Charles I. Nero

Benjamin E. Mays '20 Distinguished Prof of Rhetoric, Film, and Screen Studies


Rhetoric, Film, and Screen Studies

Pettigrew Hall, Room 303


Pettigrew Hall, Room 303


Charles I. Nero is an American interdisciplinary scholar, cultural critic, and professor of rhetoric, film and screen studies at Bates College. His work sits at the intersection of communication studies, film and literary criticism, African American studies, and cultural studies. Notably, Nero’s work deeply engages the place of sexuality in African American studies and African American culture. Nero received his undergraduate degree in Theater Education from Xavier University of Louisiana (1978), his MA in Speech Communication from Wake Forest University (1980) and his PhD in Speech Communication with concentrations in African American Studies and African Studies from Indiana University (1990).

Nero is a pioneer in the area of black queer studies. While working toward his PhD he became acutely aware of the need for this area of study. The late poet Essex Hemphill contacted him personally to include the essay “Toward a Black Gay Aesthetic: Signifying in Contemporary Black Gay Literature” in the landmark 1991 anthology Brother to Brother: New Writings by Black Gay Men. That essay is considered to be the first scholarly treatment of black gay literature. Nero was honored to write the introduction for the Cleis Press edition of Hemphill’s anthology Ceremonies. His essays have been important interventions into what typically had been unquestioned straightness in African American studies and an assumed whiteness in gay scholarship.

His scholarly work has appeared in major academic journals including Callaloo, College Language Association Journal, Palimpsest: A Journal on Women, Gender and the Black Diaspora, The Journal of Black Studies, Public Culture, Camera Obscura: Feminism, Culture, and Media Studies, and The Howard Journal of Communications. He also published in the groundbreaking collections Black Queer Studies: A Critical Anthology, More Than the Blues: Black Women and Music, Our Voices: Essays in Culture, Ethnicity, and Communication, Migrating the Black Body: The African Diaspora and Visual Culture, Blacktino: Queer Performance, and Queer Representations: Reading Lives, Reading Cultures; a Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader.

He offers courses on American cinema, lesbian and gay cinema, and African American literature and culture. In his lower division (100 level) courses he seeks to provide students with the critical skills and vocabulary to analyze how systems of power–for example, white supremacy–have played a role in structuring American culture representations in film, literature, and other public discourses. In his upper division courses (200 and above) he provides students with the knowledge and skill that enable them to explore how citizens have resisted oppression and created new forms of culture. He encourages students to explore the formation of identities by being attentive to race, class, sexuality, and gender.

Nero is currently the Benjamin E. Mays Distinguished Professor of Africana and Rhetoric, Film, and Screen Studies at Bates College. Endowed by James F. Orr, II and Ann L. Orr P ’94 in honor of the late civil rights advocate, theologian, and educator Benjamin E. Mays ’20, this professorship recognizes a faculty member who has advanced our understanding in matters of diversity and who affirms the ideals of the Bates alumnus Benjamin E. Mays ’20. 


PhD. Speech Communication, May 1992, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Dissertation: “To Develop Our Manhood”: Free Black Leadership and the Rhetoric of the New Orleans Tribune, 1865-1870
M.A. Speech Communication, May 1980, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC
B.A. Theater Education, May 1978, Xavier University, New Orleans, LA

Professional History

Academic Appointments

Benjamin E. Mays ’20 Distinguished Professor, Bates College, August 2018 – Present
Professor of Rhetoric, African American Studies, and American Cultural Studies, Bates College, August 1991- Present
Assistant Professor of Speech Communication. Ithaca College, August 1987- May 1990
Instructor, Speech  Communication, Valdosta State College, Valdosta, GA, August 1980 – May 1981
Associate Instructor, Afro-American Studies, Indiana University, 1983 – 1987

