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 hairstyle 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.
Read an interview with Anu here.
“We only wished we had more time!…We learned so much about hair, history, and power…It was a great topic to explore further! Anu did an amazing job.”
“Dr. Taranath lead this controversial topic with grace. She answered difficult questions in a calm demeanor and was cheerful and curious. Her presentation was informative, interesting, and thought-provoking. She leads change from her heart and encourages unity while simultaneously highlighting difficult differences. Anu Taranth was inspiring and I am grateful to have met her and been exposed to the gifts she shared with us.”
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.
For more information on how to book a speaker, please contact Hannah Schwendeman at (206) 682-1770 x101 or by email.