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Ayondela McDole

Ayondela McDole

Expected graduation date: 2017

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Ayondela McDole graduated magna cum laude from Columbia College Chicago with a BA in Cultural Studies and Black World Studies minor. Her undergraduate thesis entitled, “Fat, Black and Ugly: The Politics of Mammy Drag” examines the implications behind the mammy stereotype performed in drag within the new millennium. Her research interests center on Black feminism, media studies, communications, performance studies, popular culture, film and Black identity. McDole’s graduate research picks up where she left off in undergad. At Syracuse University, she explores the multiple tropes of mammy in a broader sense. This is to say that she is interested in the complex representations of mammy within American folklore, American history, and popular culture in film and tv. As McDole critiques the Madea series, Big Momma’s House, Big Momma’s House 2, and Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son she is mostly looking to reclaim, rename, and reshape Black women’s identities within Black families. In studying performance and film, McDole hopes to understand the political nature of media and popular culture. Alongside her graduate studies, McDole hopes to transform her theoretical understanding into praxis through activist community theater in Syracuse and elsewhere