Home » Ayesha Hardison Discusses Jane Crow

Ayesha Hardison Discusses Jane Crow

Have these April showers kept you in your room for far too long? Do you like study breaks? Are you looking for something to do on a Thursday afternoon?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, come to the Downing Student Union 3025 on Thursday, April 30 from 4:00-5:30 PM for a talk by Dr. Ayesha Hardison entitled, “Of Maids and Ladies: The Ethics of Living Jane Crow.”

ayesha jane crowHardison is an Associate Professor of English at Ohio University and is the author of the recent book Writing through Jane Crow: Race and Gender Politics in African American Literature. Her talk and the following discussion will provide both students and faculty with an opportunity to interact with a scholar at the cutting edge of research in literary studies. 

In her book, Hardison explores how African American women lived through and resisted Jim Crow segregation. Using the literature of the times, Hardison examines the ways in which African American writers combated “Jane Crow,” or the simultaneous racism and sexism enforced by Jim Crow segregation, by speaking out about black women’s experiences.

History LessonJim Crow Laws consisted of legislation from the 1880s into the 1960s that enforced segregation of blacks and whites in the United States. If you’d like to learn more about Jim Crow laws, click here.

This event takes learning beyond the four walls of a classroom in Cherry Hall. Hardison’s focus on race, gender, sexuality, and class, as well as art’s ability to speak to their intersections, adds a new dimension to literary analysis that any English major would love to explore.

What’s extremely interesting about Hardison’s work is that she recovers the under-studied and under-valued work of people during the Writing Through Jane CrowCivil Rights movement. Take Pauli Murray for instance. She was a Civil Rights activist whose transgender experiences often leave her forgotten in Civil Rights history. Then there is Jackie Ormes. She was the first black woman to draw her own syndicated comic strip. Unfortunately, these writers and several others have been hidden beneath history, but now Hardison has uncovered them so that the world may rediscover them and their achievements.

WKU English Department’s Dr. Chris Lewis says,

“I encourage students to use this event as a barometer of where literary studies as a field is today and where it is going. Hardison’s work will likely surprise, unsettle, and provoke you and your ideas about U.S. history and African American literature, as the best scholarship in these areas should.

This sounds like it will be an amazing opportunity. English majors of every concentration should put out their rain boots, grab their umbrellas, and participate in this exciting event!

Don’t forget: April 30—4 PM—DSU 3025

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