Rachel Stonecipher

Graduate Associate, Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies Program

Email

rachelst@upenn.edu

Office Location

3620 Walnut St
Office 139

Summary

Stonecipher is a fourth-year PhD student at the Annenberg School for Communication and the Graduate Associate for the GSWS Program.

Her work at Annenberg explores ideas about normativity, the natural, and sexual fluidity mobilized by and about lesbian/queer women's cultural production, drawing upon lesbian feminist theory, black lesbian feminism, trans studies, queer theory, and black queer studies. 

Stonecipher studies feminist political discourses of sexuality, but is especially interested in: narrative structures that link individual experience to social history; how media have figured, and audiences have "read," the political history of sexuality; and queer feminist futurities. Her dissertation looks at 20th and 21st-century U.S. popular media texts, both mainstream and queer, that have framed lesbianism as partly or wholly voluntary: variously linked to politics of expression, community, personal transformation, freedom from constraint, or opposition to heteropatriarchy. Examining academic and popular responses to these representations, the goal is to reveal how different audiences imagine or delimit the political-historical relevance of "lesbian" relationships and figures (e.g., the queer femme, the butch woman) in relation to the common-sense logics of gender and race (see Kara Keeling's The Witch's Flight). At stake are the diverse, often thorny, politics of (re)presenting one's own and others' relation to womanhood -- and its raced, biologized, and sexualized histories -- through mediations and narrativizations of embodied experience. The dissertation's tentative title is "People Change: Fluidity, Difference, Gender, and Race in Lesbian/Queer Futurity," but do let her know if you can think of a better one.

 

Department(s)

Annenberg School for Communication

Area of Expertise