Announcing the 2021 Lyman Fellowship Recipient

19 Feb, 2021

Announcing the 2021 Lyman Fellowship Recipient

BCNM is excited to announce Lashon Daley (Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies) has been awarded this year’s 2021 Peter Lyman Fellowship for her dissertation of 'Black Girl Lit: The Coming of (R)age Performances in Contemporary U.S. Black Girlhood Narratives, 1989-2019'!

The Peter Lyman Graduate Fellowship in new media, established in the memory of esteemed UC Berkeley Professor Peter Lyman, provides a stipend to a UC Berkeley Ph.D. candidate to support the writing of his or her Ph.D. dissertation on a topic related to new media. The fellowship is supported by donations from Professor Barrie Thorne, Sage Publications and many individual friends and faculty.

According to Lashon, amid the growing popularity of representations of Black girls in U.S. media over the past thirty years, Black Girl Lit: The Coming of (R)age Performances in Contemporary U.S. Black Girlhood Narratives, 1989-2019 charts how literature, film, television, and social media has helped shape our cultural understanding of what it means to be young, Black, and female in the U.S.

By uniquely combining extensive research from African American literary studies, Black girlhood studies, and performance and new media studies, Lashon assembles compelling cultural artifacts that call attention to the increasing love for and theft of youthful Black femininity in American culture. As evidence, she centers cultural artifacts as wide-ranging as the 1990s sitcom Family Matters (1989-1998) and social media hashtags such as #blackgirlmagic. By centering the gendered and racialized representations of Black girls, Black Girl Lit persists in dismantling negative stereotypes of Black girls, while also providing important insight in how to recover, repair, and redeem mediated representations of their girlhood.

As a new media scholar, Lashon comes alongside social scientists to expand on why black girls and the representations of their girlhood are important areas of scholarship. These shared findings present a more holistic view of the lived experiences of black girls as we come to better understand not only how black girls are living, but also how mediated representations of their girlhoods are being used to define and influence their identities.