• Digital Curriculum Vitae


    (Formerly Michele Prettyman Beverly)

  • BIO

    Professor, Media and Production Consultant, Film Festival Curator

    Scholar of Film, Visual Culture and Race

    Since childhood, Michele Prettyman voraciously consumed stories about black life, history, and culture and her parents exposed their children to art, music, and literature. It was no surprise then, that as an undergraduate student at the University of Maryland College Park, she paired her interests in black culture and with her growing curiosity in the spheres of documentary and feature film, leading to B.A. degrees in Afro-American Studies and Radio/TV and Film. Riveted by the power of storytelling, but compelled to challenge what writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie would later describe as ‘the danger of single story’ about black life and culture, she embarked on a career that would pursue her own creative voice, help students unlock the power of race and mediated culture, and imagine innovative approaches to the study of race, culture and consciousness.


    After completing her undergraduate degrees, Michele delved into production working as a Production Coordinator/Manager for National Geographic TV and as a freelancer for an independent production in Barbados. Years later as a graduate student and mother, she would study film and digital production at Georgia State University, completing a Master’s degree in Film, Video and Digital Imaging. In this hybrid program, she was trained in production and film theory and she completed a screenplay thesis entitled “Muddied Waters.” Compelled to pursue a PhD, Michele continued on at Georgia State immersing herself in moving image and critical race/visual culture studies. Her time at Georgia State was fruitful as she would teach and design a number of courses and begin cultivating her voice as a scholar and public intellectual. In 2012 she completed her Ph.D. in Communication with an emphasis on Moving Image Studies.


    Currently a scholar of film, media, and African American film and visual culture and an Assistant Professor of Media Studies at Mercer University, Michele teaches courses in digital storytelling, race, gender and media, film studies, Southern film, media and society, and screenwriting among others.


    While race, film and visual culture studies are central to Michele’s research, pedagogy and scholarship, the core of Michele’s life work is her interest in spirituality and the ways in which spiritual and cultural practices facilitate healing from personal and racial trauma, build community, and facilitate social justice. Michele has studied a number of spiritual principles and traditions which have shaped her own growth and her influenced her research, which she describes as “a quest to understand how we might explore how consciousness is mediated through race, film and visual culture."


    From this perspective, Michele is currently researching and writing on a number of projects, including: a book project on the work of filmmaker/writer Kathy Collins and a multimedia project exploring the visual iconography of black Southern visual culture. She recently co-edited a ‘Close Up’ series in Black Camera journal on the ‘New York Scene’ of black independent filmmakers and contributed to The Lemonade Reader, a dynamic anthology on the impact of Beyoncé's magnum opus. In Fall 2020, her essay on hip hop and music video culture will be published as part of an ‘In Focus’ series in the Journal of Cinema and Media Studies.


    Her work has been presented at diverse forums including the Collegium of Black Women Philosophers, the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, the Transforming Public History Conference, the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present (ASAP), the World Picture Conference, the National Communication Association, and the National Council of Black Studies. She has published work in a range of journals and online platforms including: Black Camera (An international film journal), the literary journal Callaloo, liquid blackness: a research project on blackness and aesthetics and In Media Res: A Media Commons Project. She is both a contributor and a member of the advisory board for liquid blackness.


    In 2017, she was a co-recipient of a grant which funded a historical documentary storytelling project entitled: “In Search of a Shared History: Making Black Lives Visible at Jarrell Plantation.” This project will ultimately be part of a larger Africana studies digital research project entitled, "Digitizing Black Life and Culture in Middle Georgia."


    A co-founder of Daughters of Eve Media (DOE), a media consulting company, Michele has worked for several years with the internationally renowned American Black Film Festival (ABFF) and helped develop its Kathy Collins Women in Film Initiative. In 2013, she coordinated events around the Atlanta tour of LA Rebellion filmmakers in partnership with UCLA’s film archive, Emory University and Georgia State University. Additionally, she is a co-curator of the College Town Film Festival; a partnership between Mercer, Wesleyan College and Middle Georgia State University and recently served as the Artistic Director for the Tubman African American Film Festival.


