlem during the 1920s and 1930s. This era saw the burgeoning of the Harlem Renaissance, a dynamic outpouring of creative energy by the African-American population, and Bentley, in a number of ways, typifies that creative drive. At a time when gender roles were still quite circumscribed, Bentley was openly lesbian. Her preference for male attire, and her embracing (and enhancing) of the double-entendres inherent in blues lyrics became drawing cards for her performances, and her presence at the Clam House or Ubangi Club guaranteed large crowds in attendance. Examinations of her contributions and the larger contexts of The Harlem Renaissance, issues of sexuality and sexual identity, and social class and social identity are part of this symposium.
All proceeds and donations support The Columbus State Humanities Symposia Fund. The fund was established to financially assist academics and students, as well as members of the larger Columbus Community who are interested in fostering greater community awareness of the humanities.
CALL FOR PAPERS:

We welcome scholarship on performance and identity (and performative identity), challenges to gender and sexuality during the Harlem Renaissance, and the relationship between artist/audience in race and gender.  For information on submitting your abstract, please CLICK HERE. *CALL FOR PAPERS DEADLINE EXTENDED TO JANUARY 23.

 

If you are unable to attend, or simply wish to support The Humanities Symposia Fund, please CLICK HERE to make a donation.

Registration:
Please let us know for whom the registration fee is intended: Yourself, A Guest(s), or to Sponsor a Student(s). (*Sponsored students will be selected by the Columbus State Humanities Department. If you wish to bring a student, please register them as your guest.)
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