Beyond Blaxploitation: Ganja & Hess screening + panel discussion + book launch


Celebrate the launch of Beyond Blaxploitation, the first book-length blaxploitation film anthology, with a screening of the iconic film Ganja & Hess (Bill Gunn, 1973) followed by discussion with the book’s editors and contributing authors.

Beyond Blaxploitation sustains the momentum that blaxploitation scholarship has recently gained, giving the films an even more prominent place in cinema history.

This volume is made up of eleven essays employing historical and theoretical methodologies in the examination of spectatorship, marketing, melodrama, the transition of novel to screenplay, and racial politics and identity, among other significant topics. In doing so, the book fills a substantial gap that exists in the black cinematic narrative and, more broadly, in film history.

Editors: Gerald Butters (Aurora University) is the author of From Sweetback to Superfly: Race and Film Audiences in Chicago’s Loop (2015), Banned in Kansas: Motion Picture Censorship, 1915-1966 (2007) and Black Manhood on the Silent Screen (2002)

Novotny Lawrence (Southern Illinois University) is the author of Blaxploitation Films of the 1970’s: Blackness and Genre (2007) and the editor of Documenting the Black Experience: Essays on African American History, Culture and Identity in Nonfiction Films (2014)

Contributing authors: Allyson Nadia Field (University of Chicago) is the author of Uplift Cinema: The Emergence of African American Film and the Possibility of Black Modernity (2015) and the coeditor of L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema (2015)

Walter Metz (Southern Illinois University) is the author of Engaging Film Criticism: Film History and Contemporary American Cinema (2004), Bewitched (2007) and Gilligan’s Island (2012)

Eric Pierson’s (University of San Diego) work has appeared in Screening Noir, the Journal of Mass Media Ethics andScope.

Harrison M.J. Sherrod is a Chicago-based write, curator, and educator.
Joseph Valle is a PhD candidate in the Mass Communication and Media Arts Graduate Program at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale