Aria S. Halliday, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies and program in African American and Africana Studies at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Halliday specializes in the study of cultural constructions of black girlhood and womanhood in material, visual, and digital culture in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. She engages broad interdisciplinary interests in girlhood, Black feminism, and performance in Black popular culture in the United States and the Caribbean. Her research is featured in Cultural Studies, Departures in Critical Qualitative Research, Girlhood Studies, Palimpsest, and SOULS. Her article, "Twerk Sumn!: Theorizing Black Girl Epistemology in the Body" won the 2021 Stuart Hall Foundation x Cultural Studies Award.
She is the author of Buy Black: How Black Women Transformed US Pop Culture (University of Illinois Press, 2022) and editor of The Black Girlhood Studies Collection (Women’s Press, 2019). With Ashley Payne, she was co-editor of "Twenty-First Century B.I.T.C.H. Frameworks: Hip Hop Feminism Comes of Age," a special issue in the Journal of Hip Hop Studies (2020). She is a Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Fellow (2020-2021), a UT Austin Donald D. Harrington Faculty Fellow (2022-2023), and co-director of the Digital Black Girls project--a digital humanities database featuring the representations of Black girls in popular culture with Ashleigh Greene Wade. She is on the editorial board of the Girlhood Studies journal and has served as the co-chair and chair of the Girls’ and Girls Studies Caucus at the National Women’s Studies Association since 2016.
Dr. Halliday has been a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated since 2011 as well as the American Studies Association and the National Women's Studies Association since 2014. She is a native English speaker, with conversational expertise in Spanish and Arabic.
Dr. Halliday's current projects explore how black girlhood is represented in visual and material culture in the 20th and 21st centuries. Her research is concerned with the lived experience and cultural constructions of black womanhood and girlhood, particularly through the ways Black women construct and spread certain representations in popular culture.
Articles: Black feminism for Black girls, Young Black Woman Professor, Hip-Hop feminism
DH project: Digital Black Girls
Dr. Halliday also visits university and college campuses for keynotes and discussions. Check out her 2019 Black History Month Keynote at Plymouth State University: The Afrofutures of Feminismand her 2022 TEDTalk atTEDxConcord.
Dr. Halliday believes that teaching is an opportunity to embrace new ideas, create innovative assignments, and challenge students and herself. As a person, scholar, and teacher, she is constantly learning, growing, and finding new ways to reach and teach students from all walks of life. Learning should be a liberatory experience for both teacher and student; both her and my students have much to learn about each other and the changing world around us. Liberation of students’ ideas and overall consciousness of self is key to her personal pedagogy. She is primarily interested in students’ freedom, which she believes she can actualize by providing a safe space within which to talk and think about ideas.
Dr. Halliday aims to encourage students’ to challenge their own conceptions of how the world works as well as what others’ have told them about what they should believe. By incorporating black feminist theory and pedagogy as well as her interests in poetry, performance, literature, and critical engagement with popular culture in the classroom, she emboldens students to take their education into their own hands and create meaning for themselves. The ability to reform ideas, rethink assumptions, and reinvigorate belief in their own abilities, she believes, affords students the critical thinking, writing, and readings skills that our nation and world need.
Teaching is an opportunity
to embrace new ideas,
create innovative assignments,
and challenge myself
& my students.
Dr. Halliday has written and been interviewed for numerous national and international publications.
With growing interest in bridging feminist theories and praxis in local communities, Dr. Halliday has participated in discussions like "Hidden Figures + Henrietta Lacks" hosted by the Black New England conference in October 2017 and "Lemonade + Feminism" hosted by Portsmouth, NH's Feminist Oasis in January 2018.