My Dissertation and Scholarly Interests

Breeze Harper (in the middle) with Cee Know and DJ Cavem Moetavation in Denver, CO. She attended and keynote lectured at the Brown Suga Youth Festival.

About my  research in intersections of black feminisms, critical race theory, and food politics

Aside from novel writing, overall my research interests are in Critical Geographies of Race and Food, with an emphasis on Critical Race studies, Black Feminisms, and Decolonial theories. I specifically look at alternative  health and consumption philosophies of people in the USA (veganism, vegetarianism, raw foodism, “cruelty free”, “ethical consumption”, “green consumption”, organic foods, etc). Vegan Consciousness and the Food Commodity Chain: On the Neoliberal, Afrocentric, and Decolonial Politics of ‘Cruelty-Free’ is my 2013 dissertation. You can download it for free, here: Breeze Harper’s Dissertation.


 

Other Background Information

I engage mostly in qualitative research and believe that this is a useful complement to much of the statistical information about health in the Black community. I graduated from Harvard in 2007 with a Masters in Educational Technologies. My Masters research investigated: What are the challenges that Black female vegans using vegan-based health activism face when using cyberspace to promote and network around vegan based health advocacy and awareness, particularly for the Black community? My thesis title is: Cyberterritories of Whiteness: Language, ‘Colorblind’ Utopias, and Sistah Vegan Consciousness. I will connect my thesis work to my most recent anthology project: Sistah Vegan! Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Health, Identity, and Society (Lantern Books, March 2010) weaves together stories, poetry and critical essays by Black identified female vegans of the African Diaspora. Click Here for more Information.

The last project I just completed is a fiction novel, Scars, that I have written. The prose focuses on the intersectionality of race, class, sexuality, rural geography, and ” perceptions of White Privilege ” within the adolescent identity development of a Black teenage lesbian female named Savannah Sales and how she perceives racism’s effect on her life. This is the creative writing extension and complement to my 1998 qualitative research based thesis from Dartmouth College. It will be published by Black Coffee Press for 2012.

In 1998, I earned a B.A. in Feminist Geography from Dartmouth College , minoring in Women’s Studies. My thesis focused on Sexual Orientation Identity Development in Rural spaces, drawing heavily on Michel Foucault. It is entitled Foucault and the Heterosexist Panopticon. This can be downloaded from here: http://breezeharper.tripod.com/foucault_heterosexist.pdf The theorists and writers I have largely developed my research and inspiration from are: bell hooks, James Baldwin, Michel Foucault, Dick Gregory, Frantz Fanon, Katherine McKittrick, June Jordan, Maya Angelou, Edward Said, Jiddu Krishnamurti, Audre Lorde, Tim Wise, Thich Nhat Hanh, Angela Davis, Michelle Wright, Derrick Jensen, Lorraine Hansberry, Arundhati Roy, Arnold Farr, George Yancy and Chithra KarunaKaran.   I hope you enjoy this site and please email me at breezeharper@gmail.com if you have any questions.

[1] This phrasing of my interests in regards to Whiteness, food and geography comes from Rachel Slocum PhD. http://www.rslocum.com/

Works Cited

Karunakaran, Dr. Chithra. Personal interview with professor of Sociology at

CUNY and former co-chair of National Women’s Studies Anti White

Supremacy Task Force. 19 November 2006.

13 thoughts on “My Dissertation and Scholarly Interests

  1. Hey Breeze, just read your dissertation. Very good stuff. I think my head is on fire after seeing through all that consumerism in the vegan world. I never realized how capitalistic PETA was. My goodness. Anyways, I’m about to begin writing my thesis(MA Anthropology and Social Change-California Inst. of Integral Studies, SF) and I’d love to ask you a few questions and see if there are things you’ve already come across in your research that might be of benefit to me.

    Really impressive and thoughtful/thought-provoking work.

    Have you read “The World Peace Diet” by Will Tuttle?

    I think you’d really like it.

    1. Jeff,

      Wow, thanks for reading it. Sorry I only saw this comment now. Sorry if I am replying too late, but do ask me questions.

      I read The World Peace Diet’s intro, but never finished it. So many books took the back burner while I was trying to finish my dissertation and now while raising the 3 preschoolers and trying to set up my public speaking and writing business.

      Best,
      Breeze

  2. Hi, I am also interested in black feminist critical geography. I am currently applying for PhD programs in Geography, I just thought I’d say ‘hello’ and ‘keep on keepin’ on,’ etc.

      1. I’m thinking of applying to Cal Berkeley, UCLA, UCSB, Davis and USC, then second choices would be Uof Oregon and U British Columbia and maybe McGill. I really would rather stay in CA if possible. I know it is tough to get into these programs though, and I should apply to many schools.

  3. California schools, UCBerkeley, UCLA, UCSB, maybe USC, UCDavis and thinking of branching out to UOregon and UBritish Columbia.

  4. DO you knew of there is a way to still get ahold of your novel Scars? I see that Black Coffee Press has closed and I can’t seem to find it elsewhere :(

    1. They never published it, sadly. They shut down with no warning, after ignoring four months of correspondence from me. Two other presses are considering it now, so I patiently await! Sorry about that.

      1. Bummer. Thanks for letting me know. I will try to paitently await as well… Hopefully somebody will pick it up soon because I’m very anxious to read it!

  5. Dear Breeze,
    we have once had a short conversation on twitter, and i would like to actually get you for talks to the Netherlands. In Amsterdam there are funds I can subscribe to, but i have no idea how much it will cost for you to come etc. Could it be possible that you would tell me this (an approximate nr would be ok) so that i can start trying to get funds. I would like to talk about veganism in social activism in general, but specifically in the dutch antiracism movement that is starting to grow (and where there are also a lot of white people using slavery anologies all the time to promote veganism sigh). \
    I follow you on twitter so you can send it in DM if you want to?
    Thank you,
    Ramona Sno

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