    As a teacher, scholar, media consultant, and writer developing her own content, Michele works to create space for people to expand consciousness, creativity, and community.


    Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA

    Ph.D. Communication~Moving Image Studies, 2012


    M.A. Communication~ Film/Video/Digital Imaging, 2006

    University of Maryland-College Park

    B.A. Radio/TV/Film, 1992

    B.A. Afro-American Studies, 1992

    Benjamin Banneker Scholar

    Ronald E. McNair Postbaccaulaureate Scholar


  • Assistant Professor of Media Studies

    Scholar of Film, Race and Visual Culture Scholar ~  Screenwriter/Content Developer

    Co-Founder, Daughters of Eve Media Inc. Production Company

    Speaker/Moderator~Public Intellectual

    Mercer University

    Department of Journalism and Media Studies

    Aug 2016-Present

    Courses Include:

    Digital Storytelling

    Race, Gender and Media

    Film Genres: Film Noir and Crime Cinema


    Southern Film and Identity

    Non-fiction Film

    Media Consulting

    Co-Founder, Daughters of Eve Media Inc.



    Creators of Film/Media Content

    Film Festival/Film Event Programming


    Michele is pictured here on the left with co-founder, her sister Terri.


    Daughters of Eve works with film and media organizations to create panels and media content

    Michele hosts a discussion at the LA Rebellion Film Series in Atlanta

    Speaker/Public Intellectual

    Collegium of Black Women Philosophers

    Penn State University 2017


    Michele is pictured here (second from the right) with Angela Davis and Kathryn Gines at the Collegium of Black Women Philosophers.

    Michele hosts a discussion at the LA Rebellion Film Series in Atlanta


    LA Rebellion Film Series, Atlanta 2013


    Michele leads a discussion with Akinyele Umoja and Makunga Akinyele on LA Rebellion Films at the Plaza Theatre in Atlanta


    Mercer University~Media Studies Courses


    Film Genres/Directors

    Intro to Non-Fiction Film

    Perspectives on Media and Society

    Global Cinemas

    Film and Southern Identity

    Digital Storytelling

    Race, Gender and Media

    Media Criticism

    Film History, African American Cinema

    Black and Post-black Cinema

    Race and Representation

    Race and Identity in Global Cinema


    Intro to Mass Communication

    Public Speaking

    Comparative Cultures



    Areas of Research

    Kathleen Collins and the New York Scene

    Southern Film and Visual Culture

    Black Women and Spirituality

    Black Cinema and #BlackLives Matter

    Race and Metaphysical Visual Culture

    Hip-Hop and Visual Culture

    Pedagogies of Digital Storytelling


    (Forthcoming) “Wild Style 2.0: Modulations and Flows in Hip Hop Music Video Culture.” Journal of Cinema and Media Studies Issue 59.2,Winter 2020.


    (Forthcoming) "To Feel Like a Natural Woman: Aretha, Beyonce and the Ecological Spirituality of Lemonade" in The Lemonade Reader, Routledge, Spring 2019.


    Co-editor/Contributor to a Close Up in Black Camera, entitled “The New York Scene” Spring 2019.




    "No Medicine for Melancholy: The Optics of Memory, Transgression, and Mourning in the Era of Black Lives Matter." Black Camera, Nov 2016.


    Book Review

    College Art Association Review of Derek Conrad Murray's Queering Post-Black: Artists Transforming African-American Identity After Civil Rights. Dec 2016



    In Media Res “Hip hop and the Southern Aesthetic” Sept 2014 (online) Curator and Contributor


    Review of New Thoughts on the Black Arts Movement. Eds. Lisa Gail Collins and Margo Natalie Crawford. Callaloo

    Book Review Essay~Online

    “Black Fire Reignited.” 32.1 Feb 2009. 303-306. Print.


