This event is part of Ladies First: Celebrating African-American Women Who Rock during Black History Month at the Rock Hall.
Maureen Mahon, a cultural anthropologist, teaches in the ethnomusicology program in the Department of Music at New York University. She will discuss the “transgressive” music and image of “Big Mama” Thornton, who recorded the original version of “Hound Dog.” Mahon contends that Thornton tapped into a liberated black femininity through which she freed herself from many of the expectations for black women. She is the author of Right to Rock: The Black Rock Coalition and the Cultural Politics of Race (2004). Her current research on the intersection of gender, race, sexuality, and music production has been published in The Journal of Popular Music, Women and Music: A Journal of Gender and Culture, the reader African American Music: An Introduction, and EbonyJet.com. Mahon is at work on a book about African American women and rock and roll.