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  • About the Contributors

Janell Hobson is an assistant professor of Women’s Studies at the State University of New York at Albany. She is the author of Venus in the Dark: Blackness and Beauty in Popular Culture and is presently at work on a second book exploring race, gender, and digital media cultures. She has also begun work on an oral history concerning a ferryboat disaster between the Caribbean islands of St. Kitts and Nevis on August 1, 1970.

R. Dianne Bartlow is an assistant professor in the Department of Women’s Studies at California State University, Northridge. She is a feminist scholar interested in representations of African-American women in popular music, culture, and media; early black feminist thought; and violence against women. Her published work includes “‘No Throw-away Woman’”: Maria W. Stewart as a Forerunner of Black Feminist Thought,” in Black Women’s Intellectual Traditions: Speaking Their Minds, edited by Kristin Waters and Carol B. Conaway, and she is co-author of “Exploring New Frontiers: Women of Color in Academia,” in Women in Mass Communication (2nd ed.), edited by Pamela Creedon, in addition to several creative scholarship projects. Bartlow has also worked extensively in television production and is a multiple Emmy Award winning director/writer/producer. She is currently producing the documentary Legal Rape.

Ronni Armstead is a Ph.D. candidate in cultural anthropology at Duke University with a focus on artistic and cultural production and social movements. She is fascinated by the transformative potential for social identities of community organizations and community organizing, ethnographically-grounded oral history, and advocacy and collaborative research projects. [End Page 322]

Daphne A. Brooks is an associate professor of English and African-American Studies at Princeton University where she teaches courses on African-American literature and culture, performance studies, critical gender studies, and popular music culture. She is the author of two books: Bodies in Dissent: Spectacular Performances of Race and Freedom, 1850–1910 (Duke University Press, 2006) and Jeff Buckley’s Grace (New York: Continuum, 2005). She is also the editor of The Great Escapes: The Narratives of William Wells Brown, Henry Box Brown, and William Craft (New York: Barnes & Noble Classics, forthcoming) and of the performing arts volume of The Black Experience in the Western Hemisphere, series edited by Howard Dodson and Colin Palmer (New York: Pro-Quest Information & Learning, 2006).

Andreana Clay is an assistant professor at San Francisco State University where she teaches courses on hip-hop culture, popular culture, and contemporary theory in the Sociology Department. She has published articles on black youth and hip-hop culture; queer women, black masculinity and hip-hop; and the use of hip-hop as a social justice tool for youth activists. She is currently revising a book manuscript on youth activism.

Mako Fitts is an assistant professor of Sociology at Seattle University and affiliate faculty in Global African Studies and Women’s Studies. Her areas of research include women’s labor in entertainment industries, critical race and feminist critiques of popular culture, and community mobilization specifically using hip-hop as a tool for social justice activism.

Meredith Levande is a musician and speaker. Her article is adapted from her multimedia presentation, “Women, Pop Music and Pornography.” LeVande has toured over 100 colleges and has recorded three albums, including a children’s record, and is currently self-producing another. Her music is also played in retail stores and on SIRIUS. For more information on LeVande and her work, please visit

Anaya Mcmurray is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Department of Women’s Studies at the University of Maryland. She holds a Bachelor of Music Education, and a Master of Education and Women’s Studies. Her research involves art, culture, and social change with a concentration on black women’s spirituality and social justice in popular culture.

Mireille Miller-Young is an assistant professor of Women’s Studies at [End Page 323] the University of California at Santa Barbara. She is at work on her manuscript, A Taste for Brown Sugar: Black Women in Pornography, which investigates the representational and labor politics of black women in the U.S. adult entertainment industry.

Ayanah Moor’s...


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