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University of Pennsylvania

Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

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Full-Text Articles in African American Studies

Sound Business: Great Women Of Gospel Music And The Transmission Of Tradition, Nina Christina Öhman Jan 2017

Sound Business: Great Women Of Gospel Music And The Transmission Of Tradition, Nina Christina Öhman

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

From the 1930s to the present, women have played instrumental and visible leadership roles in the remarkable growth of African American gospel music. Through both creative and entrepreneurial activities, these women paved the way for the expansion of an emotive sacred music expression from the worship practices of southern migrants to audiences around the world. This dissertation focuses on the work of three cultural trailblazers, Mahalia Jackson, Aretha Franklin, and Karen Clark Sheard, who stand out in the development of gospel music as virtuosic vocalists and pivotal figures whose sonic imprints can be heard both in sacred songs performed in ...


Touching Paranoia: A Black Feminist Autoethnography On Race, Desire, And Erotic Massage, Jasmine Salters Jan 2016

Touching Paranoia: A Black Feminist Autoethnography On Race, Desire, And Erotic Massage, Jasmine Salters

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

Despite declarations of a “post-race” America, race and racism continue to pervade all aspects of American life and society—from our laws and language to our daily interactions and erotic desires. Drawing on five years of ethnographic research at a Black-owned adult massage studio in Los Angeles County, California, Touching Paranoia focuses on the experiences of erotic masseuses of color (Black, Latina, Filipina, and mixed-race) to examine the ways race and racism infiltrate our intimate encounters and fantasies, and how women of color—who exist at the intersection of race, gender, class, and the economy—navigate and negotiate prejudice in ...


Violating Maternity: Servitude, Sexual Abuse, Lynching And The (Un)Making Of The Black Maternal Subject, Michele Sharon Frank Jan 2015

Violating Maternity: Servitude, Sexual Abuse, Lynching And The (Un)Making Of The Black Maternal Subject, Michele Sharon Frank

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

VIOLATING MATERNITY: SERVITUDE, SEXUAL ABUSE, LYNCHING AND THE (UN)MAKING OF THE BLACK MATERNAL SUBJECT

Michele Sharon Frank

Herman Beavers

This dissertation argues that African American women writers have identified the black maternal figure as a primary symbol of black cultural trauma. Through an examination of selected texts from the nineteenth to twenty-first centuries, I isolate writers’ and dramatists’ explorations of servitude, sexual abuse and lynching as systemic, historical violations of blackness and womanhood that have shaped black women’s maternal experiences. African American women writers’ depictions of black women’s experience of and resistance to such systemic violations of ...