School of English

"Black people online are undefeated": African American language, culture and activism on social media

Thursday 22nd October 2020 (18:00-19:00)
Registration URL
Kendra Calhoun

This is an online event hosted on Microsoft Teams.

African American culture is foundational to U.S. popular culture and is global in its influence. Through social media, African American cultural practices have become increasingly visible and technologically innovative, as well as increasingly appropriated by non-Black people. In this talk Kendra Calhoun will discuss how U.S. Black social media users continue to lead popular culture online through creative social media practices and the continuation of long-standing African American linguistic and cultural practices. She will discuss racial comedy as sociopolitical commentary on Vine, ‘everyday online activism’ on Tumblr and Twitter, and the digital documentation of African American culture on Twitter and TikTok.

Kendra Calhoun is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Linguistics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She earned her B.A. in English Language & Literature and Psychology from the University of South Carolina in 2013. Her research explores the intersections of language, identity, and power in face-to-face and mediated contexts, focusing on race, social media, and institutional discourse. She has written about Black linguistic and cultural practices on Vine and Tumblr, and her PhD research analyses diversity discourses and practices in U.S. higher education and the impacts on graduate students of colour.


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