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Cienna Benn

Program Fellow

Cienna Benn smiles at the camera in front of a brown brick wall. She wears a red blazer over a white shirt.

Cienna Benn is a graduating Africana Studies and Sociology double major at Howard University. Her research explores the modern development of Black aesthetic theory and its disciplinary logics practiced by Black photographers and filmmakers during social movements and initiatives throughout the twentieth century. Her work utilizes the Unbroken Genealogy approach to explore the meaning-making practices of contemporary visual artists and activists along the lines of gender and sexuality, sociocultural theory, and the Black Radical Tradition. As a Mellon Mays and CAMRA Mellon Fellow, Cienna makes use of multimodal methods to fill apertures between the humanities and art history through the creation of visual scholarship. She plans to expand her research within the field of Visual Studies as a doctoral student at the University of California, Irvine with a designated emphasis in Culture and Theory.