News & Events
October 25, 2010
Karen Sotiropoulos, internationally known historian, will speak on, "Hokum: A History of Black Popular Culture," at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 1, in UNC Asheville's Highsmith University Union, room 222. The event is free and open to the public.
Sotiropoulos is the author of the book "Staging Race: Black Performers in Turn of the Century America," (Harvard University Press) which examines the significance of black vaudeville, minstrelsy and theater in the formation of African American political identity. The "hokum" in the lecture title refers broadly to comedic farce, but also to an early type of blues song full of euphemistic sexual innuendo.
Sotiropoulos has also published articles in the Radical History Review, a chapter in "Africa and Its Diaspora: History, Memory and Literary Manifestations," and an essay for the website accompanying Ken Burns' PBS documentary, "Jazz" (http://www.pbs.org/jazz/index.htm). She has presented her work at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, and the University of Cape Coast in Ghana. Sotiropoulos serves as associate professor of history at Cleveland State University and holds a doctorate from City University of New York.
This lecture is part of the Mills Distinguished Speaker series, and is co-sponsored by the History Department, NEH Professorship in the Humanities and the Center for Diversity Education. For more information, contact Sarah Judson, UNC Asheville associate professor of history, at 828.251.6297.