Black Feminism

Join us for a lecture by Catherine Knight Steele  (Department of Communication, University of Maryland)  on how black women utilize online blogging platforms in celebration and critique, in the process becoming an important counterpublic.

Black Joy and Resistance: Black Feminist Discourse Online

Wednesday, November 8, 2017, 1 pm at 228 Battelle-Tompkins Hall

Dr. Steele’s latest project, and the topic of this lecture, is on digital black feminism and how the affordances of new media technology are shaping black feminist discourse online. She provides critical analysis of the digital culture of black and white feminist thought in the blogs  Jezebel and For Harriet, by examining what happens when the subject, the black body, at least temporarily does not exist as an ‘other’ but is squarely within a context that allows it to be merely a body.
As Jessie Daniels explains, “the Internet offers a “safe space” and a way to not just survive, but also resist, repressive sex/gender regimes. Girls and self-identified women are engaging with Internet technologies in ways that enable them to transform their embodied selves, not escape embodiment.”




About our speaker

Dr. Catherine Knight Steele is a scholar of race, gender and media with specific focus on African American culture and discourse in traditional and new media. She is a native Chicagoan and received her Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research has appeared in the Howard Journal of Communications and the book Intersectional Internet (S.U. Noble and B. Tynes Eds.) Her doctoral dissertation, Digital Barbershops, focused heavily on the black blogosphere and the politics of online counterpublics. She examines representations of marginalized communities in the media and how traditionally marginalized populations resist oppression and utilize online technology to create spaces of community. She is currently working on a monograph about digital black feminism and new media technologies. Dr. Steele also serves as the first Project Director for the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funded College of Arts and Humanities grant, Synergies among Digital Humanities and African American History and Culture.
“I consider myself a digital black feminist, often exploring the “shades of grey” between media consumption and media critique as black female activist scholar.”

Check out Dr. Steele’s website to learn more about her work.