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Marlo D. David

Marlo D. David

Associate Professor // English

Associate Professor // Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies // SIS

Affiliated Faculty // American Studies // SIS

Curriculum vitae

Office and Contact

Room: BRNG HEAV 204E


Phone: (765) 494-4177


Marlo D. David is the new Director of African American Studies and Research Center at Purdue University. She received her PhD in English from the University of Florida in 2009. Her research has focused on contemporary African-American cultural studies as well as feminist gender and sexuality studies. Marlo’s interdisciplinary research traces the ways black writers, artists, and performers respond to inter- and intra-racial representations of blackness and contemporary American politics in the post-Civil Rights era. Her work offers ways of interpreting African-American literature, performance, and popular culture that emphasize the multiplicities of black identities and challenge stereotypes that stigmatize black people, particularly black women and girls.

Marlo’s current book project, Mama’s Gun: Black Maternal Figures and the Politics of Transgression, examines the ways African-American writers and performers use methods of vernacular signification to modify controlling images about black mothers in contemporary American culture. By identifying a new literary trope and five new categories of maternal signification in her book, Marlo provides alternative ways of reading transgressive mother figures that are deemed “bad mothers” within dominant discourses. Her work is applicable in the fields of U.S. literary studies, American Studies, African-American Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies. In addition to her current book project, her essays have been placed in Tulsa Studies of Women’s Literature, Black Camera: An International Film Journal, The African American Review, and Home Girls Make Some Noise: A Hip Hop Feminist Anthology.

Marlo teaches courses on black women writers, motherhood in American literature, black gender and sexuality studies, black feminism, African-American satire, postmodern black cultural studies, and feminist theory and methodology.