Ph.D., Stony Brook University, 2007;
M.A., Stony Brook University, 2002;
B.A., Our Lady of the Lake University, 2000.
My research explores the interplay between race, gender, and popular culture in nineteenth and twentieth century North America. The continual display of negative racial and gendered stereotypes in mass culture is an active part of my research and teaching interests. My current project expands W.E.B. Dubois' theory of double consciousness by illuminating how his concept holds within the context of black performances for white audiences in the plantation South. Specifically, I review the numerous performances within the plantation economy to display the manner in which music and dance became associated with blackness and led to stereotypes. I propose that these performances legitimized and perpetuated white hegemony over blacks, while at the same time providing a channel to exercise agency in the black community. The main questions I ask are: Why are enslaved blacks dancing and singing in the Southern slave society and how are these performances perceived by whites? My research allows me to further understand the misconceptions of race and gender that are ever present in today's society.
While I am a trained historian, I often take an interdisciplinary approach to my research and incorporate methods and theories from cultural studies, mass media, performance studies, diasporic research and literature. My research and teaching concentrations range from popular culture in the nineteenth century to present-day racial images in mass mediums of television, film, music and advertisement.
Honors and Fellowships:
Articles and Book Chapters