American Studies

Lauren Roper - Race and American Media

After graduating with honors, Lauren returned to her hometown of Los Angeles, California. She currently works in Global Communications at Belkin International, a consumer tech company, where she is heads-down in the world of PR. Outside of work, she puts her minor in Creative Writing to good use by writing prose and poetry on the angst of being a young twenty-something and other random thoughts and feelings. She hopes to one day compile her writing into a published work, which she will dedicate to Professor Palmer.

Area of Concentration Courses

African American Studies 142AC – Race and Film
Sociology C167 – Virtual Communications/Social Media
Sociology 160 – Sociology of Culture
Film 140 – Images of Labor: Work, Film, Media and Resistance
English 166 – Harlem Renaissance
History 125A - African American History, 1550-1861


No Rhythm, No Blues: New Age Blackface and the Digital Minstrel Show Stage

Lauren’s American Studies honors thesis explores the racialized undertones of the 21st century digital media landscape. It first traces the parallels to Jim Crow era blackface, then employs scholarly discourse to further the conversation of cultural appropriation within digital forums and platforms. Using case studies of prominent public figures and viral Internet content, the thesis limns the harm of the separation of Black creators from their content, their consequent erasure, and the underlying systemic racism that upholds this process.

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