Tuesday, February 13, 2018

UIS Speaker Series explores how African American children are depicted in popular media

WHAT: The University of Illinois Springfield Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) Speaker Series presents a lecture on “Black Children in Hollywood Cinema” by Debbie Olson, Ph.D., an assistant professor of English at Missouri Valley College. The event is free and open to the public.

WHEN: Tuesday, March 6, 2018, at 4 p.m.

WHERE: UIS Brookens Auditorium, located on the lower level of Brookens Library

DETAILS: The lecture will examine the relationship between how African American children are depicted in popular media and how black children in the United States are often considered prone to violence and criminality. The talk will address the significance of the image of the black child to the current cultural construction of childhood in popular media and explore how such image affirms or subverts popular notions of childhood in contemporary America. Olson will also discuss whether black “gangsta” images help inform cultural perceptions of black children and whether historical images of the African child inform those of the African American child.

Olson’s research interests include images of African/African American children in films and television, critical race theory, cultural studies, and children in new Hollywood film. Her books include “Lost and Othered Children in Contemporary Cinema” (Lexington 2012), “Portrayals of Children in Popular Culture: Fleeting Images” (Lexington 2013), “The Child in the Films of Alfred Hitchcock” (Palgrave 2014) and “The Child in Post-Apocalyptic Cinema” (Lexington 2015). Her monograph, “The Black Child in Hollywood Cinema: Cast in Shadow” (Palgrave 2017) examines the black child in popular Hollywood cinema.

Individuals with disabilities who anticipate the need for accommodations should contact the UIS Speaker Series Office at 217/206-8507 or speakerseries@uis.edu in advance. For a list of other upcoming ECCE Speaker Series events, visit www.uis.edu/speakerseries/.

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