2023 Ted Rose Lecture features talk on 'Black Pulp and the Radical Politics of Popular Genre' on March 9

Published: February 23, 2023 Author: Staff reports

The African American Studies Department presents the 2023 Ted Rose Lecture featuring a guest talk by Brooks E. Hefner on "Black Pulp and the Radical Politics of Popular Genre" on March 9 from 4:30-6 p.m. in the Baker Center Ballroom.

Hefner will take a deep dive into mid-century African American newspapers, exploring how Black pulp fiction reassembled genre formulas in the service of racial justice.

Hefner, professor of English at James Madison University, will talk about "Black Pulp: Genre Fiction in the Shadow of Jim Crow" (University of Minnesota Press, 2021).

 

Book cover for Black Pulp: Genre Fiction in the Shadow of Jim Crow

From the pages of the Pittsburgh Courier and the Baltimore Afro-American, Hefner recovers a rich archive of African American genre fiction from the 1920s through the mid-1950s — spanning romance, hero-adventure, and crime stories to westerns and science fiction. Reading these stories, Hefner explores how their authors deployed, critiqued, and reassembled genre formulas in the service of racial justice.

Black Pulp was shortlisted for the Modernist Studies Association Book Prize and won honorable mention for the Bibliographic Society of America St. Louis Mercantile Library Prize. Hefner is also the author of "The Word on the Streets: The American Language of Vernacular Modernism" (University of Virginia Press, 2017).

"Hefner's research is on Black 'pulp' fiction, published in Black newspapers from the Harlem Renaissance (the 1920s) through the post-Second World War periods. A sensational and historically influential example is George Schuyler's circa 1930s 'Black Empire,' regarded as the first Afrofuturist text." said Gary Holcomb, professor and chair of African American Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences.

"I am teaching 'Black Empire,' edited by Hefner and just published by Penguin Classics, in my Harlem Renaissance course, and Brooks will be visiting the class on the day of the Ted Rose Lecture to talk about the novel," Holcomb noted.

See more Ted Rose Lecture Series news.

 

Dr. Vattel "Ted" Rose, Ohio University African American Studies chair, classroom lecture, 1980. From the Ohio University Archives.
Dr. Vattel "Ted" Rose, Ohio University African American Studies chair, classroom lecture, 1980. From the Ohio University Archives.

Vattel ‘Ted’ Rose was an associate professor in African American Studies from 1978 to the early 2000s. As chair of the department, he helped to build a legacy of excellence that still resonates today. During his tenure at Ohio University, Rose led the department for almost two decades and ensured its continuation long after his retirement.

The annual lecture series is an opportunity to introduce and recognize nationally and internationally recognized scholars in or closely affiliated with the discipline of African American Studies. These lectures provide the Ohio University community with speakers who have contributed to the close examination and understanding of African and African American life, history, and culture.

This event is sponsored by the African American Studies Department, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Division of Diversity and Inclusion, the English Department, and the History Department.