M. Nicole Horsley

Assistant Professor, Center for Study of Culture, Race and Ethnicity
Office: Egbert Hall 345, Ithaca, NY 14850
Speciality: African American and African Diaspora Studies, Black Feminism, Black Queer Theory, Black Music Videos, Black Female Sexuality, Visual and Sonic Culture, Taste Culture, Film and Media Studies

I am a pleasure seeking activist, visual artist, and scholar. Unapologetically, I am Black and sexually liberated. I use visual and sonic culture as tools of empowerment for Black girls and women to define and embrace their bodies, seek pleasure and heal themselves. The driving force behind my research is social justice and Black liberation.

My commitment to social justice for Black girls and women has led me to explore poor and working-class Black cis and transgender women’s sexual economies of labor and pleasure (which at times can be one in the same). Through the figure/trope of the “freak” in pornography, popular and sonic culture I explore how Black women resist sexual oppression through reclaiming fatness, queer identities and gendered non-conforming bodies. This work further invokes a type of material existence—imagined through Black girlhood, bottom culture, ratchetness and is grounded in the gender troubles of figures such as Sojourner Truth, Marsha P. Johnson, TS Madison, Khia, and Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott.

My courses focus on imagining generative possibilities for resistance that center on modes of pleasure and liberation for Black and Brown people. I ask: What’s the relation between resistance and liberation? Can there be liberation without resistance? How do poor and working-class people of color reimagine their subjectivities and experience pleasure? How will you contribute to our liberation?

“Nobody’s is free until everybody’s is free.” –Fannie Lou Hamer

“Your silence will not protect you.” –Audre Lorde

I am a native of Southern California. I received a PhD in African American and African Diaspora Studies with a minor in Film and Media Studies from Indiana University. I hold a M.A. in Women’s Studies and M.Ed. from Claremont Graduate University. I graduated Summa Cum Laude from UCLA.

I'm a Dangerous Black femme.