What’s Up With The Help?: Domestic Labor, Black Feminism, and the Politics of Representation


 Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

 2:30-4:00 p.m.

John Cotton Dana Library, Fourth Floor, Dana Room

Panel discussion on the controversial, award-winning film, The Help.

Based on the 2009 best-selling novel by Kathryn Stockett, the film received a significant amount of criticism from scholars following its August 2011 release. Despite bad reviews from scholars, the film was a favorite among moviegoers and critics, as evidenced by the film’s recent success at the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild Awards. As a part of the growing national dialogue about the film, this forum situates The Help within a long historym of representations of black women’s labor. At the same time, the discussion considers the film’s implications for contemporary domestic work and domestic worker activism.

The panel features Dr. Vanessa May, Assistant Professor of History at Seton Hall, Rutgers-Newark Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Dr. Sherri-Ann Butterfieldand American Studies doctoral student, Shana A. Russell.

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