Theater, Performance, and Documentary

Adaptor and Director, “Of the Coming of John,” Reader’s Theater for W.E.B. Du Bois and The Soul of Black Folk: The First 100 years,” 10-11 October, 2003.
Interviewee, Off the Straight and Narrow: Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Television.  A Media Education Foundation Documentary (Northampton, MA 1998).
“Bailey” in Cheryl West’s Before It Hits Home.  Directed by Elizabeth Hadley.  Gannett Theater, Bates College, February 1996.
Adaptor and Director.  Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye.  Reader’s theater production.  Bates College, May 1992.
Performer.  Showcase of feeling: The Rhetoric of AIDS.  Reader’s theater at annual meeting of the Eastern Communication Association, Ocean City, MD.  May 1989.
Audio Recording for classroom instruction of Black plays from the Negro Wing of the Federal Theater of the 1930s.  Adviser/Director: Dr. Winona L. Fletcher.  Summer 1986.
Adaptor and Director: How I got Ovuh!: Afro-American Folklore in Performance.  Reader’s theater for Introduction to Afro-American Culture class, Indiana University.  October 1985.
Sound Technician for Dashiki Project Theater, New Orleans, Louisiana Fall 1982.
Adaptor and Director.  Keep on Steppin’.  Reader’s theater for Black History Month at Valdosta State College, Valdosta, Georgia.  February 1981.

Academic Service

Chair, Martin Luther King Jr. Planning Committee (2010-2014).
Prologue, A Program by bates Admission (November 2012).
Member, Search Committee for the Chief Diversity Officer and Associate Vice President (2012-2013).
Member, President’s Day Diversity Task Force (2010-2012).
Presenter, “Academic Life at Bates College,” Prologue. (10 November, 2008).
Financial and Advisory Committee to the President (2006-Current).
Search Committee for The Dean of Students (2004).
Co-Organizer of Makin’Whoopi Symposium (May 2000).
Steering Committee of the Colby, Bates, and Bowdoin Consortium. Program in Cape Town, South Africa (1998-2000).
Member of the African American and American Cultural Studies Committee (1991-Current).
Member of the Extracurricular Activities and Residential Life Committee (1998-2001).
Advisor, AMANDLA! (formerly Bates Afro-American Society) (1991-1996).
Advisor, OUTFRONT! (formerly Gay, lesbian, and Bisexual Alliance) (1991-2001).
Member of the College Lecture Series Committee (1995).
Member, Martin Luther King Jr. Day Committee (1996,1998, 2006-2008).
HIV/AIDS Awareness Committee (1996).
Member, Committee on Homophobia and Institutional Change (1997-2000).
Organized African Diaspora Film Festival (1998).

Organized Lectures, Exhibits, and Performances for the following:

  • Bryant Keith Alexander, Scholar in Performance Studies
  • Michael Cummings, Quilter and Artist
  • DeMane Davis and Khari Streeter, Filmmakers
  • Shari Frilot, Filmmaker
  • Paula Giddings, Historian
  • Elizabeth A. Hadley, Film Scholar
  • Essex Hemphill, Poet
  • E. Patrick Johnson, Scholar in Performance Studies
  • Wilson Jeremiah Moses, Historian and Literary Critic
  • Nancy D. Kates, Filmmaker (Brother/Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin)
  • Henri E. Norris, CEO New Millennia Films
  • H. Nigel Thomas, Novelist and Literary Critic
  • Kim Marie Vaz, Scholar in Women’s Studies
  • Wendy Sutherland, Professor of German Studies (co-sponsored by Mellon Learning Associates Program in the Humanities)
  • DJ Spooky (aka Paul Miller, the Subliminal Kid), Hip Hop Artist and Film Scorer

Professional Organizations

  • The Howard Journal of Communications
  • Text and Performance Quarterly
  • Quarterly Journal of Speech
  • Editorial Board, Howard Journal of Communications (1994-1998)
  • Session Organizer, “Minorities in the Reagan-Bush Administrations,” for the annual meeting of the Speech Communication Association (November 1990)
  • Program Chair, Minority Voices Interest Group, Eastern Communication Association (1990-1991)
  • Program Chair, Caucus on Gay and Lesbian Concerns (1991)
  • Secretary, The Black Caucus, Speech Communication Association (1986-1988)
  • Society for Cinema and Media Studies
  • College Language Association
  • National Communication Association
  • Langston Hughes Society
  • Modern Language Association
  • American Studies Association

