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Department of Women’s and Gender Studies

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Loron Benton

Title: Bridge to Faculty Postdoctoral Scholar in Black Feminist and Womanist Studies
Department of Women’s and Gender Studies
Phone: 803-576-6360
Office: Close-Hipp 507
loron benton


Dr. Loron Benton is the Postdoctoral Scholar in Black Feminist and Womanist Studies for the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies and an inaugural member of the Bridge to Faculty Program in the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of South Carolina. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English and Women’s Studies at Emory University, became a middle school reading teacher, and later completed her Master of Arts in Women’s Studies at Georgia State University where she was received the Outstanding Graduate Student Award. Dr. Benton earned her Ph.D. in Gender Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles and her dissertation—"Interior Spaces, Spiritual Traces: Theorizing the Erotic in the Cultural Works and Creative Lives of Black Women Writers and Artists, 1930-1970”—is an interdisciplinary study of the theoretical utility of Lordean erotics as an epistemological source for spiritual and political power. Dr. Benton’s article “Dripping in Molasses: Black Feminist Nostalgia and Kara Walker's A Subtlety” examines the artistic and historic bricolage of sugar, slavery, memory, and mammy in Walker’s 2014 public art installation and is under revision for publication in a Spring 2024 special issue of the Cultural Studies Journal.


B.A., Emory University

M.A., Georgia State University

Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles

Research Interests

Dr. Benton’s research interests include Black women’s cultural production and political traditions in the twentieth and twentieth-first centuries, Black feminist theory, womanist theory and theology, affect theory, queer theory, women of color feminisms, and the intersections between sexuality, creativity, and spirituality. She also has specific interests in the Black Arts Movement, health outcomes, disparities, advocacy, and justice in the U.S. South, teaching pedagogy and methodology in middle grades and college, gender and hip hop culture, performance studies, feminist phenomenology, and studies of pleasure and joy.


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.