Uncommon Naledge is a podcast about Black culture featuring interviews with journalists, scholars and artists, created and hosted by Assistant Professor of Race and Media Jabari M. Evans.
The podcast is produced in partnership with the University of South Carolina's School of Journalism and Mass Communications.
Music for Uncommon Naledge was produced by Michael "Double 0" Aguilar. Uncommon Naledge is produced by Olan Domer.
S3, Episode 14: Dr. Broderick Turner
Dr. Broderick Turner is Assistant Professor of Marketing and runs the Technology, Race, and Prejudice (T.R.A.P.) Lab (jointhetrap.com) at Virginia Tech University. He is also a Business in Global Society Fellow at Harvard Business School. His main research area focuses on the intersection of marketing, technology, racism, and emotion. His academic research has been published twice in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and the Journal of Marketing. He and his fellow Trappers are pushing the boundaries on understanding how race and racism underlie many consumer and managerial decisions.
S3, Episode 13: Dr. David Craig
Dr. David Craig conducts research and teaches courses on global and national media industries and creator culture through the lens of political economy, cultural, production, and creator studies. His scholarship and course work operates at the level of the global, regional, and national, intersection of political economy, cultural, production, and platform studies, mapping the progression from 20th Century film and television to the emerging competition surrounding streaming video platforms. He has published three books and over two dozen articles about the global and Chinese creator industries, whether referred to as social media entertainment or wanghong. He is the co-director of the dual master’s program in global communication in partnership with the London School of Economics, and he was recently appointed as a visiting scholar at Harvard for 2023-2024. Prior to his academic career, Craig was a Hollywood producer and television executive responsible for over 30 films, TV programs, web series, documentaries, and stage productions that garnered over 70 Emmy, Golden Globe, and Peabody awards and nominations. Dr. Craig and Jabari discuss the implications of race, class and gender in the burgeoning field of creator studies in the discipline of communication studies.
S3, Episode 12: Stevie "Dr. View" Johnson
Stevie "Dr. View" Johnson is the Assistant Professor of Creative Practice in Popular Music at The Ohio State University. DJ, producer, educator and community organizer, Dr. View is the sonic spirit of Black Wall Street embodied. The Tulsa-based producer and DJ is a southern, soulful, sampled-based beat maker and songwriter who utilizes sound to educate and liberate community through music and stories. Dr. View received his PhD in Higher Education Administration from the University of Oklahoma in 2019. His dissertation, entitled Curriculum of the Mind: A BlackCrit, Narrative Inquiry Hip Hop Album on Anti-Blackness and Freedom for Black Male Collegians at historically white institutions, received the 2019 Bobby Wright Dissertation of the Year Award for the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE). This was the first time a hip hop dissertation or non-traditional dissertation ever received the award. Dr. View is the founder and executive producer of Fire in Little Africa, a multimedia hip hop project that consisted of four components: a 21-track hip hop album which was signed to Motown Records, an award-winning documentary, podcast and curriculum inspired by Black Wall Street, and the 100-year acknowledgment of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. In addition, Dr. View is the 2023 Nasir Jones Hip Hop Fellow at Harvard University, which is named after iconic hip hop legend and artist, Nas.
S3, Episode 11: Christina Imarenezor
Christina Imarenezor is a dynamic and accomplished journalist at Vibe Magazine, where she shines as Editor in Chief, dedicated storyteller and cultural commentator. With a passion for music, entertainment, and social justice, Imarenezor brings a fresh perspective to her reporting, consistently highlighting the intersection of art, identity, and activism. Her insightful articles and interviews have contributed to Vibe's reputation as a leading source for exploring the vibrant landscapes of music, culture, and the ever-evolving conversations surrounding them. Imarenezor's commitment to amplifying underrepresented voices and celebrating the diversity of human experiences is a testament to her invaluable contributions to the world of journalism.
S3, Episode 10: Tuma Basa
Tuma Basa is a visionary music executive and cultural curator with an indelible impact on the global music industry. As the former Head of Urban Music at YouTube and Spotify's former Director of Black Music and Culture, Basa has played a pivotal role in amplifying the voices of artists and driving cultural movements. His unparalleled expertise in music curation and promotion has reshaped how we discover and engage with music in the digital age. With a career dedicated to championing diversity and creativity in the music landscape, Basa continues to be a driving force in shaping the future of the industry. Tuma holds an MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business.
