Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Cultural Foundations of Education


Dalia Rodriguez


Black feminist, Black women, Graduate Education, Mammy, Plantation Politics, transnational Black Feminism


The #NotYourMammyStudy explored the ways Black women are expected to engage in affective work – the production of feelings or affects that prioritize the needs/expectations of others – while learning in and laboring for White Serving Institutions in American higher education. This interdisciplinary qualitative study utilized a Transnational Black Feminist Framework to draw on the experiences of 28 Black women pursuing terminal graduate degrees at White Serving Institutions (WSIs) with a consideration of how the university exploits Black women through the colonial trope of the Mammy figure. The #NotYourMammyStudy offers an incisive critique of the structures of exploitation within American academia and an interrogation of how Black women graduate students enact their own agency throughout the process of degree completion – despite the myriad of ways institutions measure Black women against racist and gendered expectations of who and what Black women intellectuals should be in the Ivory Tower.


Open Access

Available for download on Thursday, June 12, 2025