Amber Patrice Sweat
Children and childhood studies; girlhood studies; the Black francophone world; banlieue studies; digital humanities; feminist theory.
I’m a sixth-year PhD candidate 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.
My dissertation project analyzes the lives of Black girls—in the Caribbean, West Africa, and the Parisian banlieue—as they engage in processes of self-imaging. I explore a re-orientation of the ''self'' for Black girls, and how these re-orientations are (inter)mediated. I am especially interested in the Black girl as a conceptual figure that can tell us about binarized oppositions between woman/child; technological histories; and the encoding of racialized beauty standards into technology. My second project considers the life of "French Girl Beauty" as a global and racialized phenomenon, an aesthetic as ubiquitous as it is understudied.
I also tackle questions about racial networks from the early modern to the present; urbanism and youth culture more broadly; hip hop; the child image as commodity; and the global life of Francophone youth speak. As an instructor, I understand critical (race) pedagogy and experiential learning as vital components of the changing humanities landscape.
I received my MA from Berkeley in 2020 and come to California by way of an Honors BA at the University of Texas at 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, a Gérard Fellow, and the French delegate to the Graduate Assembly. I will be a research assistant for the Universal Design Working Group in 2023, during which I will also be undertaking 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. The grasslands of Texas are home! I have a penchant for coffee shops and distance running, I spend a lot (like, a LOT) of time at The Dance Floor, and I patiently await the tell-all memoirs of children who were born into social media fame.
- (2024, in press). “‘Cyborg-Cute': Colors of 'Good' Mixed-Race Algorithms.” Chapter in Color Protocols: Technologies of Racial Encoding in Chromatic Media. MIT Press. Boston, Massachusetts.
- (2023) “Mise(ère)-En-Scène : Transposition and the Child in Hugo’s and Ly’s Les Misérables.” L’Esprit créateur 63.3 (2023): 67–79. Web.
- (2023, forthcoming). Review of Ordinary Notes by Christina Sharpe. Qui Parle.
- (2023, forthcoming). "African Playgrounds: Gaël Faye's Ecologies of Childhood." Imaginaries: Films, Fictions, and Other Representations of French-Speaking Worlds.
- (2023). "The Lost Promise of Childhood." Africa is a Country. Online.
- (2023). "The Colonial Wounds of Senegal’s Girlchild." Africa is a Country. Online.
- (2022). Review of L’ambivalence de la sacralisation de l’enfance dans l’écriture de Gisèle Pineau, Malika Mokeddem, Ken Bugul, by Djoher Sadoun. The French Review.
- Sweat, Amber and Abad-Ocubillo, Robin (2020). “Diaspora: Identity and the Pathos of Global Labor.” Review commissioned for San Francisco Urban Film Festival. Digital.
- (2020). “Urban Manufacturing: Nostalgia or Necessity? On Montreal, Metalsmithing, and the Materialization of Patrimoine.” Review commissioned for San Francisco Urban Film Festival. Digital.
- (2025, forthcoming). Faidley, E., Weiher, R., Sweat, A., Davidson, J. “Framing Higher Education Social Movements: The Case of the University of California (UC) System.” Chapter for Reimagining Graduate and Professional Education: Engaging with Equity and Inclusion.
- Juan Antonio Elvira Calito, and Amber Sweat. “BENEATH THE SURFACE.” Maya America 4.1 (2022): 66–75. Print.
- Sophie Villers, and Amber Sweat. “I, Volcano: Of Earth and Fire.” Maya America 4.1 (2022): 47–61. Print.
- 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...”