S3, Episode 9: Dr. Jasmine Henry
Dr. Jasmine Henry (she/her) is an Assistant Professor of Musicology at the University of Pennsylvania and a sound engineer specializing in twentieth and twenty-first-century African American popular music. Her research interests include Black electronic dance music and club cultures, DIY and independent music production, Afrofuturism, and the historiography of African American music. Her teaching and research engage with the fields of musicology, ethnomusicology, sound studies, performance studies, critical race theory, and urban geography. Her recent articles and reviews on popular music, race, and production appear in the Journal of the American Musicological Society, Journal of the Society for American Music, and Popular Culture Studies Journal. Henry has presented on topics ranging from critical race issues at the GRAMMYs, Frank Ocean’s sonic aesthetics, DIY hip-hop recording studios, music history pedagogy, and live Jersey Club music performances at national and international conferences. She has won multiple prizes based on her presentations including the University of North Texas’ Graham Phipps, Society for American Music’s Mark Tucker, and the Society for Ethnomusicology’s Dance, Movement, and Gesture Section’s Clara Henderson (honorable mention) awards. Henry is currently conducting fieldwork for a book project focused on contemporary Black club music, history, and culture in Newark, New Jersey.
S3, Episode 8: Dr. Rob Eschmann
Dr. Rob Eschmann is an Associate Professor of Social Work at Columbia University. Dr. Eschmann writes on educational inequality, community violence, racism, social media, and youth wellbeing. His research seeks to uncover individual, group, and institutional-level barriers to racial and economic equity, and he pays special attention to the heroic efforts everyday people make to combat those barriers. Dr. Eschmann’s research also investigates the effects of online experiences on real-world outcomes. From his work on the relationship between online communication and community violence, to his current work on race and racism in the digital era, his research bridges the gap between virtual and face-to-face experiences. Dr. Eschmann is the author of a new book, When the Hood Comes Off: Racism and Resistance in the Digital Era (University of California Press, 2023), which systematically explores the ways online communication has changed the expressions of racism.
S3, Episode 7: Dr. Murray Forman
Dr. Murray Forman is a Professor of Communication Studies at Northeastern University. He is the author of The ‘Hood Comes First: Race, Space and Place in Rap and Hip-Hop (Wesleyan University Press, 2002) and Co-editor (with Mark Anthony Neal) of That’s the Joint!: The Hip-Hop Studies Reader (Routledge, 1st edition 2004; 2nd edition, 2012). He is also author of One Night on TV is Worth Weeks at the Paramount: Popular Music on Early Television (Duke University Press, 2012). He was an inaugural recipient of the Nasir Jones Hip-Hop Fellowship at the Hip-Hop Archive, Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, Harvard University (2015).
S3, Episode 6: Saida Grundy
Saida Grundy is a feminist sociologist of race & ethnicity and Associate Professor of Sociology, African American & Black Diaspora Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies at Boston University. Her research to date has focused upon formations and ideologies of gender and racialization within the Black middle class–specifically men. Using in-depth interviews, her current work examines graduates of Morehouse College, the nation’s only historically Black college for men. Quite simply, this work asks how, in light of an ongoing national climate and discourse about young Black men “in crisis,” the men of Morehouse experience racialization and the process of “making” manhood at an institution that frames Black male elites as the solution to the crisis and the rightful representatives of the racial agendas. Her most recent book, Respectable: Politics and Paradox in Making the Morehouse Man (University of California Press, 2022), expands upon this work.
S3, Episode 5: Janeé Bolden
Janeé Bolden is the Senior Content Director of Pop Culture at iOne Digital and manages editorial strategy for Bossip and GlobalGrind. Janeé joined the BOSSIP team as a Senior Editor in 2009 and has been working with GlobalGrind since 2017. As a veteran journalist, Janeé has appeared on HLN, Revolt, Fox Soul, CBS "The Talk," and "BOSSIP on WeTV" as an expert in entertainment. Her byline has appeared in Variety, Black Enterprise, VIBE, XXL, and other publications. Famous for her naturally curly crown, Janeé is also vocal in her support of the Crown Act, through her lifestyle brand CurlMob.
