Academics: Faculty

Patricia Ventura, Ph.D.

Title: Associate Professor, Department of English
Email: pventura@spelman.edu
Office: 404-270-5572
Location: 307 The Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby, Ed.D. Academic Center

Educational Background: 
University of Florida, Ph.D.
University of Florida, M.A.
Clemson University, B.A.

Patricia Ventura's teaching and research center on cultural and critical theory, film and media studies, cultural studies, and American literature.

Among other publications, she has written Neoliberal Culture: Living with American Neoliberalism (Ashgate, 2012) that deals with the social experiences, media, literature, and policies resulting from neoliberalism—that is, the economic and political perspective favoring free markets, deregulation, and privatization which led to the US’s economic crisis.

Ventura has also guest edited for the literary theory journal Genre, a special double issue titled Circulating “America” that examines the circulation and identification of “America” as a cultural-political-military force in late twentieth and early 21st centuries.

Courses Developed and Taught: 

  • American Literature Survey -- ENG324 -- Different sections of the course uses varied approaches to study American literature. For example, one section used a Raymond Williams-style “key-words” approach, which allowed for a comprehensive survey of cultural concepts from across time periods. Another section took a chronological approach with units such as “The Detective: Noir and the Culture of the 1940s,” and “Rerunning the Reagan Era: Postmodernism and the Culture of the 1980s.”
  • American Mythologies -- ENG328 --Honors junior-level course focusing on contemporary American literature and film within the context of three key American myths—the melting pot, the American dream, and American exceptionalism. 
  • Critical Studies in English -- ENG285 -- Redesigned and renamed required course for the English major. The class introduces students to critical theory, cultural studies, and scholarly writing through a critical examination of the cultures of everyday life.
  • Documentary Film -- pilot course -- An honors-level course examining documentary films as they reflect and shape contemporary, largely American social, political, economic, and ideological priorities.
  • Feminist Film Criticism -- ENG362 -- Introduction to feminist theories about film and visual culture.
  • Images of Women in the Media -- ENG369 -- Advanced course critically examining and theorizing representations of women in popular media such as magazines, television, film, and music as well as in avant-garde video art. Student projects included creating a movie that makes a visual argument about gender and mass mediated representation. 
  • Introduction to Popular Culture and Media Studies -- ENG217 -- Students explore the impact of popular culture and electronic media on contemporary culture through watching and reading about film, music, and television as well as through studying cultural theory and creating electronic and print publications.
  • Literary and Critical Theory -- ENG417 -- Senior-level seminar introducing students to key schools of critical and literary theory; sample foci include feminism, Marxism, postcolonial theory, and globalization theory.
  • Studies in Reality Television -- pilot course -- Since reality television has assumed a prominent place in the American media environment becoming a central element in many network line-ups, this course asks just who decides what counts as “reality,” does the reality form speak to particular needs that reflect contemporary cultural preoccupations, and just how do these shows create reality by ostensibly representing it?

Recent Awards:

  • Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. 2008-2009. Career Enhancement Fellowship for Junior Faculty. 
  • “Across the Disciplines and Around the Table: Rethinking Interdisciplinary Research and Teaching Using Food as a Model.” Awarded March 2011. Funded by UNCF-Mellon. $30,000. (Co-authored with Kimberly Jackson and Mona Phillips.)
  • Spelman College Faculty Development Grant. Spelman College. Atlanta, Georgia. 2007 and 2012.

Recent Publications:

  • Neoliberal Culture: Living with American Neoliberalism. Ashgate, 2012. A monograph positing neoliberalism as a “cultural logic” emerging as the dominant cultural formation at the end of the Cold War. The book develops a framework for studying neoliberalism’s impact at the level of American everyday life. 
  • “Looking Back on Iraq: Winning American Hearts and Minds.” Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media. No. 54, Fall 2012.
  • “Beautiful Girls, Feminist Consciousness, and Civil Rights.” (Written with Elizabeth Mauldin.) Mad Men, Women and Children: Gender and Generation in Mad Men. Eds. Heather Marcovitch and Nancy Batty. Lexington: Lanham, 2012.

Research Interests:
Cultural Studies, American Studies, Neoliberal Culture Studies, film and media studies.