Pembroke Center

Black Feminist Theory Lectures and Events

Envisioned as a site of intellectual collaboration across disciplines, the Black Feminist Theory Project hosts lectures and events featuring scholars and researchers of Black studies.

The Black Feminist Theory Project invites scholars to present current research centering race, gender, and sexuality. Speakers join us from outside institutions as well as they may be affiliated with Brown, the Pembroke Center, and/or have committed to contributing their archival papers to the Pembroke Center Archives in the name of the Black Feminist Theory Project. 

Past Lectures and Events

This symposium was the 2022–23 Shauna M. Stark ’76, P’10 Out of the Archive Event.

In 2019, renowned American literary critic and Black feminist scholar Hortense Spillers donated her papers to the Pembroke Center’s Feminist Theory Archive in the name of the Black Feminist Theory Project, and in April 2022, the Pembroke Center opened the exhibit “Hortense Spillers: A Life Recorded.” The symposium was a celebration of both the collection and the exhibit, and was led by graduate students Tara HolmanChristopher LasassoKiran Saili, and Semilore Sobande in collaboration with the Pembroke Center. 

The keynote talk by C. Riley Snorton is available to watch on our YouTube playlist, as is the conversation between Hortense Spillers (Vanderbilt University) and Margo Natalie Crawford (University of Pennsylvania).

On Thursday, February 25, 2021, Daphne A. Brooks, the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of African American Studies, American Studies, Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies and Music at Yale University, presented research related to her book, "Liner Notes for the Revolution: The Intellectual Life of Black Feminist Sound" (2021). You can view the talk on our YouTube playlist

On February 23, 2021, the Pembroke Center co-sponsored a Sarah Doyle Center conversation with Shirley Moody-Turner, co-director of the Center for Black Digital Research (#DigBlk) and Associate Professor of English and African American Studies at Penn State University. She was joined by  Sabrina Evans, a #DigBlk Scholar for the Center for Black Digital Research and a dual-title graduate student in the departments of English and African American Studies at Penn State University. They discussed the Black Woman’s Organizing Archive (BWOA) and the collective efforts to bring to light the scattered and buried histories of 19th and early 20th century black women’s activism. The conversation was hosted by Ann duCille, Emerita Professor of English at Wesleyan University, and Mary Murphy, the  Nancy L. Buc '65 Pembroke Center Archivist.

On Tuesday, October 29, 2019, Kimberly Juanita Brown, the Elizabeth C. Small Associate Professor of English and Africana Studies and Chair of Gender Studies at Mount Holyoke College, presented the research lecture “Cartographies of the Ocular.” Brown’s research engages the visual as a way to negotiate the parameters of race, gender, and belonging.

On Tuesday, December 12, 2017, Aneeka A. Henderson, Pembroke Center Affiliated Scholar-in-Residence and Assistant Professor of Sexuality, Women's and Gender Studies, Amherst College explored the ways depictions of romance tropes and the marriage plot in a variety of texts negotiate political policies apotheosizing and regulating heterosexual marriage. She discussed the marriage plot in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries as an indispensable mechanism for reassessing and unearthing how black women's bodies and family formation have become increasingly politicized and made public.

On Thursday, April 6th, 2017, Ann duCille, Inaugural Distinguished Professor in Residence, Emerita Professor of English at Wesleyan University and author of Technicolored: Reflections on Race in the Time if TV, Skin Trade, and The Coupling Convention: Sex, Text, and Tradition in Black Women's Fiction, presented her research on race, gender, and women in television media.