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(Hybrid) Roundtable: Women and Art in Interwar France

Tue June 11 @ 19 h 30 - 20 h 30


Join a special roundtable discussion of female creativity in interwar Paris, with experts on Joesphine Baker, Janet Flanner, Anaïs Nin, and more.

The newly published anthology, Impressions from Paris: Women Creatives in Interwar Years France, studies contributions of various women artists and writers who lived in Paris from 1920 through 1940. As scholar Sylvie Blum-Reid writes in her introduction, these women helped to define the cultural and artistic practices of their era, and in doing so, they “left behind traces that still reverberate today.”  

The book revisits the subjects’ experiences through various lenses that include art history, gender, fashion, literary analysis, psychology, philosophy, film, and food. The Library welcomes six contributors to this anthology for a roundtable discussion on the enduring legacies of these women.

About the speakers:

Sylvie Blum-Reid is professor of French and film at the University of Florida. Her research interests include women and fashion, travel narratives, photography, cinema, culture and expatriate female artists in the interwar period. She has written Traveling in French Cinema and East-West Encounters: Franco- Asian Cinema and Literature.

Sherry Ann Buckberrough is professor (emerita) of Art History. She was Chair of the department of Art History at University of Hartford. She also chaired the Women’s Studies Program. Her published writing includes New Britain Museum of American Art, Robert Delaunay: The Discovery of Simultaneity, and she has contributed to many exhibition catalogs. 

Dantzel Cenatiempo is a researcher and lecturer in French Studies at the University of Washington, with an emphasis in Gender Studies. Her research interests center on clothing and fashion but are interdisciplinary in scope, and include 19th- and 20th-century feminisms, critical race theory, and female biography. Her forthcoming article on Josephine Baker’s use of whiteface will be published in French Historical Studies.

Clara Oropeza is Professor of English Composition and Literature at Santa Barbara City College. Her research brings comparative mythology to literary studies and cultural theory. She is the author of several essays, most recent “The (Mal)Creation of Food the Monsanto Way: Returning a Mythic Sensitivity to Food Production.” She received her PhD in Comparative Mythology and Literature from Pacifica Graduate Institute. Her work has been published in Minerva Rising and SageWoman. She published her first book, titledAnais Nin: A Myth of Her Own, in 2018.

Catherine Portuges is founding director of the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies, professor emerita of Comparative Literature and Film Studies, and founding curator of the Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her books include Cinemas in Transition in Central and Eastern Europe after 1989; Gendered Subjects; and Screen Memories: the Hungarian Cinema of Márta Mészáros, and she has written chapters in multiple anthologies. 

Samia Spencer is a Professor Emerita of French at Auburn University in Alabama, and the recipient of many professional honors and academic distinctions, Spencer has focused her interdisciplinary research and extensive publications on the French Enlightenment, women and politics in France and Canada, la francophonie, and contemporary women, society and institutions in France and Quebec. In recognition of her work on behalf of the French language and culture, she was appointed Honorary Consul of France in Alabama by the Republic of France, and awarded the titles of Officier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques and Chevalier dans l’Ordre National du Mérite. She was also inducted in Quebec’s exclusive Ordre des Francophones d’Amérique. Recently, she turned her attention to the Egyptian feminist movement of the early twentieth century. Her latest anthology, Daughters of the Nile: Egyptian Women Changing their World (2016) enjoyed worldwide acclaim and was recently translated into Arabic.

Learn more:

You can find a preview of Impressions from Paris on Google Books.  

Important information: The discussion will be available both online and in person. While the conversation will happen in person (the speakers will appear in the Reading Room), the Library will stream the conversation on Zoom for a live viewing experience. Both in-person and online attendees will be able to pose questions.

Attendance at this event constitutes permission for your photograph or video to be taken at the event and used by the American Library in Paris for marketing, promotional, pedagogical, or other purposes.

Evenings with an Author are free and open to the public (with a 10€ suggested donation)
thanks to the generous support of Gregory Annenberg Weingarten of GRoW @ Annenberg.


Tue June 11
19 h 30 min - 20 h 30 min
Event Categories:
(Hybrid) Roundtable: Women and Art in Interwar France
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