Sojourner Truth Festival of the Arts 2023

Samantha N. Sheppard

Samantha N. Sheppard is an associate professor of cinema and media studies in the Department of Performing and Media Arts at Cornell University. She is the author of Sporting Blackness: Race, Embodiment, and Critical Muscle Memory on Screen (University of California Press, 2020) and co-editor of From Madea to Media Mogul: Theorizing Tyler Perry (University Press of Mississippi, 2016) and Sporting Realities: Critical Readings on the Sports Documentary (University of Nebraska Press, 2020). She has published essays in academic and popular venues such as Film QuarterlyThe AtlanticFlash Art International, and Los Angeles Review of Books. She has also been featured, most recently, on the podcast American Prodigies and the television network Turner Classic Movies.  Her latest essay, “Deep Cuts,” was commissioned for Tiona Nekkia McClodden’s exhibition “The Trace of an Implied Presence,” a multidisciplinary exhibition exploring contemporary Black dance organized by the artist and co-produced by Nike and The Shed. She is currently working on two new book projects: the first, The Basketball Film: A Cultural and Transmedia History, is under contract with Rutgers University Press; and the second, A Black W/hole: Phantom Cinemas and the Reimagining of Black Women’s Media Histories, is a project for which she was named a 2021 Academy Film Scholar by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.  

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