Thesis

Queer black women in film : alternative historical formations

A queer black female presence in cinema is a recent phenomenon in the United States. I employ a historical and film analysis of how anti-black racism in the U.S. and social movements have shaped the formation of queer black women's cinema. Through an understanding of queer black female-centered cinema's history, this thesis explores representations of intimacy between queer black women in the films The Color Purple and Daughters of the Dust through the frameworks of black feminist theory and quare theory. My research questions are 1) How has queer black female-centered cinema confronted white supremacist stereotypes about black women? How have these films directed by and featuring queer black women countered heterosexist and racist constructions of U.S. history that deny the presence of queer black women? Because I employ quare and feminist methods that foreground the relationship between theory and praxis, I have also curated an online exhibition that showcases queer black female-centered cinema from 1985-2005 as well as queer black female directors through these years. The online exhibition is located at  www.queerblackwomenincinema.com.

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