St. Paul, Minn. – This year’s Mahmoud El-Kati Distinguished Lectureship in American Studies will present a Rap Sessions Panel titled “Black Feminism in Today’s Pop Culture: Pleasure. Desire. Purposeful Transgression,” at 5 p.m., Thu., March 12, in the John B. Davis Lecture Hall, Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center.  Admission is free and open to the public.  For more information, call 651-696-6410.

“Black Feminism in Today’s Pop Culture: Pleasure. Desire. Purposeful Transgression” explores the agency, desire and deliberate deviance of the Black women who produce today’s popular culture – from Beyoncé and Kerry Washington to television producer, screenwriter and director Shonda Rhimes  (“Scandal,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “How to Get Away with Murder”).  Ava Durvernay’s “Selma,” Azealia Banks critiques of Iggy Azalea and contemporary debates regarding race, class and gender relative to Oscar and Grammys Awards will also be considered.

Featured panelists include thought leaders in the field:

 • Joan Morgan (author When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost)

Brittney Cooper (Women’s and Gender Studies professor and columnist)

Yaba Blay (author of (1)ne Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race and CNN consulting producer for “Who Is Black in America?”)

Treva Lindsey (Women’s and Gender Studies professor at Ohio State University, state coordinator for Black Lives Matter)

•  Kaila Story (Audre Lorde Chair of Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Louisville, contributor to Homegirls Make Some Noise)

The Mahmoud El-Kati Distinguished Lectureship in American Studies was established by Dr. Stanley M. Berry ’75, Mr. Bertram M. Days ’74 and Ms. Ava B. Days to honor Professor El-Kati’s career as a lecturer, writer and commentator on the African American experience. From 1970 to 2003, Professor El-Kati taught many generations of Macalester students. He was also a champion for increasing the diversity of the student body and for making multiculturalism central to the College’s curriculum. 

Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 2,045 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism, and civic engagement. Learn more at

March 2 2015

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