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Assembly Series

A tradition of convening thought leaders since 1953

McKelvey School of Engineering

Theatrical Jazz and Phases of Black Womanhood in Batiste's "Blue Gold & Butterflies"

Friday, April 9 | 4:00 PM

This presentation blends the creative and scholarly in a consideration of Batiste’s play “Blue Gold & Butterflies.” Batiste reflects on the critical goals of her creative efforts to capture the history of a family and the impacts of trauma, choice and change. A goddess, a ghost, and a memory accompany a mother and daughter on their journeys through self realization. Lasting affective shift becomes a goal that lurks deeper than self reflection and beyond generational legacy. Our characters both love through and rely on the the maladaptations they strive to change. Through poetry, the play happens in multiple temporalities at the same time as the women strive to pass down intergenerational love. In prose and play, the women reach towards a collective way of relating to each other as well as to knowledge and ambiguities of self. Repetitions and resonances across generations emerge in meetings with the past, with spirit, and with the ancestors to ask what it means to survive trauma and live with loving intention.

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Arts & Sciences



Event Contact


Speaker Information
Dr. Stephanie Leigh Batiste, Associate Professor of English at The University of California at Santa Barbara, and Director of the Hemispheric South/s Research Initiative
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