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Department of Film and Media Studies

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April 2021

“Perhaps Eartha Kitt is the Instrument…:” How a Supernova Defied Stardom – Dr. Philana Payton (Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow, UCLA)

April 14 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

In this talk, I consider the multiple ways Eartha Kitt commanded narrative ownership through her engagement with autobiography, as well as her performative practices. In 1956, she published her first autobiography (of four) at the age of twenty-nine entitled Thursday’s Child. In it, she revealed how performance was not simply reserved for the stage and screen, but that it was the very essence that was Eartha Kitt. Her recognition of Eartha Kitt as an entity separate from her true self…

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