“We Come Not Here to Talk” –
Revisiting the Work of Anna Julia Cooper: An Analysis of Standpoint Theory and Her Placement in the Academic Canon
This paper examines the writings and influence of Anna Julia Cooper. The truthful, historical narrative of scholarship is in question when theorists of color are repeatedly forgotten or removed from the academic record. Anna Julia Cooper is just one example of someone who has been overlooked. I detail how Cooper’s analysis of group identity located in shared experience provided the groundwork for intersectional frameworks and feminist standpoint theory. I further contend that Cooper’s lived-experience narrative not only informed her own work but the work of others of her time, including the more esteemed W.E.B. Du Bois. She addressed how scholarship is shaped by race-gendered politics and the legacies of slavery and colonialism. Cooper’s critique of academia determined the relationship between colonialism and academia is intrinsically tied. My analysis examines how the work of theorists of color is often omitted, erased, or contextualized within the writings of white theorists due, in part, to a lack of generational intellectual wealth. A concept that recognizes the historical discrepancy in scholarship between white scholars and scholars of color and how that exclusion has shaped and defined established knowledge. This paper is an analysis of Cooper’s placement within the lineage of the academic canon.
Film and the Single Girl: Damaging Depictions of Single Women in Film
A study about single women and film. Film, as an extension of, and an accompaniment to culture, continuously creates, defines, and redefines gender and accompanying gender norms and generational expectations. This study examines the roles of women characters in movies. Movies portray women who live a single life, outside the perimeters of the wife and mother paradigm in ways that reveal social perceptions society has of these women. I perform a content analysis of the portrayal of single women in film with single women as main characters. The films span multiple decades and genres from: a mock-documentary, femme-fatale thrillers, romantic-comedies, female “buddy” films, and coming of age films. I made an effort to include films with cultural diversity and good representation, as well as more typical single-white-female films. I use an inductive, narrative inquiry approach, through a feminist lens, to analyze themes from twenty films who have single women as main characters. In this paper, I address two of the six main themes that emerged; single women appear in films are unlovable; and single women characters are sad or pathetic, and should be pitied.
Sexual Harassment on Screen: #MeToo and Evolving Cultural Representations (Coauthored with Dr. Allyson Stokes)
In 2017, high-profile cases of sexual harassment in entertainment ignited a flurry of media attention and a global social movement in the form of #metoo. Since then, sexual harassment has been the subject of widespread media coverage, public debate, and new initiatives. Existing research has examined responses to #MeToo, including policy changes, educational initiatives, and efforts to alter workplace cultures. However, one aspect of responses to MeToo that have received little attention is the cultural representation of sexual harassment and violence in film and television and how this has changed since 2017. We draw on a qualitative content analysis of news coverage of the cultural representation of sexual harassment in film and television, and of on-screen representations of harassment and violence mentioned in these news stories. We identify #MeToo as a cultural place card for interpreting media content, and analyze problematizing, glamorizing, or mixed representations of sexual violence.