Starsen's empirical, textual study of blaxploitation films has determined that far from presenting a negative image of the black community, the entries in this genre provide embedded archetypes that present consistent messages for black audiences about the need to eschew exploitation of their own people and communities and instead, support education, crime-reduction programs, and community outreach to improve the communities.
The films, though accused of being violent and brutal, actually present messages about the need for black communities to stand together and right the wrongs of the past by supporting an almost sovereign nation-within-a-nation, Starsen says.
In addition, Dr. Starsen has made the following presentations:
- The metamorphosis of modern television news into "entertainment propaganda." Political Studies Association Media and Politics Annual Conference 2012. University of Bedfordshire, Luton, England, November 1-2, 2012.
- The metamorphosis of modern television news into "entertainment propaganda." Conference for Midwest for Popular Culture Association and Midwest American Culture Association, 9/11: Reframing Media and Narratives, Columbus, Ohio. October 12-14, 2012. Chair of the 9/11 and Popular Culture Area.
- Hidden messages: Archetypes of Blaxploitation films. Conference for Midwest for Popular Culture Association and Midwest American Culture Association, African American Popular Culture, Columbus, Ohio. October 12-14, 2012. Chair of the Black Popular Film Area.
Dr. Starsen also published an article entitled, "Cool to be cruel: Mean-spiritedness in 21st century American children's sitcoms" in The International Journal of the Arts in Society, September 2012.