Rachel Jessica Daniel 2006 Discusses Drag Portrayals of African-American Women

Rachel Jessica Daniel, American Studies doctoral candidate and Instructor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, will visit campus as the African-American/Africana Studies guest lecturer on Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. in Pfahler Hall’s Musser Auditorium. The title of her talk, which is free and open to the public, is “Dragging the Black Church: Tyler Perry, Steve Harvey, and Rickey Smiley Perform Black Women.” The following day, Oct. 23, at Unity House, an open discussion will be held with Daniel from 12 to 1 p.m. about the interdisciplinary nature of her research and questions it raises.

Rachel Jessica Daniel 2006

Rachel Jessica Daniel 2006 is the African-American/Africana Studies guest lecturer for 2013.

Daniel is a 2006 Ursinus graduate, and her lecture is drawn from her dissertation, “Resurrecting the Black Church: Representations of the Black Church in a Post Civil Rights Movement Era.” It will unpack cultural production as practiced by Tyler Perry, who is known for his comedic drag representations of African-American working-class women. Perry, a writer, director, actor and comedian, has become a significant shaper of contemporary popular culture and is the most prominent of three comedians who cover this terrain. Daniel writes, “dragging the black church is a performative gesture that performers use to playfully define black church culture. Drag is a tool that Steve Harvey, Rickey Smiley and Tyler Perry use in order to make claims about race, gender, class, and theology.”

One thought on “Rachel Jessica Daniel 2006 Discusses Drag Portrayals of African-American Women

  1. Sounds extremely interesting. I’m curious about the subject Miss Daniel will be addressing.

Comments are closed.