Nina Cartier is a PhD candidate at Northwestern University whose essay “I Get Lifted? Delineating Uplift’s Restrictions upon Black Female Desire in Silent Era Race Films” was published in Not So Silent: Women in Cinema before Sound (Stockholm: Stockholm University Press, 2010).
Mark D. Cunningham is an adjunct professor in radio, television, and film at Austin Community College, in Austin, Texas. He received his PhD in radio, television, and film from the University of Texas at Austin. He has contributed essays to several anthologies: on the film Crooklyn (Spike Lee, 1994) for The Spike Lee Reader, on the film adaptations of the Twilight novels for Genre, Reception, and Adaptation in the “Twilight” Series, and on television’s Noah’s Arc (2005–2006) for Watching While Black: Centering the Television of Black Audiences. He has forthcoming essays on Ice-T and his role on the television series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999–) and on the independent black film Medicine for Melancholy (Barry Jenkins, 2008).
Zeinabu irene Davis is an independent filmmaker and professor of communication at the University of California, San Diego. Her work is passionately concerned with the depiction of women of African descent. A selection of her award-winning works includes a short drama about a young slave girl for both children and adults, Mother of the River (1996); a personal essay on breast-feeding, Co-Motion (2010); and an experimental narrative exploring the psycho-spiritual journey of a woman, Cycles (1989). Her dramatic feature film Compensation (1999) features two interrelated love stories that offer a view of black deaf culture. Her current documentary work, Spirits of Rebellion: Black Cinema at UCLA, is in postproduction.
Anna Everett is a professor of film, television and new media studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is a two-time recipient of the Fulbright Senior Scholar Award (2005, 2007), among other honors. Her many publications include the books Returning the Gaze: A Genealogy of Black Film Criticism, 1909-1949; Learning Race and Ethnicity: Youth and Digital Media (for the MacArthur Foundation's series on Digital Media, Youth, and Learning), New Media: Theories and Practices of Digitextuality, AfroGeeks: Beyond the Digital Divide, Digital Diaspora: A Race for Cyberspace, and Pretty People: Movie Stars of the 1990s. She is finishing a new book on President Obama, social media culture and the Where U @ Generation.
Allyson Nadia Field is assistant professor of cinema and media studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is currently completing a book on African American “uplift cinema” of the 1910s. Together with Jan-Christopher Horak and Jacqueline Stewart, she is cocurator of the L.A. Rebellion project and coeditor of a forthcoming volume dedicated to the group. At UCLA, she is a faculty affiliate of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies and the Moving Image Archive Studies program. [End Page 162]
Terri Francis is visiting associate professor in cinema studies at the University of Pennsylvania. The author of numerous essays on Josephine Baker and American film, Francis’s forthcoming book, Josephine’s Burlesque: Performance, Film and Race, considers the entertainer’s films against the backdrop of African American cinephilia. Francis is guest editor of a close-up on Afro-surrealism in the fall 2013 issue of Black Camera.
Racquel Gates is an assistant professor in the Department of Media Culture at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York. Her research focuses on representations of race in popular culture, with specific attention to the importance of disreputable media in discourses of race, gender, and class. Her work has appeared in Antenna, In Media Res, the recently released anthology Watching While Black: Centering the Television of Black Audiences, and Saturday Night Live and American TV. She is currently working on a book project that explores the phenomenon of “acting white” in contemporary black popular culture.
Miriam J. Petty is an assistant professor in the Department of Radio, Television, Film and the Department of African American Studies at Northwestern University. She writes and teaches on issues of stardom, reception, genre, race, and media and is especially interested in the history of African American representation in Hollywood film. Her book Stealing the Show: African American Performers and Audiences in 1930s Hollywood (forthcoming from the University of California Press) explores the complex relationships between black audiences and black performers in the classical Hollywood era. Petty is also exploring the layered connections between the work of contemporary African American filmmaker Tyler Perry and key African American cultural works, movements, and institutions. Her recent projects include Madea’s Big Scholarly Roundtable: Perspectives on the Media of Tyler Perry, a scholarly symposium examining the significance and impact of Perry’s ascent as a multiplatform cultural producer.
Beretta E. Smith-Shomade is an associate professor in the Department of Communication at Tulane University. Her research centers on the production, aesthetic, representational, and industrial aspects of Black television engagement. She has two books published in these frameworks: Shaded Lives: African-American Women and Television (Rutgers, 2002) and Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy: Selling Black Entertainment Television (Routledge, 2007). Her most recent effort is the anthology Watching While Black: Centering the Television of Black Audiences (Rutgers, 2013). Beyond these, Smith-Shomade has published in journals and anthologies on Black filmic representations, cable television, and Black spirituality. Future research directions include the examination of African American independent media distribution; K–12 media literacy efforts; and Blacks, mediation, and religion. [End Page 163]