Awards and Distinctions

Bates College Travel Grant, Beinecke Library, Yale University. National Endowment for the Humanities, Fellow at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (2005-2006).  Project Title: “Writing a New African Diasporic World: Melvin Dixon, Jose Beamand the Generation of the 1980s.”
Bates College Grant of $20,000 for Symposium, “W.E.B. Du Bois and The Souls of Black Folk: The First 100 Years” (2004). Bates College Travel Grant to attend San Francisco Lesbian and Gay Film Festival (2003). Bates College Travel Grant to attend the American Black Film Festival in Acapulco, Mexico; and MIX New York Experimental Film Festival (2001-2002). Phillips Fellowship Travel Grant for Research (Winter 2001). Bates College Summer Research Grant for Travel to Cuba (2000). Bates College Summer Research Grant for Travel to CapeTown, South Africa (1999). Scholar in Residence, 27-28 March, 1996, Western Michigan University. Rockefeller Residency Fellowship in the Humanities, The Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York, The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (1993-1994). Ford Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Center for the Study of Black Literature and Culture, University of Pennsylvania (Summer 1991).  Selected to attend the six-week seminar, “History, Content and Method in Afro-American Studies.” A grant from the American College Health Association (jointly with three colleagues) (1989).  Received funding to design, implement, and evaluate a retreat for campus leaders on racism, sexism, and homophobia in the AIDS crisis. Ithaca College Research Grant (1988).  Received funding to attend Chautauqua Short Course, “From the Sin of Onan to the Smoke of Auswitch.” State University of New York, Stony Brook. Graduate Minority Fellowship at Indiana University, Bloomington (1986-1987). United States Department of Education, Foreign Language, and Area Studies Fellowship (Summers of 1985, 1986, 1987).  Received funding to study the Bambara/Mandinka language of West Africa at Indiana University. Equal Opportunity Fellowship, Indiana University (Summer 1984).


