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Shelby Mack

Shelby Nicole Mack was raised in Culver City, California – however, she never forgets her Pan-Africanist roots across the diaspora (e.g. Ghana and Jamaica). Shelby is a proud former community college student, who graduated from West Los Angeles Community College in the spring of 2015. She then transferred and graduated from the University of California Berkeley in the fall of 2018, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in American Studies (cum laude honors) with a concentration in African American Studies and Education. Shelby also studied at Yale University as a Yale ESI-PREP  Research Fellow (cohort 2019-2020), taking graduate courses in African American Studies and Gender and Women Sexuality studies, while also developing an academic research project which examined the various intersections between disidentification, hyper-femme aesthetics, and hip-hop culture. Her project was supported by Dr. Roderick Ferguson, chair of the Gender Women Sexuality Studies Department at Yale University. Currently her work examines how visual representations of Black queer women artists (from genres such as – Hip-Hop, Dancehall, Reggae, and Afro Beats) coupled with their lyrics, individual personas, and gender performance demonstrate the complexities and contradictions of Black womanhood, Black female sexuality, and intimacy. Her dream is to contribute to an academic scholarship that focuses on the historical timeline of Black queer women artists over time and studying their aesthetics, sound, gender performance, sexual expression and fan base as sights of knowledge production and Black intellectual thought. Her research interests include: Black Feminist Thought, Black Queer Studies, Afro-Futurism, Pan-Africanism, Black Radical Imagination, Sound Studies, Utopian Performativity, Minoritarian Performance, Protest-Music, Fan Culture, and Black Cultural Production. To learn more, see her academic website, www.shelbymacktheperformancestudiesscholar.com/