Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies
Department Chair:
Greggor Mattson

Administrative Assistant:
David Divins

Department Email:

Phone: (440) 775-8923
Fax: (440) 775-6698

Rice Hall 29
10 N. Professor St.
Oberlin, OH, 44074

Phyllis Jones Recipients, Spring 2016

Phyllis Jones Recipients, Spring 2016

This years recipients were:

Alexandria Cunningham
Africana Studies and Sociology major

Project Title: Hip-Hop Sexual Anthems, But Only If Ya Nasty: Unpacking Black Sexual Politics in the New Racism
Project Description: “Only If Ya Nasty” is my senior capstone in Africana Studies that engages sociologist Patricia Hill-Collins’s concept of Black sexual politics—a set of ideas and social practices shaped by gender, race and sexuality that frame Black men and women's treatment of one another--to interrogate a precarious situation in hip-hop. Some of the most lucrative hip-hop music is very sexually explicit, aggressive and, well, nasty. Commercial hip-hop creates the conditions for this case to persist by marketing a fantasy of conspicuous consumption and adventurous sex to mass audiences. The fantasy depends on excessive sexual imagery and lyrical narratives that articulate stereotypical perceptions of Black women’s sexual performance, in particular, and Black hypersexuality, in general. In the capstone, hip-hop artist Nicki Minaj and her anthem, “Anaconda,” is used as a case study to explore the dynamics of Black sexual performativity and agency. The capstone’s core feature is its constant centering of the voices of Black women through the lyrical excerpts from Black women rappers’ sexual anthems to its Black feminist framing. In this way, Black women lead the dialogue about our bodies, sexual politics and critical consciousness to envision our own liberation as Black women and a wider Black community.

Donnay Edmund
Africana Studies and Comparative American Studies major

Project Title: The Journey of My Happy Feet: From Guinea to Brooklyn
Project Description: Forthcoming

Leah Aki Wood
Cinema Studies and East Asian Studies major

Project Title: Dirty Laundry – A Screenplay
Project Description: Dirty Laundry is my second screenplay, and one that has challenged me as a writer and filmmaker. It is an attempt to write creatively and truthfully, to not write in order to please others, or even because there is an important or impressive message to convey. Rather, it is a story built from a few images, my fascination with the aesthetics of laundry, a first attempt to explore darker realms, and a desire to stay true to my own voice and vision. Often times I come to the conclusion that film is the only way that I can articulate what I see, feel, and hear in a way that others will understand. In an ideal future I would work with individuals to use different means of self-exploration, whether that be through music, art, film, or writing, to encourage them to tell stories and challenge their notion of self-identity through expression. One can only be what they push themselves to be, what they allow themselves to be, and I believe that the creative process is integral in realizing oneself.

I am fascinated by human connection and the complicated flow of needs and desire that exists between us all -- I wrote the characters, Max and Reggie, with this in mind.