Articles and Book Chapters

“George Wolfe.” In 50 Key Figures in Queer US Theatre, eds. Jimmy A. Noriega and Jordan Schildcrout (NY: Routledge, 2022): 238-242. “The Legacy of Essex Hemphill.” The Reckoning. 21 June 2022. ” ‘Professor, Are You Sure?’: Teaching While Black at a Select Liberal Arts College.” Public Seminar 28 April, 2022. “Screening Intimacy, Vulnerability, and Sensitivity Between Black Men: An Interview with Rodney Evans.” Black Camera: An International Film Journal 14.1 (Fall 2022): 159-173. “No Crips Allowed: The Hyper-Abled Black Male Body in Steven Spielberg’s Amistad and Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther.” College Language Association Journal, Special Issue on Blackness and Disability Studies 64.1 (2021): 52-61. “‘A New Dawn, A New Day’: Welcoming a Golden Age of Black Quare/Queer Male Life Studies.” Palimpsest: A Journal on Women, Gender, and the Black Diaspora, Special Issue on 30 Year Retrospective of Black Queer Studies, ed. Terence Dean 9.2 (2020): 1-4. Charles I. Nero.  “Differently Black:  The Fourth Great Migration and Black Catholic Saints in Ramin Bahrani’s Goodbye Solo and Jim Sheridan’s In America,” in Migrating the Black Body:  The African Diaspora and Visual Culture, ed. Leigh Raiford and Heike Raphael-Hernandez (Seattle:  University of Washington Press, 2017):  207-220. Charles I. Nero.  “What’s Nat Turner Doing Up in Here With All These Queers:  Paul Outlaw’s Berserker; A Meditation on Interracial Desire and Disappearing Blackness,” Blacktino Queer Performance, ed. E. Patrick Johnson and Ramon Rivera-Servera (Durham:  Duke University Press, 2016):  486-497. Charles I. Nero.  “Documenting the Intersection of Race, Sexuality, and Faith:  An Interview with Yoruba Richen,” Journal of Black Studies 45.1 (2015): 72-80. Charles I. Nero.  “‘A Hot Mess’:  The Camp Signifyin(g) Cinema of Lee Daniels” A Companion to African American Cinema, ed. Mark A. Reid (Wiley-Blackwell, forthcoming) Charles I. Nero.  “The Souls of Black Gay Folk:  The Black Arts Movement and Melvin Dixon’s Revision of Du Boisian Double Consciousness in Vanishing Rooms, in Black Intersectionalities:  A Critique for the 21st Century, ed. Monica Michlin and Jean-Paul Rocchi (Liverpool University Press, 2013):  114-126. Charles I. Nero.  “Reading Will Make You Queer:  Gender Inversion and Racial Leadership in Claude McKay’s Home to Harlem,” Palimpsest: A Journal on Women, Gender, and the Black International 2.1 (2013): 64-86. Charles I. Nero.  “Drag Performance and Community Building in Cuba and the United States,” FORECAAST (Forum for European Contributions to African American Studies), 16 (2007): 83-94. Co-authored with Baltasar Fra-Molinero. Charles I. Nero and Baltasar Fra-Molinero.  “When Food Tastes Cosmopolitan: The Creole Fusion of Diaspora Cuisine; An Interview with Jessica B. Harris,” Callaloo  30:1 (2007): 287-303. Charles I. Nero. “Langston Hughes, the Female Gospel Voice and the Broadway Musical Comedy,” In Eileen Hayes and Linda Williams, More Than the Blues:  Black Women and Music (Urbana and Chicago:  University of Illinois Press, 2007): 72-89. Charles I. Nero. “Queering The Souls of Black Folk,” Public Culture 17:2 (2005): 255-276. Charles I. Nero. “Why Are Gay Ghettos White?” In E. Patrick Johnson and Mae G. Henderson (eds.), Black Queer Studies:  A Critical Anthology (Durham and London:  Duke University Press, 2005): 228-248. Charles I. Nero. “Diva Traffic and Male Bonding in Film:  Teaching Opera, Learning Gender, Race, and Nation.”  Camera Obscura, 19(2004): 47-74. Charles I. Nero.  “Black Gay Men and White Gay Men:  A Less than Perfect Union.” In Carlos L. Dews and Carolyn Leste Law (eds.), Out in the South (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2001): 115-126. Charles I. Nero. “Fixing Ceremonies:  An Introduction.” Ceremonies. By Essex Hemphill. San Francisco: Cleis Press, 2000. xi-xxiii Charles I. Nero. “Re/Membering Langston: Homophobic Textuality and Arnold Rampersad’s The Life of Langston Hughes.” In Martin Bauml Duberman (ed.), Queer Representations: Reading Lives, Reading Cultures; A Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader. New York: New York University Press 1997, pp. 188-196. Charles I. Nero. “‘Oh, What I Think I Must Tell This World’:  Oratory and Public Address of African American Women.” In Kim M. Vaz (ed.), Black Women in America. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications 1995, pp. 261-275. Charles I. Nero. “Social and Cultural Sensitivity in Group Specific HIV/AIDS Programming.” Journal of Counseling and Development 71 (January/February 1993), pp. 290-297. Coauthors: James M. Croteau and Diane J. Prosser. Charles I. Nero. “Race, Gender and Sexual Orientation in the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Evaluating an Intervention for Leaders of Diverse Communities.” Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development 20 (October, 1992), pp. 161-180. Co-authors: Jim Croteau, Susanne Morgan, and Bruce Henderson. Charles I. Nero. “Free Speech or Hate Speech?: Pornography and Its Means of Production.” Law and Sexuality: A Review of Lesbian and Gay Legal Issues 2 (1992), pp. 3-9. Charles I. Nero. “Clarence Pendleton and the Rhetoric of Paradox,” The Howard Journal of Communications 3 (Winter/Spring 1992), pp. 204-217. Charles I. Nero. “Black Queer Identity, Imaginative Rationality, and the Language of Home.” In Alberto Gonzalez, Marsha Houston, and Victoria Chen (eds.), Our Voices: Essays in Culture, Ethnicity, and Communication. Los Angeles, CA: Roxbury Press, 1993, pp. 54-60. Charles I. Nero. “Towards a Black Gay Aesthetic:  Signifying in Contemporary Black Gay Literature.” In Joseph Beam and Essex Hemphill (eds.), Brother to Brother: New Writings by Black Gay Men. Boston: Alyson Publications, 1991, pp. 229-252. This essay has been reprinted in Devon Carbado (ed.), Black Men on Race, Gender, and Sexuality (New York UP, 1999); Mel Donaldson (ed.), Cornerstones (St. Martin’s Press 1996); Hazel Arnett Ervin (ed.), African American Literary Criticism–1773 to Present (Twayne Publishers, 1999); Patricia Liggins Hill (gen. ed.), Call and Response: The Riverside Anthology of the African American Literary Tradition (MacMillan Press, 1998); Winston Napier (ed.), African American Literary Theory (New York U P, 2000).

