Indiana University

Skip to:

  1. Search
  2. Breadcrumb Navigation
  3. Content
  4. Browse by Topic
  5. Services & Resources
  6. Additional Resources
  7. Multimedia News

Media Contacts

Audrey McCluskey
Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center

Last modified: Monday, February 23, 2009

IU's Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center launches alumni lecture series

Feb. 23, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University graduate Ebony Utley will inaugurate the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center Alumni Lecture Series at IU. The event is part of the center's 40th anniversary celebration this year.

Utley, a 2001 IU graduate and an Indianapolis native, will speak on the topic "Sex, Sexism, and the Search for Pleasure in Hip Hop" at 4 p.m. on March 4 in the Grand Hall of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, 275 N. Jordan Ave.

The lecture is open to the public and will be followed by a reception.

The former Wells Scholar received a doctorate from Northwestern University in 2006 and now is an assistant professor of communication studies at California State University, Long Beach. Utley is the author of the forthcoming book, The Gangsta's God: The Quest for Respectability in Hip Hop (Praeger 2010), as well as co-editor of the fall 2009 "Hip Hop's Languages of Love" special issue of the journal Women and Language.

Whether researching hip-hop or love relationships, Utley focuses on how African-Americans express themselves and establish relationships despite histories of slavery, patriarchy, and invalidating media representations. Utley frequently incorporates her interests in race and identity into courses on hip-hop, gender and rhetorical criticism.

Her lecture will explore the complexity of the messages in hip-hop, particularly sexual themes and their layered meanings in hip-hop culture.

Audrey T. McCluskey, director of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, said she is delighted to have one of her former students inaugurate this series.

"Ebony is an extraordinary young scholar whose potential was evident in the way she approached intellectual questions even as an undergraduate," McCluskey said. "She is a model of diligence and excellence from whom other students, indeed, all of us can learn."