    Book Review Essay~Online

    Review of Screens Fade to Black by David Leonard and Dark Designs and Visual Culture by Michele Wallace. Scope: An Online Journal of Film & TV Studies Issue 12Oct 2008. Web.

    Contributor, Advisory Board Member of

    liquid blackness journal:

    A Research Project on Blackness and Aesthetics

    Georgia State University

    liquid blackness online publications:

    “Daughter of the Rebellion.” Inliquid blackness on the L.A. rebellion” liquid blackness 1, no. 1 (November 2013) Web.


    “The Liquidity of the Virtual Body: A Conversation with Nettrice Gaskins.” In “Blackness, aesthetics, liquidity.” liquid blackness 1, no. 2 (April 2014) Web.


    “Creating Space.” In “Symposium: reflections and movements.” liquid blackness 1, no.3 (July 2014) Web.

    Influences and Inspirations

    Kathleen Collins, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Spike Lee, Charles Burnett, Julie Dash, Ayoka Chenzira, Amiri Baraka, Haile Gerima, Shirikiana Gerima, Jerry Prettyman, Thomas Vinterberg, Charles Johnson, Howard Thurman, David Blaine, Endesha Ida Mae Holland, Ann Petry, Evelyn Prettyman, Toni Morrison, Elizabeth Alexander, Anya Silver, Pearl Bowser, J. California Cooper, James Baldwin, Chi Ezekwueche, Michael Singer, Elizabeth Catlett, KRS-One, Kahlil Joseph, Mae Jemison, Arthur Jafa, Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Ernest Dickerson, Kasi Lemmons, Deepak Chopra, Bryan Stevenson, Iyanla Vanzant, Erykah Badu, Marianne Williamson, Barbara King, Lee Daniels, Wangechi Mutu, RZA, GZA, et. al.


    CollegeTown Film Festival, 2019


    Theme: Street Life

    Discussion of Boom For Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat (Dir. Sara Driver, 2017)

    American Black Film Festival, 2018 Miami, FL

    "Black Women and Experimental Storytelling"

    Michele moderates at far left, with Ayoka Chenzira, Taura Musgrove, Natalie Bullock-Brown and Terri Prettyman Bowles

    CollegeTown Film Festival, 2018


    "Women of the Night: A Film Noir Exploration"

    Discussion of Devil in a Blue Dress (Dir. Carl Franklin, 1995)

    American Black Film Festival, 2017 Miami, FL

    Conversation with Tracy Heather Stain about her film, Lorraine Hansberry Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart


    CollegeTown Film Festival, 2017


    Theme: "On the Margins"

    Discussion of Middle of Nowhere (Dir. Ava DuVernay, 2012)

    American Black Film Festival 2016 Miami, FL

    "Kathleen Collins Women's Film Initiative"

    Michele is flanked by co-founder Terri Bowles, The Root's Donna Byrd and filmmakers Lorna Lowe and Crystal Roberson.

    American Black Film Festival, 2014 New York

    Conversation with Muta'Ali, director of Life's Essentials with Ruby Dee


    American Black Film Festival 2013 Miami, FL

    Michele, seated far left, hosts panel discussion with Spike Lee, actress Salli Richardson-Whitfield, director, David E. Talbert and casting director Kim Hardin.



    Emory University, LA Rebellion Film Series 2013 Atlanta, GA  

    Michele hosts a discussion with legendary independent filmmaker, Haile Gerima.  This event was part of the Liquid Blackness/ LA Rebellion film series.

    American Black Film Festival, 2012    Miami, FL

    Black Women in Hollywood Panel

    Michele moderates, seated far right.

    Panelists include: actresses, Malinda Williams and Tracey Heggins, screenwriter Elizabeth Hunter, producer Angi Bones and casting director Tracy "Twinkie" Byrd.

  • Digital Storytelling/Filmmaking

    In Pursuit of a Shared History: Black Lives and Jarrell Plantation

    Director, Writer, Researcher

    Produced through Mercer University's Quality Enhancement Plan grant funding, this project is a collaboration between Dr. Beverly and her friend and colleague Dr. Matt Harper. Dr. Harper's research led him to Dr. Beverly 's expertise in race, visual culture and media and they, along with two undergraduate students, created a twenty-two minute historical storytelling project.



