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Meet Siobhan King Brooks

Assistant Professor of African American Studies Examines Identity, Mental Health Issues

Dec. 23, 2013

Siobhan King Brooks

Siobhan King Brooks

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How black lesbians, bisexual and transgender women negotiate their sexual identities within their communities, and the resulting impact on their mental health, is the subject of Siobhan King Brooks’ current research.
 
Brooks, who joined Cal State Fullerton’s faculty as an assistant professor of African American studies this fall, is the author of “Unequal Desires: Race and Erotic Capital in the Stripping Industry” (SUNY Press, 2010), which examines race relations between black and Latina exotic dancers in Oakland and New York City.
 
Critical race feminism, gender, sexuality and mental health are among Brooks’ research interests. She earned her doctorate and master’s degree in sociology from New School University and her bachelor’s degree in women’s studies from San Francisco State University.
 
Along with other African American studies courses, Brooks will teach "Race and Ethnicity: Intra-Cultural Socialization Patterns" in the spring. The class examines “our personal and institutional relationship to race and ethnicity, exploring topics such as sexuality, law, beauty and romantic relationships,” she said.
 
“Studying African American history and culture is important because not only is it part of a larger narrative of United States history, but it also helps us understand trends with other ethnic groups,” Brooks said. “For example, when studying slavery, one can see how the citizenship status of blacks was contested, which presents a framework for understanding the current immigration debate.”
 
Brooks, a Fullerton resident, recently completed a paper on her experience growing up with a mentally ill mother in public housing and the various forms of institutionalization of poor black women with mental illness experience. During Black History Month next year, she will be presenting a special public lecture on post-racial climate and the role of President Barack Obama.

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