Program Details

Guided Discussion: The Continued Relevance of Toni Morrison’s "The Bluest Eye"

Sika Dagbovie-Mullins

Course Description

While Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison's first novel, "The Bluest Eye," published in 1970, takes place in the 1940s, the novel's commentary on the effects of Eurocentric beauty standards on black communities continues to resonate today. The book description on the Vintage edition reads, "Pecola Breedlove, a young eleven-year-old black girl, prays every day for beauty... Yet as her dreams grow more fervent, her life slowly starts to disintegrate in the face of adversity and strife." "The Bluest Eye" is now considered an American classic and an essential account of the African American experience after the Great Depression. This lecture begins with an overview of this poetic and poignant novel's thematic concerns and ends with a group discussion. It is suggested that attendees read "The Bluest Eye" in advance. Space is limited.

About the Instructor

  • Sika Dagbovie-Mullins, Ph.D. is an associate professor in the Department of English at FAU where she specializes in contemporary African American Literature and Critical Mixed-Race Studies. She is author of Crossing B(l)ack: Mixed Race Identity in Modern American Fiction and Culture (University of Tennessee Press, 2013) and co-editor of Mixed-Race Superheroes (Rutgers University Press, 2021). Her articles have appeared in journals such as African American Review, The Journal of Popular Culture, and Palimpsest: A Journal on Women, Gender, and the Black International.