Lauren’s areas of interest include Black popular culture (cinema, hip-hop, and digital culture), Black studies, visual culture, and architectural theory. Her research addresses the ways Black visual culture can challenge the epistemologies of anti-blackness; specifically, through the reorganization of space and time. Her work approaches Blackness as an aesthetic that can cohere—and disrupt—the visual. She has published writing on a wide variety of “art objects” including WorldStarHipHop.com, the videos from Jay-Z’s 4:44, Peter Eisenman’s architectural designs, and Meghan Markle’s wedding. Her current research project, A Black Joint: The Architecture of Blackness, uses architectural design to theorize about hip-hop’s “joints,” the points of articulation between the aesthetics of Blackness and visual culture. She is the co-Editor in Chief of liquid blackness: journal of aesthetics and black studies. Lauren regularly teaches class on hip-hop visual culture, cultural geography and spatial practice, and Black film movements.
Special Issues of Journals Edited
Co-Edited with Alessandra Raengo. “Modes of Black Liquidity: Music Video as Black Art.” Journal of Cinema and Media Studies, In Focus, (Winter 2020)
Journal Articles and Book Chapters
“For the Culture, For the Future: Keeping Black Time in Jay-Z’s 4:44” in Jay-Z special section ed. Stephanie Li, Black Camera 10, no. 1 (Fall 2019)
“A ‘Very Black Project’: A Method for Digital Visual Culture” in Writing About Screen Media, edited by Lisa Patti. London: Routledge, August 2019.
“Icons of Catastrophe: Diagramming Blackness in Kahlil Joseph’s Until the Quiet Comes” liquid blackness Volume 3: Issue 7, (October 2017)
Reviews and Other Writing
“Revival: Lauren Cramer Reviews Arthur Jafa’s ‘Air Above Mountains, Unknown Pleasures’ At Gavin Brown’s Enterprise” liquid blackness (July 1, 2018)
“Spotlight, Moonlight... The New Grammar of Black Visual Culture” MediaCommons (May 2, 2018) – Invited Contributor
“Passing Through: A Methodology for Close Analysis” liquid blackness Volume 2: Issue 5, “Passing Through Film” (September 2015): 40-49.
Pulse of the People: Political Rap Music and Black Politics by Lakeyta M. Bonnette. Journal of African American History 102, no. 2 (Spring 2017)