Brown Girls  (2017) by Fatimah Asghar & Sam Bailey

Brown Girls (2017) by Fatimah Asghar & Sam Bailey

Intersectionality & New Media



How do sexuality, race, gender, and class shape new media? This course explores the role of intersectional identity in technological transformations in media, focusing on the transition from analog to digital. Students will read historical case studies and theoretical essays on such topics as how social media affect how queer users interact and self-identify and how race influences cable TV distribution. The course is organized into three key areas of inquiry — culture, organization, and technology — with the goal of understanding the complex ways they interrelate. It is rooted in black feminism and queer of color critique but introduces a range of epistemologies. It focuses on visual media – art, television, film, games, and social media.


The goal of this course is expose students to how changes in the art and business of media affect the representation of identity. Students will learn:

– How sexuality intersects with race, gender, class, and disability in art and media

– How to critically consume art and media in light of organizational and technological changes

– How new media reshapes production and distribution

– How technologies shift the politics of representation

– How intersectionality manifests amid political economic conditions



Introductory Lecture: Queer/New Media Performance



—         Coquie Hughes, If I Was Your Girl: episodes 1-3 (2013, YouTube)

—         Empire, “Pilot,” (2015)


—         Cathy Cohen, “Punks, Bulldaggers, and Welfare Queens: The Radical Potential of Queer Politics?” Black Queer Studies: A Critical Anthology, 21-51, 2005

—         Kai Green, “Troubling the Waters: Mobilizing a Trans* Analytic,” No Tea, No Shade: New writings in Black Queer Studies,  65-82, 2016

—         E. Patrick Johnson, “‘Quare’ studies, or (almost) everything I know about queer studies I learned from my grandmother,” Text and Performance Quarterly, 21(1), 1-25, 2001

—         Audre Lorde, “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House,” This Bridge Called My Back: writings by radical women of color, 4th edition, 94-103, 2015

Recommended Readings:

—         Sharon Holland, “The last word on Racism,” The erotic life of racism, 1-16, 2012

—         Juana María Rodríguez, “Divas, Atrevidas, y Entendidas: An Introduction to Identities,” in Queer Latinidad: Identity, Practices, Discursive Spaces, 5-36, 2003

—         Juana María Rodríguez, “Introduction,” Sexual Futures, Queer Gestures, and Other Latina Longings, 1-28, 2014

—         C. Riley Snorton, “Transpositions,” Nobody is supposed to know: black sexuality on the down low, 2014

—         Michael Warner, “The Ethics of Sexual Shame,” The Trouble with Normal: Sex, Politics, and the Ethics of Queer Life, 1-40, 1999



Required Readings:

—         Pierre Bourdieu, “The Field of Cultural Production, or: The Economic World Reversed,” The Field of Cultural Production, 29-73, 1983

—         Michelle Wright, “Many Thousands Still Coming: Theorizing Blackness in the Postwar Moment,” Physics of blackness: Beyond the Middle Passage Epistemology, 2015

Recommended Screenings:

—         Kenneth Anger, “Scorpio Rising,” (1964)

­–         Art21: New York Close Up, “Jacolby Satterwhite Dances With His Self” (2013),

—         Honey Pot Performance, Futurewomen (2015),

—         Coco Fusco & Paula Heredia, The Couple in the Cage: Guatinaui Odyssey (1993),

—         Art21: New York Close Up, “LaToya Ruby Frazier Takes on Levi’s” (2011),

—         Dylan Mira and Latham Zearfoss, Pilot TV (2006),

—         Dylan Marron, Unboxing (2016, Seriously TV)

Recommended Readings:

—         Jasmine N. Cobb, “Parlor Fantasies, Parlor Nightmares,” Picture Freedom: Remaking Black Visuality in the Early Nineteenth Century, 1-27, 2015

—         Kimberle Crewnshaw, “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics,” Chicago Legal Forum, special issue: Feminism in the Law: Theory, Practice, Criticism, 139-167, 1989

