Brown Bag Lunch Lecture Series to Focus on Women’s Studies

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The College of Education, Humanities, and Social Sciences (CEHSS) Interdisciplinary Research Committee at SC State University will host its monthly Brown Bag Lunch Lecture Series on Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2011 at noon in Staley Hall Auditorium. The Faculty Brown Bag Lunch Lecture Series was launched in Spring 2008 to introduce faculty to the work currently conducted within the CEHSS and external partners, and to encourage collaborative research projects between disciplines.

Dr. SimsDr. Yvonne Sims, assistant professor of English at SC State University, will serve as guest speaker. Sims’ topic will be “Josephine Baker: Stardom on Her Own Terms.” In her presentation, Sims will focus on actress and singer Josephine Baker and how she constructed a stardom persona outside of American theater and film. Baker achieved fame and success on an international level that was remarkable in a profession that offered African-American women little agency.  She was one of the first international superstars gaining recognition and fame on several continents—a feat not easy to accomplish for a performer, particularly an African-American woman where the barriers of race and gender proved difficult to overcome. Constantly transforming her image, Baker played with conventions of beauty, and through each decade remained relevant in the public eye whether it was through films, stage, or political and social activism.

Sims’ focus on Baker is directly related to her research area which concentrates on the intersections of race, ethnicity and gender in popular culture with particular emphasis on film. Sims’ teaching includes undergraduate and graduate courses in English, humanities, women’s studies and African-American studies.

Sims has published a book, “Women of Blaxploitation: How the Black Action Heroine Changed American Popular Culture,” (McFarland 2006) as well as peer reviewed articles, peer reviewed book chapters and peer reviewed encyclopedia entries in race, ethnicity and gender.  Sims earned a Ph.D. in American culture studies from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio; a Master of Arts in comparative literature from the University of South Carolina (USC) in Columbia, S.C.; and a Bachelor of Arts in English from USC.

For more information about the Faculty Brown Bag Lunch Lecture Series, contact Mrs. Giselle White-Perry, lecture series coordinator, at (803) 536-8803; or Dr. Janice Hawes, CEHSS Interdisciplinary Research Committee chairperson, at (803) 536-8356.

Certificates of attendance will be provided by the Office of Professional Development and Training. To register, log onto or contact the Office of Professional Development and Training at (803) 536-7104.