FMST Colloquium - Vera Kallenberg

September 20, 2019

Black Like Me Image

Blacklisted Jews Like Us

Gerda and Carl Lerner: Intersectionality, Experience as Deviants, and the Film "Black Like Me"

Feminist Studies Colloquium

October 15 | 11:30am | Humanities 1, room 210

Visiting Scholar Vera Kallenberg will discuss her research on the life of Gerda Lerner (1920-2013), a pioneer of women's history who co-wrote the 1964 film Black Like Me with husband and film director Carl Lerner.  Based on John Howard Griffin's highly controversial book, the film is often criticized today as Blackface.  In 1959, the white Texan writer darkened his skin and travelled through the Jim Crow-era "deep South" to expose the everyday realities of racism.  The film reflects the Lerners' experience as participants in the civil rights movement and their own experiences of repression as communists in Cold War America and Gerda's persecution as a Jew in Nazi Europe.

Vera Kallenberg (PhD TU Darmstadt/EHESS Paris in Modern European Jewish History) works at the crossroads of Feminist Studies, Jewish Studies, European and North American History.

Lunch will be served.