BOOK REVIEWS, ENCYCLOPEDIA ENTRIES, SCHOLARLY NOTES, AND PAMPHLETS Charles I. Nero. *Review:  Nobody’s Supposed to Know:  Black Sexuality on the Down Low by Riley Snorton.  QED:  A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking, 3.1 (Spring 2016): 157-159. Charles I. Nero. The New Black, directed by Yoruba Richen: A Film Review. The Journal of Black Studies, 45.1 (2015): 70-71. Charles I. Nero. Editor, A Heavy Grace:  An Interview with Daniel Minter, Bates College, Office of Multicultural Affairs, February 2005. Charles I. Nero. “Teaching Boys Don’t Cry,” Radical Teacher: A Socialist, Feminist, and Anti-Racist Journal on the Theory and Practice of Teaching. 67(Spring 2003): 43-44. Charles I. Nero. Gay Rebel of the Harlem Renaissance: Selections from the Work of Bruce NugentThe Journal of the History of Sexuality 12.4 (October 2003): 672-676. Charles I. Nero. “Wonder and Delight.” A Review of Black Like Us: A Century of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Fiction by Devon W. Carbado, Dwight A. McBride, and Donald Weise.  Lambda Book Report(Nov/Dec2002): 25-26. Charles I. Nero. “Gay Literature” and “Gay Men,” The Oxford Companion to African AmericanLiterature, ed, William L. Andrews, Frances Smith Foster, and Trudier Harris.  Oxford UP, 1998, p. 212-213. Charles I. Nero. Spirits in the Dark (Novel) by H. Nigel Thomas. Lambda Book Review(January/February 1995), p. 47. Charles I. Nero. Soul Make a Path Through Shouting (Poetry) by Cyrus Cassells. Lambda Book Review (July/August 1994), p. 45. Charles I. Nero. Sorrow Is the Only Faithful One: The Life of Owen Dodson by James V. Hatch. Bates: The Alumni Magazine, Winter 1994, pp. 42-43. Charles I. Nero. Prologue: The Novels of Black American Women, 1891-1965 by Carole McAlpine Watson. Women’s Studies in Indiana, 12, (November 1986), p. 3.


