Dr. Sheri Parks, associate professor and co-director of American Studies at the University of Maryland, will speak about the sacred dark feminine Feb. 7. The lecture will be held in Gettysburg College’s Mara Auditorium at 7 p.m. Admission is free and the public is invited to attend.
Parks’ topic will be "Interested Strangers and Fierce Angels: The Strong Black Woman and Redemption in American Popular Culture." This talk examines the ways in which popular culture narratives have picked up and popularized the sacred dark feminine and what the images have meant for mainstream and minority audiences. Films such as "The Help" and "The Secret Life of Bees" draw from the paradox image of the sacred dark feminine: nurturing yet fierce, strong yet gentle, female and masculine, black yet able to lead her charges to the light.
Parks is the author of “Fierce Angels: The Strong Black Woman in American Life and Culture.” Her research focuses on public aesthetics, with particular concern for popular culture as public mythology and its effect upon individuals, families, and minority cultures. In 2008, Parks was recognized by the University of Maryland as the Outstanding Woman of Color and as Faculty of the Year in the University Honors Program.
Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.
Contact: Tracey Dukert, assistant director of news content, 717.337.6521