Areas of ExpertiseAmerican culture; feminism, feminist theory, feminist activism; representations of girls and women in popular culture, popular literature, and comics
Ph.D. Boston University
Laura Mattoon D’Amore is Associate Professor of Cultural Studies, and has taught at RWU since 2009. She received her Ph.D. in American and New England Studies from Boston University, with a dissertation titled “American Supermom: Feminism, Motherhood, and the Superheroine Since 1962.” Dr. D’Amore’s expertise is in the feminist theory and feminist activism, and the representation of women and girls in American popular and literary culture.
She is actively involved in her field, having served as Area Chair at the Film and History national conference for several years, and regularly presenting scholarly papers at the Popular Culture/American Culture Association and National Women’s Studies Association conferences. Her most recent book is a scholarly monograph titled Vigilante Feminists and Agents of Destiny: Violence, Empowerment, and the Teenage Super/heroine (Lexington Books, April 2021), which is part of the Children and Youth in Popular Culture book series. This book tracks the vigilante feminist teenage super/heroine in comics and YA literature, a character who acts as a vigilante on behalf of the protection of girls and women. It traces the trajectory of super/heroines who experience violent trauma, and then through the use of violence are empowered to reclaim control over their lives and bodies. Her other books include Smart Chicks on Screen: Representing Women's Intellect in Film and Television (Rowman and Littlefield, 2014), We Are What We Remember: The American Past Through Commemoration(co-edited with Jeffrey Lee Meriwether, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012), and Bound by Love: Familial Bonding in Film and Television (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009). Additionally, she is author of several articles, and reviews on topics such as fairy tale retellings, and superheroines, violence and feminism, historical memory, gender representation in film, television, and comics, and representations of motherhood in American culture.
Dr. D’Amore was a featured expert on the representation of women in comics for the History Channel docuseries, Superheroes Decoded.
Dr. D'Amore teaches many courses in the Cultural Studies department:
- Approaches to the Study of Society and Culture
- Cultural Studies Research Methods
- Girl Culture
- Fairy Tales and Feminism in American Popular Culture
- Super/heroines in American Popular Culture
- Me Too
- Vigilante Women
Dr. D’Amore also teaches for the Gender and Sexuality Studies Minor:
- Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies
- Gender and Sexuality Studies Senior Capstone
And, Dr. D’Amore also teaches in the General Education program, in the Core Curriculum:
- Core 102: Structures of Power
- Core 462: Sexual Identities
Listen here for a podcast interview about her book, Smart Chicks on Screen: Representing Women's Intellect in Film and Television (Rowman and Littlefield, 2014), and read about Dr. D'Amore's research in "Laura Mattoon D'Amore Explores Feminism in Today's Media" in The Bay.
Finally, Dr. D’Amore is deeply committed to social justice and equity and inclusion initiatives at Roger Williams University. She co-founded the Diversity and Inclusion Fellows program, with Dr. Kamille Gentles-Peart, and the Gender and Sexuality Studies program with Dr. Jason Jacobs. She is the faculty mentor for the P.E.A.C.E program (Peer Empowerment, Activism, and Community Engagement) and living and learning community. She is Co-Chair of the shepherding group for the Education, Scholarship, and Service goal in the University’s Equity Action Plan. Finally, she regularly partners through the Community Partnership Center to pair her courses and her students with Girls, Inc of Taunton, to do equity and advocacy work.