Invited Lectures

“Spike Lee’s BlacKKKlansman.” Cinema in Conversation, Maine Film Center (Zoom), 3 February 2021. BlacKKKlansman: Spike Lee Turns the Interracial Buddy Film Upside Down.” University of Maine at Farmington Symposium on Spike Lee’s BlacKKKlansman, 9 February 2019. “The Biblical Queen Esther and Black Quare Studies,” Sweet Tea Turns Ten: A Symposium Celebrating the Tenth Anniversary of Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South; An Oral History, 19-20 October, 2018. “Gender Inversion and Claude McKay’s Home to Harlem,” Sex in the 21st Century Symposium, Vanderbilt University African American and Diaspora Studies Program, 22 March, 2012 “Queer Double Consciousness and the Literature of the Harlem Renaissance,” Keynote Address, Celebrating African American Literature Conference, Pennsylvania State University, Departments of African American Studies and English, 1 October 2011. “Tongues Untied: A History of Black Gay Writing,” Black Gay Research Summit, Brooklyn, New York (August 2005). “Langston Hughes and the Gospel Musical,” National Black Theater Festival Colloquium, Winston-Salem, North Carolina (August 2005). “Queering The Souls of Black Folk,” 100 Years of The Souls of Black Folk: A Conference Sponsored by Northwestern University’s Alice Berline Kaplan Center for the Humanities and African American Studies Department (23-25, October 2004). “The Politics of Home in Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun,” National Black Theater Festival (August 2003). Participant, “Ethnic Notions: A Symposium on White Identity and Racial Stereotyping.”  Texas A & M University (21 February 2002). “Black Gay Life Writing,” Fire and Ink: A Writer’s Festival for LGBT People of African Descent,” University of Illinois-Chicago (19-22 September 2002). “Whoopi Messiah: Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act.” Presented at the Makin’ Whoopi Symposium, Bates College. (19-20 May 2000). “Why Are the Gay Ghettoes White?: A Hypothesis about the Function of The Black Gay Impostor as Controlling Image in White Gay Discourse.”  Black Queer Studies in the Millennium Conference. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (7-9 April 2000). “The Frustrated Queens in Bebe Moore Campbell’s Brothers and Sisters.” ‘The Endlessly Beckoning Horizon’: Afro-American Literature at the End of the Twentieth Century. The University of Pennsylvania (September 30-October 2 1999). “Revenge of the Reading Queer: Randall Kenan’s A Visitation of Spirits and Afro- Homophobia.” Myth, Memory, and Migration: The Black South in the Cultural Imagination Conference. The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa (3 October 1997). “Marlon Riggs: Black Gay Jeremiah.” Lavender Language Conference. American University, Washington, DC. (February 1996). “Black Gay Literature and Film.” Western Michigan University (28 March 28 1996). “A Hell of a Place to Be: Black Gay Men in the Epic of ‘Black Biography.’”   The Phenomenology Conference, University of Wisconsin–LaCrosse. (25 March 1994). The Ray Smith Symposium Series, “Coming Out: Scholarship Across the Disciplines Conference,” Syracuse University. (19 February 1994). Colloquia Series, Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, City University of New York. (1 February 1994). Graduate Gay and Lesbian Alliance Speaker Series, State University of New York, Buffalo. (11 November 1993). “Is Pornography Hateful Speech?” Presentation for the Second Annual Lesbian/Gay Rights Symposium sponsored by the Tulane Law School. (4 October 1991). “Black, Red, Green and Pink: Nationalism in African American Gay Literature.” Presentation for the series Contemporary Research and Scholarship on Gay and Lesbian Lives, Pennsylvania State University. (15 February 1990). “The Spirituals: Protest Music of Slavery.” Guest Speaker for the Annual Observance of Black History Month at Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Valdosta, GA. (February 1980).

Conference Presentations

“Afro-Futurist Masculinity (?): Bigger Thomas as a Black Dandy in Rashid Johnson’s Native Son, Annual Meeting of the College Language Association, Memphis, Tennessee, 8-10 April, 2021.