S3, Episode 4: Dr. David Crockett
Dr. David Crockett is an Associate Professor of Marketing at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His primary research interest is in sociological aspects of consumer behavior, particularly the consequences of social inequality. He seeks to investigate the creation, manifestation, and resolution of class and racial inequality in the marketplace and explore public policy initiatives designed to alleviate inequality. In this episode, he, and Dr. Evans discuss representation of Blackness in advertising, intentionality in corporate marketing efforts towards diversity and inclusion, and what it means to teach these subjects in predominantly white institutions.
S3, Episode 3: Dr. Myisha S. Eatmon
Dr. Myisha S. Eatmon is an Assistant Professor in African and African American Studies and History at Harvard University. Dr. Eatmon was a research fellow and a tenure-track Assistant Professor in History at the University of South Carolina before she joined the faculty at Harvard in 2022. Professor Eatmon is a Chapel Hill, North Carolina native who received a B.A. in Political Science and History from the University of Notre Dame. She also holds an M.A. in United States history and a Ph.D. in United States, African American, and legal history from Northwestern University.
Dr. Eatmon discussed her book project, tentatively titled, Litigating in Black and White: Black Legal Culture, White Violence, Jim Crow, and Their Legacies, which explores how Black people challenged white violence during Jim Crow. Her manuscript-in-progress also examines the crystallization of what she has coined “Black legal culture” under Jim Crow and the meaning of legal education and networking within communities with few opportunities to earn Juris Doctorate degrees (especially under Jim Crow).
S3, Episode 2: C. Brandon Ogbunu
C. Brandon Ogbunu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. His research takes place at the intersection of evolutionary biology, genetics, and epidemiology. He uses experimental evolution, mathematical modeling, and computational biology to better understand the underlying causes and consequences of disease, across scales: from the biophysics of proteins involved in drug resistance to the social determinants driving epidemics at the population level. In doing so, he aims to develop theory that enriches our understanding of the evolutionary and ecological underpinnings of disease, while contributing to practical solutions for clinical medicine and public health. Brandon and Dr. Evans discuss his pivot into social justice initiatives in his science and research, Black suffering in the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges of health communication in underserved communities of color.
Season 3, Episode 1: Dr. James Riley
S2, Episode 10: Meredith D. Clark
Meredith D. Clark, Ph.D. (@MeredithDClark; she/her/hers), is an associate professor at Northeastern University in the School of Journalism and the Department of Communication Studies, and director of the Center for Communication, Media Innovation, and Social Change. Her first book, “We Tried to Tell Y’all: Black Twitter and Digital Counternarratives” is forthcoming from Oxford University Press. During this episode, Dr. Clark and Jabari discuss the recent Black Twitter Summit held at the Craig Newark School of Journalism at CUNY, her unconventional journey in pursuing a dissertation based on digital black communication as a graduate student, the importance of hashtag activism to spreading information to the Black community, the future of Twitter post-Elon Musk and the potential role of Black voices in rebooting social media as we know it.
S2, Episode 9: LaCharles Ward
LaCharles Ward is an interdisciplinary scholar of black visual and cultural studies. He received his Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Public Culture from Northwestern University’s School of Communication, where he also had a graduate affiliation in the Department of African American Studies. His research spans the areas of Black visual culture as theory and method, art and aesthetic practices, film and media, history and theories of photography, and law. Ward’s book project, Black Forensics: Evidence, Visuality, and the Aesthetics of Black Life, examines the seemingly fixed but mercurial notion of “evidence” as it is brought into relation with anti-Blackness, Black Death, and Black life, arguing that our extant understanding of the evidence is not only inadequate to the task of comprehending Blackness as evidence but also ill-equipped to account for profound ways in which Black people are theorist of evidence. Dr. Evans and LaCharles discussed their love for their hometown of Chicago, the influence of digital Black feminists on their current work, and Dr. Ward's upcoming book project.
S2, Episode 8: Chris Molanphy
Chris Molanphy is a chart analyst and pop critic who writes about the intersection of culture and commerce in popular music. For Slate, he hosts the Hit Parade podcast and writes their “Why Is This Song No. 1?” series. His work has also appeared in Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Vulture, NPR Music’s The Record, The Village Voice, Billboard, and CMJ. Chris is also a frequent guest on National Public Radio (Soundcheck, All Things Considered, Planet Money, On the Media) and on Slate’s podcasts The Gist and the Culture Gabfest. The conversation between Chris and Dr. Evans was recorded live during Dr. Evans' Hip-Hop, Media and Society (Jour 309) class during the fall of 2022. Their conversation centered on Lil Nas X, homophobia in Hip-Hop music, and the future prospects of Black queerness in pop music.
