Arts & Culture
Dr. Catherine Knight Steele on Digital Black Feminism
- 7:30 pm
22 September 2022
Online | Free
Dr. Catherine Knight Steele is an Assistant Professor of Communication at the University of Maryland – College Park where she serves as the Director of the Black Communication and Technology Lab, which is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and part of the DISCO Network. Her research focus is race, gender, and media with specific focus on Black culture and discourse and digital communication.
Dr. Steele’s book, Digital Black Feminism builds on her decade-long research into the Black blogosphere of the early 2000s as sites which replicated features of black oral culture to engage in political discourse in seemingly apolitical spaces. Digital Black Feminism considers the ‘magic’ of Black women, operating in digital spaces in ways that far surpass the possibilities that were imagined for them. Black women’s technological capability and intentional discourses of resistance drafted online are predicated upon their historically unique position of having to exist in multiple worlds, manipulate multiple technologies, and maximize their resources for survival in a system created to keep them from thriving.
Through close readings of texts on blogs, Twitter, and Instagram and in analysis of content and form, she demonstrates how the use of online technology by Black feminist thinkers has changed the outcome of Black feminist writing and simultaneously has changed the technologies themselves. More recently she has explored the interwoven concepts of resistance, joy, and death as found in discourses of Black communities on TikTok and Instagram. Her work has appeared such journals as social media + Society, Television and New Media, Information, Communication and Society and Feminist Media Studies.
Dr. Catherine Knight Steele will speak about her book Digital Black Feminism, followed by a Q&A.
Illustration credit: Panora