Hair is simply a collection of protein filaments that sprout from our scalp, yet it carries great meaning for us and our society.
From twists and tapers to braids and buns, what’s on top of our head and how it is received by others often reflects society’s standards of beauty and desirability. Using song, video, poetry, and imagery, this interactive presentation encourages us to examine our cultural conceptions of gender, class, and race. Why, for example, is one kind of hair or hair style understood as “better” than another? Who says so? What are the consequences of sporting an unruly doo, and how has that changed over the years?
Join professor Anu Taranath to untangle the meaning of hair, and better understand the stories we tell about beauty, bias, and belonging.
Anu Taranath is a professor at the University of Washington specializing in global literature, identity, race, and equity. She has received University of Washington’s Distinguished Teaching Award, a “Best of Seattle” designation from Seattle Weekly, and multiple national Fulbright awards and fellowships. She is the author of the book, Beyond Guilt Trips: Mindful Travel in an Unequal World, as well as a consultant for schools, colleges, libraries, community organizations, and government agencies on social justice and global issues. Learn more about her work at www.anutaranath.com.
Taranath lives in Seattle.
About Speakers Bureau Events
Speakers Bureau talks are free public presentations on history, politics, music, philosophy, and everything in between. Humanities Washington’s roster of presenters are professors, artists, activists, historians, performers, journalists, and others—all chosen not only for their expertise, but their ability to inspire discussion with people of all ages and backgrounds. All talks are free and open to the public, and each lasts about an hour. They are hosted through a wide range of organizations throughout Washington State.