Dr. Nancy Tolson will discuss the cultural, social, political, and historical images of black women characters found in folklore with her talk “She Has Been Sold, Exposed, Married and Carried Away: The Alchemy of Black Women in Folklore” at 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 30, in the Old Main Room of the Bone Student Center at Illinois State University.
The event, co-sponsored by the University’s African American Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies programs, is free and open to the public.
Tolson is a professor of English and African American studies at the University of South Carolina, where she is the assistant director of the African American Studies program. Professor Tolson’s research on black women in folklore explores how older, traditional tales throughout the African diaspora portray her as a tool, fool, prize, or disguise. The folkloric positioning of black women has evolved through the rise of African women storytellers that continue to use folklore as a tool of empowerment for young women in their communities through songs and stories.
The author of Black Children’s Literature Got de Blues: The Creativity of Black Writers and Illustrators (2008) and Tales of Africa (1998), Tolson’s critical and creative work can be found in various academic journals and books.
A Fulbright Fellow, Tolson spent a year as a lecturer in Cape Coast, Ghana, while researching folklore and teaching elementary education courses at the University of Cape Coast. She is a former member of the Department of English faculty at Illinois State.
Those who need additional information or special accommodation to attend this event can contact Rebecca Brown at (309) 438-5669.