Women Who Rock

Write to Rock :: Daphne Brooks

Daphne Brooks

A professor of African American literature, culture and performance, Daphne Brooks has claimed the "write to rock" through her writing, research, teaching and mentorship. Working from the lens of black feminist theory, she has transformed the parameters of popular music studies by considering the central work of black women performers and other artists often relegated to the margins of popular music history. She has written about the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, music and performance in her books, her numerous academic essays, her liner notes and her articles for The Nation. She has mentored a growing cohort of scholars and performers who will continue to change the story of popular music and performance studies in the future.

View archive items featuring Daphne Brooks »


Daphne A. Brooks is professor of English and African-American Studies at Princeton University where she teaches courses on African-American literature and culture, performance studies, critical gender studies, and popular music culture. She is the author of two books: Bodies in Dissent: Spectacular Performances of Race and Freedom, 1850-1910 (Durham, NC: Duke UP), winner of the The Errol Hill Award for Outstanding Scholarship on African American Performance from ASTR and Jeff Buckley's Grace (New York: Continuum, 2005).

Brooks is currently working on a new book entitled Subterranean Blues: Black Women Sound Modernity (Harvard University Press, forthcoming). She is the author of numerous articles on race, gender, performance and popular music culture such as “This Voice Which Is Not One: Amy Winehouse Sings the Ballad of Sonic Blue(s)face Culture” in Women and Performance; “The Write to Rock: Racial Mythologies, Feminist Theory, and the Pleasures of Rock Music Criticism” in Women and Music; and “‘All That You Can't Leave Behind’: Surrogation & Black Female Soul Singing in the Age of Catastrophe” in Meridians.

Brooks is also the author of the liner notes for The Complete Tammi Terrell (Universal A&R, 2010), winner of the 2011 ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for outstanding music writing and Take a Look: Aretha Franklin Complete on Columbia (Sony, 2011). She is also the editor of The Great Escapes: The Narratives of William Wells Brown, Henry Box Brown, and William Craft (New York: Barnes & Noble Classics, 2007) and The Performing Arts volume of The Black Experience in the Western Hemisphere Series, eds. Howard Dodson and Colin Palmer (New York: Pro-Quest Information & Learning, 2006).

Brooks is the recipient of 2010-2011 Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Fellowship. She is the past recipient of fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Fellowship Program, and the University of California Humanities Research Institute. She has also held residence at U.C. Berkeley as a President's Postdoctoral Fellow and at Harvard University as a W.E.B. DuBois Research Institute Fellow.

Video Transcript

It appears you don't have a PDF plugin for this browser. No biggie... you can click here to download the PDF file.

Significance to Archive