S2, Episode 7: Kyra Kyles
Kyra Kyles is a multi-platform senior-level media executive, award-winning writer, and public speaker on issues of diversity and representation. In 2020, she was named CEO at YR Media (formerly Youth Radio), an award-winning national network of young multicultural creators who develop content—including music, investigative journalism, design/interactive, and documentaries— for this generation. Prior to joining YR Media, Kyra worked in philanthropy at Field Foundation, where she oversaw the organization’s inaugural Media & Storytelling portfolio, granting funds to journalism and filmmaking organizations engaged in fact-based storytelling with a lens on racial equity. Kyra joined Field following a position as EBONY Editor-in-Chief and Senior Vice President, Head of Digital Editorial. She originally joined the historic Black-owned brand as a Senior Editor for JET magazine in 2011 before jet-setting over to run the site, launching it into all-digital form as an app and eventually helming EBONY.com and the print media mothership itself. Kyra and Dr. Evans shared an intimate conversation about their career paths meeting in Chicago, the evolution of Chicago's music scene and the current state of racial politics in major news media organizations.
S2, Episode 6: Mireille Miller-Young
Mireille Miller-Young, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Feminist Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The former UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow researches and teaches about race, gender, and sexuality in US history, popular and film cultures, and the sex industries. Her groundbreaking book, A Taste for Brown Sugar: Black Women in Pornography (Duke University Press, 2014), was awarded the Sara A. Whaley Prize for Best Book on Women and Labor by the National Women’s Studies Association and the John Hope Franklin Prize for Best Book by the American Studies Association. Dr. Miller-Young is co-convener of the New Sexualities Research Initiative as well as the Black Sexuality Studies Collective at UC Santa Barbara, and she is a former convener of the Black Sexual Economies Project at Washington University School of Law. Serving on the editorial boards of journals like Porn Studies and Signs, as well as book series like Screening Sex (Edinburgh University Press) and Feminist Media Studies (University of Illinois Press), Miller-Young has won prizes for her research and teaching, including UCSB’s Distinguished Teaching Award. Dr. Miller-Young has been featured in many news outlets like The Washington Post, The New York Times, and $pread, a sex worker magazine. Dr. Miller-Young and Dr. Evans share a lively conversation about Black sex work in digital spaces, how the cultural phenomenon of OnlyFans was bolstered by Hip-Hop culture, and how Black sex work serves as Black feminist work, even when the actors don't consider themselves feminists.
S2, Episode 5: Enongo Lumumba Kasongo
SAMMUS (Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo) is a rap artist and producer from Ithaca, NY with Congolese and Ivorian roots. She received her Ph.D. in science and technology studies from Cornell University in 2019. From 2019 to 2022 she received a postdoctoral fellowship at Brown University, initially appointed as a Cogut Postdoctoral Fellow in International Humanities from 2019 to 2020 and as a Mellon Gateway Postdoctoral Research Associate from 2020 to 2022. She is currently the David S. Josephson Assistant Professor of Music in the music and multimedia composition program where she teaches courses on rap songwriting, feminist sound studies, and Black feminist sonic practices. She and Dr. Evans discussed their love for Hip-Hop culture but also it's potential in shaping afro-futurist and afro-optimist perspectives within media studies.
S2, Episode 4: Catherine Knight Steele
Dr. Catherine Knight Steele is an Associate Professor of Communication at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she directs the Black Communication and Technology _(BCaT) _lab and the graduate program in Digital Studies in the Arts and Humanities. Dr. Steele studies race and media, specifically focusing on the Black discourse, technology, the Black blogosphere, digital discourses of resistance and joy, and digital Black feminism. She is the author of Doing Black Digital Humanities with Radical Intentionality (forthcoming April 2023, Routledge) and Digital Black Feminism (NYU Press 2021), which examines the relationship between Black women and technology as a centuries-long gendered and racial project in the U.S and was the 2022 winner of the Association of Internet Research Nancy Baym Book Award and Diamond Anniversary Book Award for the National Communication Association. In this episode, Dr. Steele and Dr. Evans share a moment to not only discuss love for their shared hometown of Chicago but also how her experiences growing up served as the impetus for her work’s focus on digital Black feminism and how this work has shaped her work within her BCaT lab at the University of Maryland.
