Dr. Samantha N. Sheppard is an Associate Professor of Cinema and Media Studies in the Department of Performing and Media Arts at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. She is also the Faculty Director of Cornell's Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program. In 2021, she was named an Academy Film Scholar by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
A cinema and media studies scholar, professor, and writer, her research interests include Black cultural production and production cultures, African American representation in cinema, sports films, and feminist media studies.
She writes extensively on issues of race, gender, and representation in film, television, and digital media. She teaches courses on global cinema, sports films, contemporary television, African American film history, popular culture, women filmmakers, and blackness on screen.
2014 - University of California Los Angeles
PhD in Cinema and Media Studies
2009 - University of California Los Angeles
MA in Cinema and Media Studies
Graduate Certificate in Women Studies
2007 - Dartmouth College
BA (cum laude) in Film and Television Studies & Women and Gender Studies
My Research and Teaching
My scholarship has been shaped by my interest in the study of film and media. My research engages and expands critical approaches to race, gender, and representation in both cinema and media studies and interdisciplinary contexts.
The breadth of my scholarly interests has undoubtedly informed my teaching in the Department of Performing and Media Arts at Cornell, and the same commitment to interdisciplinarity that propels my research and scholarship also inspires my work in the classroom. My personal and professional dedication to underrepresented students is evidenced in my role as the Faculty Director for Cornell's Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) Program and my position as Associate Co-Editor of Outreach and Equity for the Journal of Cinema and Media Studies.
I have several projects in progress. Notably, my book project A Black W/hole: Phantom Cinemas and the Reimagining of Black Women's Media Histories is supported by a 2021 Academy Film Scholar grant by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Read more about this honor on Deadline Hollywood.
In honor of my research and pedagogy, I was the recipient of the 2021 Robert and Helen Appel Fellowship for Humanists and Social Scientists, which recognizes faculty excellence in Cornell's College of Arts & Sciences.
"As Director of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program, Sheppard offers outstanding mentorship, advice and guidance to the fellows as well as their faculty mentors, and she has been instrumental in the fellows’ success in both research projects and graduate school applications. Her exemplary scholarship and pedagogy is reflected in her course evaluations, which emphasize both her rigor and high expectations as well as the humor and kindness she consistently demonstrates towards her students."
-Cornell Chronicle, May 11, 2021