My dissertation, titled “Fierce Mamas: New Maternalism, Social Surveillance, and the Politics of Solidarity,” blends critical race, black feminist, and feminist informatics theory to analyze ways that motherhood works infrastructurally to (re)produce cultural hegemony. I use a variety of critical methods including critical media studies, cultural analyses, and visual rhetorical criticism to better understand how consent to hegemonic structures is produced through quotidian experience. An important finding of my research is that motherhood, as a mechanism of cultural hegemony, presents a locus for an essential tension between ‘traditional’ gendered norms and the seeming enablement of women’s ‘progress.’ This tension allows constructions of mothers to appear as ‘new’ configurations while also remaining reliant on historical structures of dominance. 

A primary contribution of my project is the development of a theoretical framework marrying feminist informatics theory with both cultural and intersectional theory to conceptualize motherhood as a ‘cultural infrastructure.’ I use this conceptual frame to analyze how gendered communicative practices work in popular media to engage consent to cultural hegemony by (re)producing specific and differential material effects among groups of women. 



Motherhood Discourses

Right Wing Extremism

Social Media & Publics

2014 - Current

Department of Communication

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

MA-PhD Program (M.A. awarded 2015)

2010 - 2012

Department of Women's Studies

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

B.A. w/ Highest Honors & Highest Distinction

Gender & Intersectional Feminist Theory

2008 - 2010

Arts, Sciences, & University Transfer

Durham Technical Community College

Dr. Maria Molina Fraser Award 2010 (top honors)

The University of 

North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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