Oct. 24: Black masculinity, gender, popular culture to be explored in free lecture

Neal-80PULLMAN, Wash. – Race, popular culture and masculinity are the topics of a free, public presentation at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24, in Todd Hall 276 at Washington State University Pullman.

Speaker, author and news commentator Mark Anthony Neal will present “Looking for Leroy: (Il)Legible Black Masculinities” – also the title of his most recent book. It explores the cultural meaning and significance of Jay-Z, Luther Vandross, Barack Obama and R Kelley.

“Mark Anthony Neal is one of the nation’s foremost experts on black masculinity, particularly as it relates to media and popular culture,” said David Leonard, professor and chair of the WSU Department of Critical Culture, Gender and Race Studies (http://libarts.wsu.edu/ccgrs/), which is hosting the event. The talk will help attendees better “interpret images and identities and engage popular culture critically,” Leonard said.

Neal-450Neal is a professor of black popular culture at Duke University, where he won the 2010 Robert B. Cox Award for teaching. A frequent commentator for National Public Radio, he also contributes to online media outlets including Huff Post Black Voices, Ebony.com and Britain’s New Black Magazine.

His books include “What the Music Said: Black Popular Music and Black Public Culture” (1998) and “New Black Man: Rethinking Black Masculinity” (2005). He has appeared in several documentaries including Byron Hurt’s “Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes” (2006), John Akomfrah’s “Urban Soul” (2004) and Jonathan Gayles’ “White Scripts and Black Supermen” (2012).

His presentation at WSU is the first of two events in the 2013 CCGRS Speaker Series and is part of the university’s Common Reading Program (http://universitycollege.wsu.edu/units/CommonReading/).



David Leonard, WSU Department of Critical Culture, Gender and Race Studies, djl@wsu.edu, 509-335-6854

Adrian Aumen, WSU College of Arts and Sciences, adriana@wsu.edu, 509-335-5671