    Society for Cinema and Media Studies, Seattle, WA March 2019

    ~Panel Discussion: “Seeing the Unseeable”

    ~Second Panel, Respondent, Panel Entitled “Phenomenal Blackness: Electrifying Sports Activists, Electric Superheroes, & Black Mirror’s Holographic Electrocution”


    The Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present (ASAP) New Orleans Oct 2018

    Paper Presentation: “What Kind of Movies Do You Like? Indie Ones, Foreign Ones”: Reflections on Two Black Women Filmmakers (and a German)”


    Society for Cinema and Media Studies, Toronto, Canada Paper Presentation:Reimagining the Racial Architecture of the South” March 2018


    Collegium for Black Women Philosophers, Tenth Anniversary Conference, Penn State University Invited Lecturer “Love Does Her Thing in Funny Ways” Nov 2017


    Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present, University of California at Berkeley Paper Presentation "Pedagogies of Digital Storytelling" Oct 2017


    ACL(x) Conference: Extra-Disciplinarity Penn State University Paper Presentation "From HeLa to Eternity: The Metaphysical Liquidity of Black Female Embodiment" Sept 2016


    Society for Cinema and Media Studies, Atlanta Paper Presentation: "No Medicine for Melancholy: The Optics of Memory, Transgression, and Mourning in the Era of Black Lives Matter" March 2016


    Guest Lecture, Middle Georgia State University, Macon, GA “Cabin in the Sky and the Cinema of Black Performance” Nov 2015


    Lecture, Middle Georgia State College, Macon, GA “The Real Vera Stark: Black Women in Early Hollywood Cinema” Feb 2015


    Society for the Study of Africana Philosophy (SSAP), New York Paper Presentation: “Finding Kathleen and Losing Ground: The Thirty Year Legacy of Filmmaker Kathleen Collins Prettyman” Apr. 2014


    Society for Cinema and Media Studies, Chicago Panel Chair: “Remixing” Hip-Hop Film and Visual Culture Panel

    Paper Presentation: “Beautiful, Dark and Twisted: Black Masculinity, Genius, and Madness in Hip-Hop Film and Visual Culture” March 2013


    Alien Bodies Conference, Emory University Paper Presentation: "From HeLa to Erykah: The Immortal Lives of Black Women in Contemporary Visual Culture" Feb 2013


    Society for Cinema and Media Studies, Los Angeles Paper Presentation: “The Future of Black Representational Space” March 2010


    World Picture Conference, Oklahoma State University Paper Presentation: “Wildstyle: Initiation in the Work of Basquiat and Early Hip- Hop” Oct 2009


    National Council of Black Studies, Atlanta, GA Paper Presentation: “Cultural Initiations and Transformations: The Visual Archive of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Early Hip- Hop” April 2009


    Douglass Theater, Macon, GA, Guest Lecturer at Unveiling of Oscar Micheaux Stamp 2009


    Doctoral Conference --Georgia State University Paper Presentation: “The Postmodern Colorline” May 2008


    National Communication Association (NCA), Chicago Paper Presentation: “The Lost World: Spirituality and Mysticism in Eve’s Bayou” Nov 2007


    GSU Graduate English Association (GEA)-New Voices Conference Paper Presentation: “Whose (His) story is it Anyway? (Re)Mapping the Cultural and Historical Terrain of Slavery and History in the Films Manderlay and Sankofa” Sept 2007


    Doctoral Conference--Georgia State University Paper Presentation: “The Black Cinematic Imagination: Wounds, Displacement, and Psychoanalysis in Eve’s Bayou” March 2007


    Assn. for African American Historical Research and Preservation Seattle Paper Presentation: “Watching it Unfold: A Brief History of Two Historical Movements in African American Cinema" Feb 2007


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    Michele Prettyman Beverly