March 2nd lecture: Black Sorority Activism

“WE STRIVE AND WE DO: 

BLACK SORORITY ACTIVISM AND THE BLACK PUBLIC SPHERE”

Disciplining WomenThe Iowa Women’s Archives kicks off Women’s History Month 2011 with a lecture on Wednesday, March 2nd, by Deborah Elizabeth Whaley,  Assistant Professor of American Studies and African American Studies at the University of Iowa.

Whaley is the author of Disciplining Women: Alpha Kappa Alpha, Black Counterpublics, and the Cultural Politics of Black Sororities, which looks at the role of  the Black sorority in women’s everyday lives, public life, and politics.   Based on ethnographic fieldwork, archival research, oral history, and interpretive readings of popular culture and sorority rituals, the study includes sorority members’ stories of community organizing and of cultural practices and rituals such as step dancing, pledging, and hazing.

Many of the African-American women whose papers are in the Iowa Women’s Archives were members of either Alpha Kappa Alpha or Delta Sigma Theta, so we’ve put up a small exhibit in our reading room of programs and memorabilia of these sororities.

Please join us on Wednesday, March 2, for a reception at 4:00 p.m. and Professor Whaley’s talk at 4:30 p.m.

The Iowa Women’s Archives is located on the 3rd floor of the University of Iowa’s Main Library, just off Burlington and Madison in Iowa City.