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October 26 @ 7:00 pm

Josephine Baker’s Cinematic Prism: An Evening with Terri Simone Francis and Laurent Gallissot


October 26
7:00 pm


Books & Books
265 Aragon Avenue
Coral Gables, FL 33134 US
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Books & Books and the French Consulate of Miami present…

An Evening with

Dr. Terri Simone Frances

In conversation with

Consul General Laurent Gallissot


Josephine Baker’s Cinematic Prism

(Indiana University Press, $30)

Tuesday, October 26, 7 pm at Books & Books


When RSVPing, please be considerate of authors and attendees and do so only if you plan to come. Space is limited due to COVID protocols. Be aware that at this time, masks are still required by all patrons inside for all our events. Thank you for your cooperation.

About the Book:

Josephine Baker, among the first Black women to star in a major motion picture in 1927 was also a humanitarian who used her stature to insist on integrated audiences at the Copa City Club in Miami Beach.

Nicknamed the “Black Venus,” “Black Pearl,” and “Creole Goddess,” Baker blended the sensual and the comedic when taking 1920s Europe by storm. Back home in the United States, Baker’s film career brought hope to the Black press that a new cinema centered on Black glamour would come to fruition. In Josephine Baker’s Cinematic Prism, Terri Simone Francis examines how Baker fashioned her celebrity through cinematic reflexivity, an authorial strategy in which she placed herself, her persona, and her character into visual dialogue. Francis contends that though Baker was an African American actress who lived and worked in France exclusively with a white film company, white costars, white writers, and white directors, she holds monumental significance for African American cinema as the first truly global Black woman film star. Francis also examines the double-talk between Baker and her characters in Le Pompier de Folies Bergère, La Sirène des Tropiques, Zou Zou, Princesse Tam Tam, and The French Way, whose narratives seem to undermine the very stardom they offered. In doing so, Francis artfully illuminates the most resonant links between emergent African American cinephilia, the diverse opinions of Baker in the popular press, and African Americans’ broader aspirations for progress toward racial equality.

Examining an unexplored aspect of Baker’s career, Josephine Baker’s Cinematic Prism deepens the ongoing conversation about race, gender, and performance in the African diaspora.


About the Author:

Dr. Terri Simone Francis is the author of Josephine Baker’s Cinematic Prism (Indiana University Press, 2021). She is a writer, professor, and film curator based in Miami, where she is Associate Professor of Cinematic Arts and Associate Dean for Inclusive and Critical Publics at the University of Miami. Dr. Francis’s work centers on innovators and adventurers in film during the early 20th century and the early 21st century. Her publications in Film HistoryBlack CameraTransitionFeminist Media Histories, and Film Quarterly draw on archival research, interviews, cultural history, and visual analysis, as she examines the vicissitudes–less media reflections and more refractions–of black performance, film feeling, and black representation.

During her tenure as Director of the Black Film Center/Archive at Indiana University, Dr. Francis secured the acquisition of the papers of African film pioneer Paulin Soumanou Vieyra. She engaged the BFC/A’s varied publics through multiple curated film series, including Race Swap, Black Sun/White Moon and Love! I’m in Love! as well as the speaker series Black Film Nontheatrical, which featured visiting archivists and their collections, and Before Representation in which scholars discussed the racial underpinnings of media formations.

Francis’s upcoming projects delve further into Afrosurrealism and other forms of avant-garde expression.

About the Moderator:

Laurent Gallissot took office as Consul General of France in Miami on September 3, 2019, when Hurricane Dorian hit our constituency in Florida and in the Bahamas. Crisis management was thus his first practical exercise, supported by the entire team of the Consulate General and his predecessor.

Mr. Laurent Gallissot joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1996 and held numerous posts abroad and in France (Jerusalem, Ottawa, Brussels, Rome) as a co-operation counselor, special and political advisor and multilateral negotiator. He has also worked with the European Commission.

Presented in collaboration with