“The Super Human Black Male Body: Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther and Steven Spielberg’s Amistad.” Annual Meeting of the College Language Association, Durham, North Carolina, 10-13 April, 2019. “Hyper-ability and Blackness: Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther. 13th International Conference of African American Research, University of Southern Florida at Orlando, 30 January-2 February, 2019. Panelist, “When ‘Home’ Is a Four-Letter Word: Black Queer Studies Then and Now,” Annual Meeting of the American Studies Association, Denver, Colorado 17-20 November 2017. What’s Nat Turner Doing Up In Here With All These Queers?: Paul Outlaw’s Berserker; A Black Gay Meditation Upon Interracial Desire,” Annual Meeting of the American Studies Association, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 15-18 November, 2012. White Redemption and Indie Cinema: The West African Migrant to America as Christian Black Saint in Rahmin Bahrani’s Goodbye Solo (2009) and Jim Sheridan’s In America (2002). Diasporas and Race Symposium, Wake Forest University (USA), 7 October, 2012. “Screening Uncle Tom’s Cabin in Germany: Liberation Theology in Géza von Radványi’s 1965 Onkel Toms Hütte,” Harriet Beecher Stowe at 200, Harriet Beecher Stowe Society, Bowdoin College, 23-25 June 2011. “The Souls of Black Gay Folk: The Black Arts Movement and Melvin Dixon’s Revision of Du Boisian Double Consciousness in Vanishing Rooms, Black States of Desire: Dispossession, Circulation, Transformation,” Collegium on African American Research, University of Paris, France. 6-9 April 2011. “Gay Black Consciousness and the Black Arts Movement Aesthetic in Melvin Dixon’s Vanishing Rooms,” Art and Power in Movement: An International Conference on Rethinking the Black Power and Arts Movements,” University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 18-20 November 2010. “E. Lynn Harris’s Democracy of Sin.”  Annual Meeting of the College Language Association, Miami, Florida (April 2007). “Stephen Speilberg’s Amistad, The Black Buck Stereotype, and the Christian Black Magus Image,” Annual Meeting of the College Language Association, University of Georgia, Athens (April 2005). “The Incorruptible Body of the Black Gift-Bearer: Djimon Hounsou,” Annual Meeting of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, London, England (April 2005). “Lessons in Race and Nation: Teaching Opera in Philadelphia, Shawshank Redemption, and Frese y Chocolate.” Annual Meeting of the College Language Association (April 2001). “Evading History: Biracial Male Bonding and Operatic Tutelage in Film,” Real to Reel: Black Life in Cinema Conference,” Department of African American Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (5-7 April 2001). “Respondent.” Engaging Ourselves: Interrogating, Exploring, and RevistingCool Pose. National Communication Association Convention (10 November 2000). “Black Gay Literatures and African American Studies.” First Colloquium, Gay and Lesbian Studies in Southern Africa. University of Cape Town, South Africa (October 1995). “Homophobia and the Changing Discourse of Civil Rights.” The Changing Rhetoric of the Civil Rights Movement and Its Meaning for Public Policy. TGIF Lecture Series, Bates College (2 December 1994). “Voice and Gender in Booker T. Washington’s Atlanta Exposition Address.” Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association, New Orleans, LA (November 1994). “Limitations of Life: Sexuality and Black Intellectuals.” Imagining the Limits: Interrogating the Past/Contesting the Future; A Joint CUNY Rockefeller Fellows Colloquium, New York University (21 May 1994). “Kinship and the Black Imagination.” Health Care, Media and the Nation Conference. New York University. Sponsored by Department of Performance Studies, New York University and Department of African and African American Studies, Pennsylvania State University (16 April 1994). “Looking for Daddy: Homosocial Desire in Spike Lee’s Malcolm X.” Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association, Miami, FL (November 1993). “Reconstructing Manhood: Tongues Untied, AIDS and the Afro-Gay Jeremiad.” Annual Meeting of the Modern Language Association, Toronto, Canada (December 1993). “My Bondage, My Community; My Freedom, My Anonymity: A Dilemma of Gay Black Teens in Contemporary Literature.” Presented at the annual meeting of the College Language Association, Daytona Beach, FL (April 1992). “Toussaint’s Daughters: Black Women Playwrights and the Haitian Revolution.” Presented at Text and Presentation XVII, Comparative Drama Conference, University of Florida (March 1992). Panelist, Dimensions of the political correctness-cultural conservatism debate. Annual