AU Press Releases

Bergren Forum speaker to focus on ‘Ladies Who Sang the Blues’

Vicki Eaklor, assistant professor of English at Alfred University, will present “Ladies Who Sang the Blues” on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2009 at the Bergren Forum, 12:10 p.m. in Powell Campus Center’s Nevins Theatre. This event is free of charge and open to the public.

Eaklor will discuss the lives and music of some of the major blues singers of the Harlem Renaissance Era, including Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Ethel Waters, and Alberta Hunter. She will also talk about some “hidden” aspects of that time.

Eaklor has received the Excellence in Teaching Award twice in her career at AU. She enjoys teaching American history and gender and sexuality in the United States. She received the Abigail Allen Award at Alfred University, which honors one who has contributed to the Alfred University campus and the community by “improving women’s lives today and whose exceptional efforts deserve recognition.” In 2005, she was recognized for the third time by “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.”

Eaklor is the author of the book “Queer America: A GLBT History of the Twentieth Century.” She serves as faculty adviser for Spectrum, a GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender)-focused student organization at AU. She is also former chair (1998-2000) and governing board member (2001-04) of the Committee on Lesbian and Gay History, an affiliate of the American Historical Association with international membership.

To satisfy her passion for percussion, Eaklor was a drummer at the Tritone Jazz Fantasy Camp in Rochester in the summers of 2003 and 2004.

The Bergren Forum, sponsored by the Alfred University Division of Human Studies, meets Thursdays during each academic semester at the University. Participants are encouraged to bring a lunch; coffee and tea will be available.