Jennifer Blaylock


  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Cinema Studies

Areas of Study


  • PhD, film and media studies, University of California, Berkeley
  • MA, film and media studies, University of California, Berkeley
  • MA, moving image archiving and preservation, New York University
  • BA, anthropology, minor in English, University of California, Berkeley


I am a media historian with research interests in audio-visual archives, postcolonial and decolonial theory, and African studies. Most of my research has been focused on Ghanaian media histories. Recently, I have been writing about the broadcasting work of Oberlin alumni, Shirley Graham Du Bois ’34, who was appointed director of Ghana Television in 1964 and is likely the first woman to head a national television station.

In addition to writing about Shirley Graham Du Bois, I am currently working on a book manuscript entitled Making Media New: Race in African Media History. In it, I theorize the history of new media by examining representations of different media technologies—gramophones, radio, cinema, television, and mobile phones—in Africa to highlight the ways racial difference has sustained continuities between iterations of media newness across colonial and postcolonial contexts.

My Oberlin cinema studies course, When Old Media Were New, stems from this research. In it, we survey the field of media history called media archeology and explicitly bring it into conversation with postcolonial and decolonial thought. I also teach the introduction to media studies course, What is Media?, where students learn media literacy skills while exploring the theoretical contours of the course title. Other Oberlin courses I have taught or will be teaching are Theory and History of Global Cinema, Introduction to African Cinemas, and the First Year Seminar Program course, Beautiful Trash.

  • “‘Who wants a BlackBerry these days?’: Serialized New Media and its Trash” Screen 62, no. 2 (2021): 1–17.
  • “The Persistent Instructor: Forty-five years of Kofi the Good Farmer in Ghana” Journal of African Cinemas 12, no. 1 (2020): 71–86.

Fall 2021

Beautiful Trash: The Shifting Values of Media Refuse — FYSP 155
Theory and History of Global Cinema — CINE 323
When Old Media Were New — CINE 347

Spring 2022

What is Media? — CINE 211
Feminist Media Histories — CINE 358