Alyssa Lopez

Year in Program: 5

Advisor: Dr. Pero G. Dagbovie

Fields: African American History, U.S. History

Educational Background: B.A., History, Macaulay Honors College at Queens College, 2015.


As a fifth-year doctoral candidate studying African American and U.S. History and Film Studies, my research interests broadly include black film, censorship, and spaces of leisure in early twentieth century black New York City.

My dissertation, titled “Screens, Seats, and Picket Signs: New York City’s Black Film Culture,” examines the various ways that black New Yorkers interacted with motion pictures as cultural producers and consumers, workers, and protestors and critics to challenge discrimination and engage in self-determination.

I received by B.A. from the Macaulay Honors College at Queens College. My B.A. thesis focuses on the New York State’s censorship board’s treatment of Oscar Micheaux’s films in the 1920s. It explores the relationship Micheaux subsequently developed with the board and how he used that relationship to his advantage when submitted his films. Rather than acquiescing to the board’s censorship demands, Micheaux often proved capable of maintaining some provocative material within his films.