Nov 14: Media Blackness


Monday, November 14 | 12 PM to 2 PM EST | | #fight4edu | RSVP


Join the Futures Initiative on Monday, November 14 from 12-1 for “Media Blackness,” an engaged conversation about the rendering of blackness in, across, and through multiple forms of media. The discussion will include multiple perspectives on the intersections of blackness and aesthetics in film, television, digital media, and beyond. Panelists include Cathy N. Davidson (CUNY Graduate Center), Shelly Eversley (Baruch College), Racquel Gates (College of Staten Island) and Michael Gillespie (City College).

For those joining us in person, a reception and signing of Michael Gillespie’s new book Film Blackness:  American Cinema and the Idea of Black Film (Duke University Press) will follow.

We invite you to also join a Twitter chat on “Media Blackness” on November 14 from 11 to 12 p.m. at the hashtag #fight4edu.

11:00 – 12:00 Twitter chat
12:00 – 1:00 In person and livestream event
1:00 – 2:00 Reception & book signing

This panel is the third in this year’s series The University Worth Fighting For.  This series ties student-centered pedagogical practices to institutional change, race, equality, gender, and social justice.

This event is co-sponsored by the GC English Department, the American Studies Certificate Program, the Film Studies Certificate Program, the Center for the Humanities, and the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

Panelist Bios 

Cathy Davidson (FI Founding Director and Distinguished Professor at the CUNY Graduate Center) is a scholar of the history of technology and a leading innovator of new ideas and methods for learning and professional development–in school, in the workplace, and in everyday life. Davidson has published more than twenty books including Revolution and the Word: The Rise of the Novel in America; The Future of Thinking: Learning Institutions in a Digital Age, with David Theo Goldberg; and, most recently, Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn. She was appointed by President Obama to the National Council on the Humanities, is the first educator to join the Board of Directors of Mozilla, and is the 2016 recipient of the Ernest J. Boyer Award for “Significant Contributions to Higher Education.”

Shelly Eversley (Professor of English, Baruch College) teaches American, feminist, and black studies. She is Academic Director of The City University of New York’s Faculty Fellowship Publication Program, and is the founder of She is the author of The “Real” Negro: The Question of Authenticity in Twentieth Century African American Literature (Routledge), as well as of several essays.  She is editor of The Modern Library’s The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano or, Gustavus Vassa, The African and editor of The Sexual Body and The 1970s, both special issues of WSQ,  She is editing the forthcoming book on 1960s African American literature and culture in transition for Cambridge, and she is writing a new book titled The Practice of Blackness, or Integration’s Discontents.

Racquel Gates (Assistant Professor of Cinema and Media Studies, College of Staten Island) specializes in the representation of blackness in popular culture. Some of her work has appeared in the journals Television & New Media, Film Quarterly, and the anthologies Watching While Black: Centering the Television of Black Audiences and Saturday Night Live and American TV. She is currently completing a book, Double Negative: The Black Image and Popular Culture, which is under contract with Duke University Press.

Michael Gillespie (Associate Professor of Film, City College) is a film theorist and historian with an interest in black visual and expressive culture, film theory, genre, visual historiography, global cinema, adaptation theory, popular music studies, and contemporary art. His new book, Film Blackness: American Cinema and the Idea of Black Film (Duke University Press, 2016) frames black film alongside literature, music, art, photography, and new media, treating it as an interdisciplinary form that enacts black visual and expressive


The Futures Initiative
The Graduate Center, CUNY
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016-4309