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Charlene Gilbert is a professor in Women's and Gender Studies and Theater and Film. For the past 16 years Gilbert has been an independent documentary filmmaker, teacher and scholar. She is a national producer for public television and her current projects include an experimental media project on Henrietta Lacks, the HeLa Cells and Bioethics. Her current research interests are focused on Race, Gender and the Media in US national elections, Cyber Communities and Constructions of Gender and Transgender Identities in Popular Media.
As an independent documentary filmmaker, Charlene Gilbert has produced two award-winning feature documentaries and several short non-fiction films. Her first feature documentary film, Homecoming Sometimes I am Haunted by Memories of Red Dirt and Clay, premiered nationally on PBS and won several national awards include the NBPC (1999) and Paul Robeson (2000) Awards for Best Documentary. Ms. Gilbert also co-authored, with Quinn Eli, a companion book to the film, entitled Homecoming: The Story of African American Farmers, published by Beacon Press. Her documentary, Children Will Listen, which followed children from DC public schools engaged in a year-long theater arts project, premiered at the 2004 AFI Silverdocs Documentary Festival and had its national primetime PBS broadcast premiere in the fall of 2004. Her films and videos have been screened in numerous international and national festivals including the Women in the Director's Chair Festival, the Chicago International Television Festival, FESPACO, the Athens International Film and Video Festival, and the Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema.
In addition, Gilbert has presented papers, lectures and participated in round-table discussions at the American Studies Association, the Society of Cinema Studies, the National Women's Studies Conference, the University Film and Video Association, and numerous other conferences throughout the U.S. Gilbert is also a sought-after lecturer who has been invited to give talks at Duke University, Columbia University, Clemson University, SUNY Buffalo, Purdue University and the University of Milwaukee.
Gilbert is the recipient of several awards and fellowships including the Rockefeller Media Fellowship, Harvard University's Bunting Fellowship, and the Kellogg National Leadership Fellowship award. Gilbert received her bachelor's degree from Yale University and her Master of Fine Arts degree from Temple University.