Graduate Student Directory

Wayne Spencer Coffey
  • Title
    • Graduate Student
  • Division Humanities Division, Arts Division
  • Department
    • History of Consciousness Department
    • History of Art/Visual Culture
    • Critical Race and Ethnic Studies
  • Email
  • Office Location
    • Humanities Building 1, 315
  • Mail Stop History Of Consciousness

Research Interests

20th Century African-American Literature, History and Culture; Performance Studies; Urban Studies; Socio-Legal Critique; Visual Culture; Queer of Color Critique; Black Feminist Theory, Sound Studies, Poetics; Law and Literature

Biography, Education and Training

BA, American University (Literature)
MA, Texas State University-San Marcos (English Literature)

How do stereotypical narratives about black urban life in the United States produce political policies that reproduce violence in those communities? My dissertation, Reproducing the Crisis: Blackness, Violence, and Visual Culture in the Postwar American City, answers this question by examining a variety of mostly visual texts: civil rights photographs, African-American newspapers, cable television programs, and the political use of digital media platforms such as Twitter. My project makes a contribution to the fields of critical race and ethnic studies, visual culture, African-American history, and urban studies by interrogating two uses of black representation: (1) How are African-Americans represented metonymically through the language of pathology in popular culture and political discourse and how do these stereotypical narratives inform urban public policy? (2) How do African-American activists, intellectuals, and artists counter hegemonic narratives of black pathology and represent themselves differently, and how are these modified narratives put in service of black political self-determination?

Honors, Awards and Grants

UCHRI Graduate Student Dissertation Support, 2018-2019

UCSC Humanities Institute Summer Dissertation Fellowship, 2018

UCHRI Residential Research Group, "Truth," Spring 2019