Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Mass Communication and Media Arts

First Advisor

Metz, Walter

Second Advisor

Brown, Joseph


This dissertation explores articulations of Black Womanhood during the socio-political crisis of police brutality against Black women during the 2010s. I use Stuart Hall’s concepts of conjuncture and articulation as the orientation to analyze three of Lifetime’s original reality television programs: Dance Moms, Bring It!, and Girlfriend Intervention. I contend that the discourses on these shows create articulations of Black womanhood that fail to reflect the realities of the complex social struggles and state-sanctioned police violence against unarmed Black women that led to the #SayHerName movement. Rather than portray the full realities of the Black female experience, the shows conceal the social unsettling experiences of being a Black woman in order to bring entertaining and banal discourses to the forefront. As such, those reductive articulations of Black Womanhood act as an unstable settlement, a temporary joist to the national social formation in an attempt to avoid radical socio-political reconfigurations.




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