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Center for Black Studies
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Visiting Scholars

 

Mireille Miller-Young

Mireille Miller-Young, Ph.D. is a University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow hosted through the Center for Black Studies of the University of California Santa Barbara. Earning her B.A. in History from Emory University, and her M.A. and doctorate in American History and History of the African Diaspora at New York University, Dr. Miller-Young’s research interests concern black feminist theory, black sexual politics, the racialized political economy of sex work, and American film and visual cultures.

In 2003-2004 she was a Dissertation Fellow in the Department of Black Studies at UCSB, and a winner of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation Dissertation Grant in Women’s Studies. Dr. Miller-Young was a participant in the 2001 Summer Institute on Sexuality, Culture, and Society at the Universiteit van Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and has studied at John Cabot University in Rome, Italy. She has spoken at numerous conferences, including AfroGEEKS: From Technophobia to Technophilia, and as a guest lecturer in Professor Constance Penley’s course on Pornography in the Department of Film Studies at UCSB. Her dissertation, A Taste for Brown Sugar: The History of Black Women in American Pornography, investigated the historical representation of black female bodies in hardcore visual media, and the politics of black women’s erotic labor in the racial, sexual economy of adult entertainment.

As a postdoctoral researcher, Dr. Miller-Young is developing her original work on pornography into a manuscript and articles for publication as well as creating digital archives of vintage and rare erotic photographic and film images of black and interracial sexuality from the nineteenth century to the present. In addition, Dr. Miller-Young is creating a documentary film about the ways in which black women sex workers navigate the fetishistic and exploitative landscape of the pornography industry and articulate discourses of choice, power and control over their sexual labor. Involving the collecting of oral histories with former and current adult actors and an ethnography of the pornography business, the film will present the narratives of women of color performers as they give voice to their experiences of the racial and gender power dynamics of labor in hardcore media.

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