meeting of the Speech Communication Association, Chicago, IL (October 1992). “Finding an angle of vision: The rhetorical theory curriculum in a multicultural society (May 1992). “Morrison’s Anti-Hero: Soaphead Church, A Very Clean Old Man.” Presented at the annual meeting of the College Language Association, Knoxville, TN. ”From Slaves to Rulers: The Haitian Revolution in Diaspora Drama.” Presented at Text and Presentation XVI, Comparative Drama Conference, University of Florida (March 1992). “Getting Past the Myth of Race and Gender Neutrality in the Public Speaking Class.” Presented at the annual meeting of the Speech Communication Association, Atlanta, GA (November 1991). “Remembering Langston: Memory, Gender Politics, and the Struggle for Langston Hughes.” Presented at the annual meeting of the Speech Communication Association, Atlanta, GA (November 1991). “Uncle Tom or Bad Nigger: Myth as Rhetorical Constraint in the Reception of Nelson Mandela’s 1990 tour of the United States.” Presented at the annual meeting of the Eastern Communication Association, Pittsburgh, PA (April 1991). “Addressing AIDS-related stigma: An Intervention for Leaders of Diverse Communities.” Presented at the annual meeting of the American College Personnel Association, Atlanta, GA. (Co-presenter: J. Croteau) (March 1991). “Problematic Heroism: Psychopathic Discourse and Toni Morrison’s Soaphead Church and Black men of the Sweet Home Plantation.” Presented at the annual meeting of the Southern Humanities Council, Chattanooga, TN (February 1991). “Clarence Pendleton and the Rhetoric of Paradox.” Presented at the annual meeting of the Speech Communication Association, Chicago, IL (November 1990). “Post-Black Power and Stonewall Literature by Black Gay Men.” Presented at the Fourth Annual Lesbian, Bisexual and Gay Studies Conference, Harvard University (October 1990). “Oppression or liberation: The ‘domestic impulse’ as problem in Harvey Fierstein’s Torch Song Trilogy.” Presented at the annual meeting of the Eastern Communication Association, Pittsburgh, PA (May 1990). “Resisting Heterosexism in Black America: The Politics of Desire in African American Gay Literature.” Presented at the annual meeting of the Speech Communication Association, San Francisco, CA (November 1989). “A Plaintive Cry for Community: Cultural Isolation in Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon and Tar Baby.” Presented at the annual meeting of the Eastern Communication Association, Ocean City, MD (May 1989). “Persuasion by Paradox: The Rhetoric of Clarence Pendleton.” Presented at the annual meeting of the Eastern Communication Association, Ocean City, MD (May 1989). “An Annotated Syllabus for the Teaching of a Black English Course.” Presented at the annual meeting of the Eastern Communication Association, Ocean City, MD (May 1989). “From ‘Birth of a Nation’ to ‘Gone With the Wind’: The Images of Blacks in American Cinema Between the World Wars.” Presented at the Ithaca College Faculty- Student Seminar on Racism and Civil Right in the United States Between the World Wars (20 February 1989). “Towards a Black Gay Aesthetic: The Post-Stonewall/Black Power Response of Black American Gay Men.” Presented at the annual meeting of the Speech Communication Association, New Orleans, LA (November 1988). “AIDS and Black Americans.” Presented at a pre-convention seminar, “Ethical Issues, Rhetorical Answers in the AIDS Crisis,” at the annual meeting of the Speech Communication Association, New Orleans, LA (November 1988). “Colonel North Goes to Washington: Public Narrative in the Iran/Contra Hearings.” (Top Three: Political Communication). Presented at the annual meeting of the Eastern Communication Association, Baltimore, MD (May 1988). “Black American Religion: An Alternative Tradition. Guest Speaker at the bi-annual Worship in the Black Tradition service, Muller Chapel, Ithaca College (6 December 1987). “‘There Can Be No Progress Without Peace’: W.E.B. DuBois and the 1950 Campaign for the United States Senate.” Presented at the annual meeting of the Speech Communication Association, Boston, MA (November 1987). “From Slaves to Rulers: Four Writers View the Haitian Revolution.” Presented at the Second Conference on The Legacy of Colonialism: Focus on The Caribbean and the Americas, The Afro-American Studies Center of Purdue University, IN (March 1987). “The Persuasive Uses of Proverbs in Traditional African Societies.” Presented at the annual Conference on African Linguistics, Bloomington, IN (April 1986).

Courses Taught

Areas of Teaching Interest

  • 19th and 20th Century African American Literature
  • American Film
  • African American Studies
  • African American Film
  • African American Oratory