Riché Richardson, Cornell University

Associate Professor Ithaca, New York rdr83@cornell.edu Office: (607) 254-5010

Bio/Research

In research, I have continued to expand my research project grounded in questions related to the status of the U.S. South in shaping formations related to gender and race in the U.S, and in shaping categories such as the American and the African American. I am now primarily examining such questi...

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Bio/Research

In research, I have continued to expand my research project grounded in questions related to the status of the U.S. South in shaping formations related to gender and race in the U.S, and in shaping categories such as the American and the African American. I am now primarily examining such questions by focusing on black femininity. The working title for my second book manuscript is “Emancipation’s Daughter’s: Re-Imagining Black Femininity and the National Body Beyond Aunt Jemima” and it is currently in the revision process. Typically, people of African descent, including black women, have been excluded from the prevailing national narratives in the U.S., along with notions of citizenship and democracy. Their national iconicity has often been linked to stereotypes, including the ubiquitous example of Aunt Jemima. However, my study examines how consistently black women have challenged and helped to expand exclusionary definitions of the national body by considering figures across its 5 chapters such as Mary McLeod Bethune, Rosa Parks, Shirley Chisholm, Condoleezza Rice, and Michelle Obama, along with Beyoncé in the conclusion. This study contributes to African American literary criticism and black feminist criticism, along with fields such as Southern studies, black/Africana studies, gender studies, and American studies. Work from this book project was foundational for developing the op-ed piece on Aunt Jemima that I was invited to write for the New York Times in 2015.

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