Jessyka Finley

C3 Post-Doctoral Fellow in American Studies

 Spring 2015: Tuesday 10:00-12:00 and Wednesday 2:00-3:00 or by appointment



Course List: 

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

AMST 0204 - Black Comic Cultures      

Black Comic Cultures
In this course we will explore a range of black comic cultures, analyzing their emergence and transformation from the early 20th century to the present. Specifically, we will examine blackface minstrels of the early 20th century such as George Walker and Bert Williams, Bill Cosby’s performances in the 60s, and the ribald humor of LaWanda Page’s 1970s party records, before moving to the urban scene embodied in television shows such as Def Comedy Jam. We will also engage with theoretical materials that help us analyze black comedy as multidimensional, such as John Limon’s Stand-up Comedy in Theory, or, Abjection in America. 3 hrs. lect. NOR SOC

Fall 2014, Fall 2015

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AMST 0208 / GSFS 0208 - Black Womanhood/Pop. Culture      

Unruly Bodies: Black Womanhood in Popular Culture
In this course we will examine representations of black womanhood in popular culture, analyzing the processes by which bodies and identities are constructed as dangerous, deviant, and unruly. For example, materials will include the work of bell hooks and Patricia Hill Collins to analyze the imagery of black womanhood propagated by the television shows The Jerry Springer Show and Bad Girls Club. By contrast, we will also read Saidiya Hartman’s Scenes of Subjection as a lens through which to view “bad” black womanhood as a radically stylized means of redress in the Blaxploitation-era film Foxy Brown. 3 hrs. lect. CMP NOR

Spring 2015

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GSFS 0204 - Black Comic Cultures      


Fall 2015

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Program in American Studies

Axinn Center at Starr Library
15 Old Chapel Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753