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Dr. Samantha N. Sheppard is an Associate Professor of Cinema and Media Studies and Chair in the Department of Performing and Media Arts at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.  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. 

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

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