Apryl Berney

Apryl BerneyOffice: DMH 238B
(408) 924-5750

Apryl Berney is a Girls Studies scholar whose research centers on the power of girls' friendships and collaborative cultural productions as forms of resistance and sustenance, with a particular focus on Black, Asian, and Blasian young women and girls in popular music. Her upcoming manuscript, titled Rock and Roll Finishing School: Sixties Girls Groups and Urban Black Girl Culture in Mid-Century America, locates the origins of the sixties girl group phenomenon, which included popular groups like the Ronettes, the Supremes, the Crystals, and Marvelettes, in the vibrant youth culture Black girls carved-out for themselves in cities outside of the American South. Her work extends to contemporary Afro-Asian collaborations, exemplified by hip-hop artist Saweetie's "pretty bitch music," which draws inspiration from this musical legacy.

Apryl's research highlights the aesthetic and political potential of Black, Asian, and Blasian collaborations, creating spaces where resilience and creativity thrive. Her research contributions have been published in Journal of Girlhood Studies, Scholar & Feminist Online, and Feminist Media Histories. Additionally, her work can be found in the forthcoming anthology on Afro-Asian Femme and Queer Visual Culture, set to be released by Palgrave in 2024.

Beyond academic publications, Apryl’s scholarship has reached a wider audience through various mediums. Her work on Sugar Pie De Santo and Etta James was adapted into a short digital video for the See Us Unite campaign, aimed at spotlighting Afro-Asian social, cultural, and political alliances. In addition to her research, Apryl actively engages in public programming, coordinating events such as the retrospective "Not Your Model Minority: The Art and Activism of Renee Tajima-Peña" in spring 2020, and "Listen Differently: Black Feminism, Music, and Popular Culture" in spring 2021, featuring the internationally renowned hip-hop scholar Dr. Tricia Rose and Bay Area hip-hop artist Rocky Rivera.