S2, Episode 3: David Arditi
Dr. David Arditi is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Texas at Arlington. He also serves as the director of the Center for Theory. As a gigging drummer, David became interested in the livelihoods of musicians. His research is at the intersection of music, culture, and technology. David’s newest book is Streaming Culture: Subscription Platforms and the Unending Consumption, which explores the changing nature of capitalism in a society that places subscriptions above material commodities. David is the author of iTake-Over: The Recording Industry in the Streaming Era and co-editor of The Dialectic of Digital Culture. His research has appeared in Critical Sociology, Popular Music & Society, Journal of Popular Music Studies, Media Fields Journal, and Civilizations. He also serves as Editor of Fast Capitalism. In this episode, David and Dr. Evans will discuss his book, Getting Signed: Record Contracts, Musicians and Power in Society, which explores the way musicians’ dreams become their source of exploitation.
S2, Episode 2: Lakeyta Bonnette Bailey & Adolphus Belk
Lakeyta M. Bonnette-Bailey is an Associate Professor of African American Studies at Georgia State University. Adolphus G. Belk, Jr. is a Professor of Political Science and African American Studies at Winthrop University. During this episode, they talk with Dr. Evans about their new book, For The Culture. For the Culture: Hip-Hop and the Fight for Social Justice (the University of Michigan Press) documents and analyzes the ways in which Hip-Hop music, artists, scholars, and activists have discussed, promoted, and supported social justice challenges worldwide. Drawing from diverse approaches and methods, the contributors in this volume demonstrate that rap music can positively influence political behavior and fight to change social injustices, and then zoom in on artists whose work has accomplished these ends. With Dr. Evans they discuss many topics from the book including (but not limited to) education and pedagogy; the Black Lives Matter movement; the politics of crime, punishment, and mass incarceration; electoral politics; gender and sexuality; and the global struggle for social justice. Ultimately, their book argues that Hip-Hop is much more than a musical genre or cultural form: Hip-Hop is a resistance mechanism.
Season 2, Episode 1: AD Carson
Dr. A.D. Carson is an award-winning performance artist and educator from Decatur, Illinois. His work focuses on race, literature, history, rhetorics & performance. He received a Ph.D. in Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design at Clemson University. His album, “I used to love to dream,” released with the University of Michigan Press is the first rap album peer-reviewed for publication with an academic press. This work extends from his doctoral dissertation, “Owning My Masters: The Rhetorics of Rhymes & Revolutions,” which he submitted in rap album form as the primary feature of a digital archive. A.D. and Dr. Evans discuss his latest musical offering, the state of Black rhetorical studies, Hip-Hop's 50th anniversary, and the current state of Hip-Hop culture.
S1, Episode 8: Dr. James Peterson
This week Jabari speaks with Dr. James Peterson, a scholar, writer, educational consultant, and content creator. dedicated to researching and developing the cultural and educational potential of hip hop, urban, and youth cultures. Dr. Peterson, Is The Author Of Several Books, Including The Hip Hop Underground And African American Culture, Prison Industrial Complex For Beginners, And Hip-Hop Headphones: A Scholar’s Critical Playlist. He Is A Columnist For The Philadelphia Citizen And Has Written For Fortune.Com, Newsweek.Com, The Guardian, The LA Times, Reuters, The Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, And The Grio. Dr. Peterson And Dr. Evans Reflect On The Evolution Hip-Hop Scholarship, The Current State Of Hip-Hop As It Reaches Its 50 Year Anniversary And The Impact Of Rap Music On Representations Of Blackness In Media.
S1, Episode 7: Andre Brock
This week, Jabari talked with Dr. Andre Brock, who is an Associate Professor in the School of Literature, Media & Communication at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Brock is one of the preeminent scholars of Black Cyberculture. His work bridges Science and Technology Studies and Critical Discourse Analysis, showing how the communicative affordances of online media align with those of Black communication practices. His scholarship includes published articles on racial representations in video games, black women and weblogs, whiteness, blackness, and digital technoculture, as well as groundbreaking research on Black Twitter. His widely acclaimed book titled *Distributed Blackness: African American Cybercultures* was published in February 2020 by NYU Press, offering insights into understanding Black everyday lives mediated by networked technologies.
