Moody honored for African-American pop-culture research

SUNY Oswego communication studies faculty member Dr. David Moody has received a national award for his work on African-American visual popular culture.

David MoodyMoody, who has taught since 2010 in the broadcasting and mass communication program, earned the Harry Shaw Award on April 18 for outstanding contributions to the field of African-American popular-culture research at the annual conference of the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association in Chicago.

“Professor Moody’s work on film and popular visual culture has inspired students and colleagues alike,” the PCA/ACA said in its award citation for Moody, an active member of the organization and presenter at conferences. “His presence has enlivened our sessions and helped us to chart a direction for future research efforts.”

In 2012, Moody published “Political Melodies in the Pews? The Voice of the Black Christian Rapper in the Twenty-first Century Church,” and is nearing publication of a book on black identity in film and television. His Ph.D. from Bowling Green State University was in American culture studies with emphasis in critical studies in film, media and culture.

At the PCA/ACA conference, Moody presented “Does Sarah Jane Really Have a Color Complex? Black Identity and Self-Esteem: Critique of the Film ‘Imitation of Life,’” a 1959 film, by Douglas Sirk, based on a Fanny Hurst novel that explored issues such as racial prejudice and light-skinned African Americans of that era “passing for white.”

‘Remarkable contribution’

Fritz Messere, dean of the School of Communication, Media and the Arts, said Moody is highly deserving of the PCA/ACA award. The dean cited Moody’s scholarship, his leadership of the college’s Voices of Diversity program and his efforts in raising the profile of the college’s Lewis B. O’Donnell Media Summit as its lead organizer the past three years, among many other contributions.

“We are delighted to have Dr. Moody on staff,” Messere said. “He is making a remarkable contribution to his field and a remarkable contribution to our understanding and perspective of the importance of black history and culture.”

Jennifer Knapp, chair of communication studies, said that as the Harry Shaw Award recipient, Moody now has the opportunity to “shine an even brighter spotlight on his meaningful contributions to the discipline.”

“Our department is lucky to have a scholar so well-regarded, and who is at the forefront of the intersection between popular culture and African-American culture,” Knapp said.

At SUNY Oswego, Moody—with more than 20 years of experience in Cleveland and Cincinnati television and radio—has taught “Minorities in Film and Television,” “Programs, Programming and Effects” and “Broadcast Sales,” among other courses.

The PCA/ACA award is named for Harry Shaw, who established the African-American culture section of the organization.

(Posted: Apr 25, 2014)

Tags: research news: faculty honors, popular culture, david moody