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Dr. Danielle Morgan: Maybe I Can Do It Too

Dr. Danielle Morgan is an assistant professor in the Department of English at Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California who specializes in African American literature and culture in the 20th and 21st centuries. She  is interested in the ways that literature, popular culture, and humor shape identity formation. In particular, her research and teaching reflect her interests in African American satire and comedy, literature and the arts as activism, and the continuing influence of history on contemporary articulations of Black selfhood. She has written a variety of both scholarly and popular articles and has been interviewed on topics as varied as Black Lives Matter, the dangers of the “Karen” figure, race and sexuality on the Broadway stage, and Beyoncé. Her book, Laughing to Keep from Dying: African American Satire in the Twenty-First Century, is forthcoming Fall 2020 with University of Illinois Press as a part of the New Black Studies Series and addresses the contemporary role of African American satire as a critical realm for social justice.

In this conversation, Dr. Danielle Morgan elaborates on the significance of English literature in her adolescence, her introduction to African American satire, the writing and publishing of her upcoming and first book Laughing to Keep from Dying: African American Satire in the Twenty-First Century, the memory of her late Uncle Kevin, her experience as the Frank Sinatra Faculty Fellow with the Center for the Arts and Humanities, and the harassment she was subjected to by SCU Campus Safety on Aug 22nd.

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Interview Highlights

4:03 - What sparked your interest in English Literature as an adolescent and why has this area of academia become such a large part of your life?

7:47 - How did your experiences in the academic setting shape who you are today?

13:05 - As most of our listeners know, in November you will be publishing your book Laughing To Keep From Dying: African American Satire in the Twenty-First Century, can you tell us how this book came about and what inspired you to write about African American satire?

18:19 - What were some of the challenges either external or intrinsic that you faced while going through the writing and publishing process?

22:39 - How does it feel to be an author?

26:00 - How did you get involved in this position and what was your experience like as the Frank Sinatra Faculty Fellow?

30:45 - On August 22nd, you were harassed by Campus Safety and forced to show proof that you lived in your own home. Can you elaborate on what happened that day and the steps that have been taken by SCU administration to rectify this horrible encounter?

34:36 - Even Though you were the one that was subjected to this ridiculous and unwarranted pestering, you made it a priority to highlight others. You stated and I quote “I hope this moment serves to center and uplift the voices of Black students on campus”. Why was this message important for you to emphasize in that moment?

38:07 - At a time in America where violence and hostility towards Black people from those who are supposed to serve and protect has run rampant, what is something that you would like to convey to our audience and the Santa Clara community?

39:00 - VOSC traditional questions.

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