From the event website:
For many of us, Josephine Baker will always be the reigning queen of Paris in the Jazz Age, the exotic face of French burlesque. But when we look beyond the kiss-curl and the banana skirt and the diamond-collared pet leopard, we see a woman whose life transcended those iconic performances in important and still illuminating ways.
Born in the American Midwest, Baker began her career on the vaudeville circuit, made her way to New York during the heady days of the Harlem Renaissance, and then journeyed to interwar France, where her erotic dancing at the ThÃ©Ã¢tre des Champs-Ã‰lysÃ©es rocketed her to stardom. Baker’s position as an American expatriate, her manipulation of a burgeoning jazz aesthetic, her embodiment of”new womanhood,”and her commitment to securing civil rights in both Europe and the United States lend us priceless insight into the nature of celebrity and performance, the meanings of racial emancipation and exploitation, and the transformative relationship between art and politics
The Center is pleased to join the French Department and Africana Studies Program at Barnard College, and the Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia University in presenting a three-day, interdisciplinary colloquium celebrating the centenary of this remarkable woman. We invite you to join an international assembly of scholars, filmmakers, dancers and choreographers, and biographers in whose vivid portrait of”The Black Venus”we see the whole of the twentieth century reflected.
More information, and preregistration available here.