Dr Jenny Woodley is a Lecturer in Modern American History. Her research interests include: African American history, black culture, race and memory.
Art for Equality: The NAACP's Cultural Campaign for Civil Rights was published with the University Press of Kentucky, June 2014. This work explores an important and little-studied side to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). In openly supporting African American artists, writers, and musicians in their creative endeavours, the organization aimed to change the way the public viewed the black community. By overcoming stereotypes and the belief of the majority that African Americans were physically, intellectually, and morally inferior to whites, the NAACP believed it could begin to defeat racism. This book examines the successes and failures of the NAACP's cultural campaign from 1910 to the 1960s and offers an in-depth analysis of the social and cultural climate during a time of radical change in America.
Dr Woodley is currently working on a new research project, which explores race and memory. She has completed research on a memorial to Mary McLeod Bethune in Washington D.C. It was the first memorial to an African American, or to a woman of any race, to be erected on federal land in the capital. The work examines the construction of race and gender in the statue and the subsequent tensions, as well as exploring its place within a national American memory.
Dr Woodley has also recently contributed a chapter on the vandalism of Confederate memorials to an edited collection on Black Lives Matter.