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Bucknell University lecture examines ethnicity in children's animated film



LEWISBURG, Pa. — Jennifer Bloomquist will give the talk, "Looney Coons: Language, Race and Ethnicity in Animated Film," on Tuesday, Oct. 6, at 7 p.m. in the Forum of the Elaine Langone Center at Bucknell University.


The talk, which is free to the public, is the 23rd Annual Black Experiences Lecture, sponsored by the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Gender (CSREG).


"Professor Bloomquist is a linguist and assistant professor of Africana Studies at Gettysburg College," said Susan Reed, assistant professor of women's and gender studies and anthropology at Bucknell, and CSREG director.


"We are pleased and proud to welcome her to Bucknell, where she will discuss how ethnicity has been represented linguistically in children's animated films over the past 60 years," said Reed. "One of her key arguments is that some modern depictions of African-Americans in children's animated film serve to perpetuate ethnic stereotypes that have long been abandoned by traditional film."


English literature and linguistics degrees

Bloomquist teaches courses on sociolinguistics, the linguistic analysis of African-American English, and the structure of and relationships between African languages. She received her bachelor's degree in English literature from Clarion University in 1995, and her master's degree and Ph.D. in linguistics from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1998 and 2003, respectively.


The primary focus of her research has been on category theory; she investigated the boundaries of and relationship between speakers' understanding of the categories lie, cheat and steal in her master's thesis, and her doctoral research was on the impact of class and race on children's acquisition of semantic categories.


Her current projects include the study of the Lower Susquehanna Valley dialect region and investigations into the differences between rural and urban, as well as between African-American and European-American varieties of speech in southeastern Pennsylvania.


While at Bucknell, Bloomquist will participate in the faculty colloquium, "African American English in the Lower Susquehanna Valley: Regional Accommodation and Variation in Central Pennsylvania," earlier on Tuesday. She will examine the socio-historical acquisition and non-acquisition of the regional dialect by African-Americans who are at least second-generation residents of Pennsylvania's Lower Susquehanna Valley.


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