Representing Black Gay Experience: Patrik-Ian Polk in Conversation

APR 10, 2014 | 6:30 PM TO 8:30 PM



The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue


9100: Skylight Room


April 10, 2014: 6:30 PM-8:30 PM





212-817-1955 or


Discussing such films as Punks, Noah's Arc, and The Skinny by Patrik-Ian Polk, this conversation will surround the politics of representing black gay experience through film. Moderated by Professor Michael Bennett (Long Island University), the conversation will focus on the development of Polk's aesthetic over the course of his career, including early and more recent works, particularly posing questions about adaptation from the page to the screen in his latest film Blackbird.

Co-sponsored by Africana Studies and IRADAC.

Patrik-Ian Polk is a director, writer, and producer. He attended Brandeis University in Massachusetts and received his undergraduate degree in film and theatre from the University of Southern Mississippi in his hometown of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. He then attended graduate film school at the prestigious University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television, where he wrote and directed a number of short films. During his career, Polk has actively participated in the development of various films, such as the critically acclaimed and Oscar-nominated high school dark comedy Election. Polk made his feature film directorial debut with Punks, an independent feature that he also wrote and produced. In 2006, Polk made his first foray into television with the original comedy-drama series Noah's Arc, and in 2008, the series was made into a feature film, Noah's Arc: Jumping The Broom, written, directed and produced by Polk. Polk's next feature film is Blackbird, based on the novel by Larry Duplechan, due to be released in 2014.

Michael Bennett is Professor of English at Long Island University. He is the editor and author of four books and numerous articles on American literature, African American studies, and urban culture & ecology. His latest work has been creative, publishing poetry and short fiction. He currently serves on the editorial boards of Radical Teacher and Workplace.