Profile picture for user Amber Sweat

Amber Patrice Sweat

Doctoral Candidate
ambersweat@berkeley.edu
CV
Dwinelle 4314
Monday/Tuesday 10-11, or by appointment

Research Areas

Children and girlhood studies; critical internet inquiry; digital humanities; the Black French Atlantic; feminist theory.


Biography

Summer 2024: Former sudents can contact me for office hours between June 17 and August 9. Summer students can sign up at the link on our course site!
Fall 2024: On leave. Please send me an email to schedule an appointment!

***

I’m in the seventh (and final) year of the PhD with a designated emphasis in Film and Media and certificates in Global Urban Humanities; Teaching, Learning, and Higher Education; Universal Design for Learning (UDL). I am also an adjunct faculty member at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. 

While psychology and pediatrics have been concerned with technology's influence on children (think about the fear of selfie narcissism or iPad kids, for instance), I take up this question philosophically from the 1800s to the present. I wonder: how might we consider technologized childhoods as a (post)phenomenological process? More specifically, my dissertation, Coming-of-(im)age, analyzes depictions of girls in the Caribbean, West Africa, and Parisian banlieue as they engage in self-imaging from the water glass, to the photomaton, to the selfie, to the ocean, to the text itself. Through exploring methods of seeing the self—and the many ways we might think about the ''screen'' or "mirror" in relationship to a girl's encounter with reality—I explore how coming-of-age functions for black girls and how these processes are mediated in-and-via film and literature. My ultimate claim is that black girls do experience a mirror stage, but that the material conditions of their existence have required a reconsideration of what the mirror is in the wake of settler colonialism and slavery. A creative, postcolonial rereading of self-actualization doesn't just happen despite psychic distress; for black girls, this rereading must happen at the level of medium itself. When it comes to my field, I try to bring the conversation of black girlhood into the world of theory, as it has lived its rich life in developmental psychology, sociology, and education studies. I do this while also considering the tricky life of blackness and identity in francophone dialogues. 

In terms of theory, Ndiaye (both Marie and Pap), Fanon, Latour, Bourdieu, Lacan, and Baudrillard help me think through these questions.

Diop (Mati), Doucouré, Ndiaye (only Marie this time), Pineau, and the girls of today's technocultures make up my primary corpus. 

I received my MA from Berkeley in 2020 and come to California by way of an Honors BA at UT Austin as well as a research internship at l'Université de Paris (Sorbonne-IV), Centre Roland Mousnier. I was in the 2017-2018 cohort for the Teaching Assistant Program in France (aka TAPIF) in Aubervilliers, France. Currently, I am a Chancellor's Fellow and Gérard Fellow, and I was happy to recieve honorable mention from the Ford Foundation in 2023. I was a research assistant for the Universal Design Working Group in 2023, and I also undertook funded research with the Center for Race and Gender. I hold former affiliations with the Berkeley Transformative Justice Group and the Mellon-Berkeley Law and Humanities Symposium.

More than anything, I'm a very proud first-generation student of Black/Pinay ancestry. I was raised and heat-tested in Texas. I have a penchant for coffee shops and distance running, and I patiently await the tell-all memoirs of children who were born into social media fame. 


Selected Publications

First Author/Reviews

As Co-Author

  • (2025, forthcoming). Faidley, E., Weiher, R., Sweat, A., Davidson, J. “Framing Higher Education Social Movements: The Case of the University of California (UC) System.” 

Translations

Still baking:

  • Sweat, Amber Patrice (In preparation). “Noir.e, c'est en fait mon métier: Maintaining a Critical Race Practice Post-2020.” 
  • Sweat, Amber Patrice (In preparation). “Diouana’s Duress: Transmediated Coercions of La noire de...”