Areas of ExpertiseCritical Cultural Studies, Critical Race Theory, Black Feminism, Body Politics, Anti-racist Pedagogy
PhD - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Mass Communication)
Graduate Certificate - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Gender Studies)
BA - City University of New York (Media Communication)
Dr. Kamille Gentles-Peart is an Associate Professor of Communication and Media Studies. She holds a PhD. in Mass Communication and a Graduate Certificate in Gender Studies from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Dr. Gentles-Peart is an effective and engaged educator with almost 15 years of experience in undergraduate education in both small, highly selective liberal arts universities and large, research-centered institutions. She has developed and taught critical communication courses at both the introductory and advanced levels of the communication curriculum. Her courses taught include Introduction to Communication Studies, Media, Culture and Society, Mass Communication Theory and Criticism, International Communication, Global Audience Studies, and Introduction to Gender Studies.
Dr. Gentles-Peart is an interdisciplinary cultural scholar whose scholarship engages and contributes to critical discourses of race, gender, and the African diaspora. Her work interrogates the manifold ways in which power manifests itself in the lived realities of Black women and how Black women make meaning in the context of race and gender hegemonies. Her research specifically focuses on Black Caribbean immigrant women in the U.S. and their negotiations of U.S. systems of power. In this way, her work spans the disciplines of Black Feminism, Postcolonial Studies, Caribbean Studies, and Cultural Studies. She has published extensively in this area, including an edited volume (Re-Constructing Place and Space: Media, Power, and Identity in the Constitution of Caribbean Diasporas, 2012), journal articles (such as “West Indian Women, Difference and Cultural Citizenship in the U.S.” [Wadabagei: A Journal of the Caribbean and Its Global Diasporas] and “‘Fiwi TV:’ Ethnic Media and the West Indian Diaspora” [International Journal of Cultural Studies], and book chapters (such as “Barriers to Being Heard in a Majority Institution” [in Still Searching for Our Mothers’ Gardens]).
Dr. Gentles-Peart’s current research agenda addresses questions of racialized body politics. She explores cultural beauty ideals and body aesthetics, their implications for how Black women are positioned in the U.S., and the complexities of the meaning-making processes of Black women around body politics. These themes are taken up in her monograph, Romance With Voluptuousness: Caribbean Women and Thick Bodies in the U.S. (University of Nebraska Press, 2016) that looks at the lived realities and strategic negotiations of Black Caribbean women that uphold voluptuous body ideals in the U.S. Her recent scholarship also contributes to critical nation branding as she addresses questions of coloniality, neocolonialism, and racism in the construction of Jamaica’s national identity and image. She is the co-editor (with Dr. Hume Johnson, Roger Williams University) of the forthcoming volume Brand Jamaica: Reimagining Jamaica’s National Image and Identity (University of Nebraska Press). She is also author of a chapter in the volume, “Women of Paradise: Tourism Marketing and the Lived Realities of Jamaican Women Abroad”, in which she illustrates the complex implications of Jamaica’s “brand” on Jamaican Black women living in the U.S.
Dr. Gentles-Peart has presented her work at various major academic conferences nationally and globally, including the National Women’s Studies Association, National Communication Association, Caribbean Studies Association, and the Association for Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora. Her scholarship has earned her several awards recognitions. For example, her co-edited book (Re-Constructing Place and Space: Media, Power, and Identity in the Constitution of Caribbean Diasporas) was awarded the 2012 Outstanding Book Award from the African American Communication and Culture Division of the National Communication Association of the U.S. Her paper, “West Indian Women, Difference and Cultural Citizenship in the U.S.”, was selected for publication in a Special Issue of the Wadabagei journal honoring Dr. Roy Simon Bryce La Porte, a pioneer in Caribbean immigrant studies. In 2015, Dr. Gentles-Peart was added to the Fulbright Specialist Roster where her scholarship and work has earned her the distinction of being an expert in the area of Media and Cultural Studies.
In addition to contributing to academic discourses about Black women, Dr. Gentles-Peart is also committed to creating spaces in the wider community that center and reframe dominant narratives about Black women. For example, she organized (with Dr. Hume Johnson) the first ever Brand Jamaica symposium that brought together scholars and policy-makers to reimagine Jamaica’s identity and global image outside of the current, dominant, Eurocentric model. She also co-founded (with Dr. Julia Jordan-Zachery, Providence College) the Collaborative for the Research on Black Women and Girls. As a research-working group, the Collaborative seeks to engage in critical works that complicate the existing narratives of Black women and girls and that speak to the heterogeneity of these populations on a global scale (bwgsymposium.org). Dr. Gentles-Peart chairs the annual symposium hosted by the Collaborative that brings together a wide spectrum of participants to examine Black women and girls’ agency as producers of knowledge and agents of change. Dr. Gentles-Peart’s work with the Collaborative also includes organizing activism workshop for Black women and girls, designed to encourage planning and implementing community-based action around key issues affecting Black women and girls, including incarceration, HIV/AIDS, and housing.