S1, Episode 6: Jamilah Lemieux
This week Jabari speaks with Jamilah Lemieux, a renowned cultural critic and writer with a focus on issues of race, gender, and sexuality, Jamilah is a leading millennial feminist thinker and social influencer who has made a name for herself as a thought leader on social media. Lemieux’s written work has been featured via a host of print and digital platforms, including the LA Times, the Nation, Essence, Playboy, the Cut, the Guardian, Colorlines, the Washington Post, Wired, Self, Inverse, Refinery 29, the Columbia Journalism Review, the Nation and the New York Times. She has appeared as a commentator on various news programs for CNN, ABC, CBS, BET, Buzzfeed, MTV2, and MSNBC, as well as Comedy Central's 'The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore' and 'The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,' Vice’s 'Desus and Mero,' TMZ and The Breakfast Club, the popular nationally syndicated morning radio show. Jamiliah discusses Hip-Hop feminism, how she uses social media to push public discourse, and her recent Vanity Fair op-ed on the controversial LGBTQ jokes in Dave Chapelle’s most recent comedy special.
S1, Episode 5: Manie Robinson
This week Jabari talked with author, storyteller, and fellow UofSC SJMC colleague Manie Robinson. Manie joined UofSC's School of Journalism and Mass Communications in Spring 2020 as a Sports Media Instructor. Over the previous 14 years, he served as a sports reporter, columnist, and video producer for The Greenville News and the USA Today Network. Aside from landmark events related to social justice, his work largely examines the collegiate athlete compensation model, player safety issues, and athletic department finances. He also investigated issues of economic disparity, racial disharmony, and gender inequality. Jabari and Manie discuss race in sports, his pathway from journalism into filmmaking, and his first book, "Top of the Hill," which was released in 2018 and recounted the recent resurgence of the Clemson football program.
S1, Episode 4: Jeff Lane
This week, Jabari talks with Dr. Jeffrey Lane, Associate Professor of Communications at Rutgers University's College of Communication and Information. Jeff's research explores communication and technology as it relates to urban life, criminal justice, and social inequalities. He approaches these topics through ethnography in person and online. Lane is the author of The Digital Street (Oxford University Press, 2019), a neighborhood study of social media use in Harlem (NYC). His current streams of research include social media as evidence in criminal court, the role of gender in school discipline, and a visual study of perceptions of Harlem. Jabari and Jeff discuss the practice of ethnography, social media’s disruption of urban communication, and how it mediates racial identity in youth subcultures.
S1, Episode 3: David Dennis Jr.
This week, Jabari talks with David Dennis, Jr. a senior writer at The Undefeated and an American Mosaic Journalism Prize recipient. A journalist, cultural critic, and scholar, David has served as Visiting Professor of Journalism at Morehouse College, has written pieces for The Atlantic, Playboy Washington Post, and is a regular personality on ESPN’s sports debate show “Around the Horn.” His recently released book, The Movement Made Us, explores the life of a prominent civil rights leader—his father. Not so much a memoir but a sharing of stories between father and son, Something to Say details his father's journey leading civil rights efforts in Mississippi for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). Jabari and David discuss the Brian Flores class action suit with the NFL, their shared roots in the Blog era of Hip-Hop, and David’s longtime friendship with Steph Curry.
S1, Episode 2: Wesley Stevens
Today, Jabari talks with UofSC SJMC Assistant Professor Dr. Wesley Stevens. Dr. Stevens’ research focuses on the regulation of Black identity on social media. Her recent work examines Instagram and how White social media influencers appropriate Black culture and aesthetics to build their brand and increase their following, rendering Black identity a lucrative commodity. She also looks at how consumer logics become accessible to individuals through digital platforms and is exacerbated by discriminatory algorithms. Jabari and Dr. Stevens discuss her recently completed dissertation, which explores how Black influencers navigate the highly competitive and commercialized field of influencing, a space characterized by hypervisibility and a fraught politics of representation.
Season 1, Episode 1: Dr. Aymar Jean “AJ” Christian
Dr. Aymar Jean Christian is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Northwestern University. As a scholar, media producer, and social practice artist, he explores the convergence of television, video art, and creative R&D (research and development). Dr. Christian is the founder of OTV, which defines itself as, “a platform for intersectional pilots and series.” He describes intersectionality as a quality that applies to “people who have multiple forms of marginalization.” In this episode, Dr. Christian and Jabari discuss how they first met, why intersectionality in Black representation on television has a long way to go and the importance of creative scholarship and multi-modality in the study of media.