—         Arlene Davila, “Introduction,” Latinos, Inc.: The Marketing and Making of a People,” 1-22, 2012

—         Teresa de Lauretis, “The technology of gender,” Technologies of gender: essays on theory, film, and fiction, 1-30, 1987

—         Patricia Hill Collins, “The Social Construction of Black Feminist Thought,” Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, consciousness, and the politics of empowerment, 1-48, 2009

—         Tiziana Terranova, “Free Labor,” Digital Labor: The Internet as Playground and Factory, 33-57, 2012

—         Gaye Theresa Johnson, “Race, Displacement, and Sonic Reclamation in Postwar Los Angeles,” Spaces of Conflict, Sounds of Solidarity: Music, Race, and Spatiral Entitlement in Los Angeles, 48-84, 2013




Required Screenings:

—         Rashaad Newsome, “Shade Compositions (Move)” (2010),

—         Martine Syms, “Lessons I-XXI” (2014),

—         Ryan Trecartin,

Required Readings:

—         Gloria Anzaldúa, “Speaking In Tongues: A Letter to Third World Women Writers,” This Bridge Called My Back: writings by radical women of color, 4th edition, 162-172, 2015

—         Jack Halberstam, “Low Theory,” The queer art of failure, 1-26, 2011

—         Kobena Mercer, “Black Art and the Burden of Representation,” Welcome to the Jungle: New Positions in Black Cultural Studies, 233-259, 2013

Recommended Screenings:

—         Xandra Ibarra, “Colonial Peeps,” (2013)

—         NIC Kay, The Bronx Cunt Tour (2016),

—         Yayoi Kusama, Self-Obliteration (1967),

—         Kara Walker, “Fall Frum Grace, Miss Pipi’s Blue Tale” (2011),

—         Carrie Mae Weems, “Afro-Chic,” (2009)

Recommended Readings:

—         Laura G. Gutiérrez, “Nao Bustamante’s ‘Bad-Girl’ Aesthetics,” Performing Mexicanidad: Vendidas y Cabareteras on the Transnational Stage, 135-150, 2010

—         Cassandra Jackson, “Visualizing Slavery: Photography and the Disabled Subject in the Art of Carrie Mae Weems,” Blackness and Disability: Critical Examinations and Cultural Interventions, 31-46, 2011

—         Adrian Piper, “The Triple Negation of Colored Women Artists,” The feminism and visual culture reader, 239-248, 2003

—         C. Riley Snorton and Jin Haritaworn, “Trans Necropolitics: A Transnational Reflection on Violence, Death, and the Trans of Color Afterlife,” The Transgender Studies Reader, 2nd edition, 66-76, 2013

—         Freida Tesfagiorgis, “In Search of a Discourse and Critique/s That Center the Art of Black Women Artists,” Gendered visions : the art of contemporary Africana women artists, 73-96, 1997



Required Screenings:

—         Aymar Jean Christian, “Nupita Obama Creates Vogua,” Nupita Obama (1:1, 2015) (Open TV)

—         Narcissister on America’s Got Talent (2011)

—         My Barbarian, Double Agency (2015), LACMA

Required Readings:

—         Aymar Jean Christian, “Nupita Obama: The Value and Method of Queer Pilot Development,” No More Potlucks 44,

—         Howard Becker, “Art Worlds and Collective Activity,” Art worlds, 1-39, 1982

—         Uri McMillan, “Performing Objects,” Embodied Avatars: Genealogies of Black Feminist Art and Performance, 1-22, 2015

—         José Muñoz, “After Jack: Queer Failure, Queer Virtuosity,” Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity, 169-184, 2009

Recommended Screenings:

—         Tania Bruguera, Long Term Projects,

 —        Open TV Re-Presents (2016)

—         Kalup Linzy, Melody Set Me Free (Season 1, 2010),

—         Zackary Drucker, Southern for Pussy (2015),

—         Anna Russett, “makeup tutorial for when your date cancels on you,” (2013) (YouTube)

—         Fred Wilson: Whitney Museum of Art, PBS Digital Studios, Art21, SFMOMA

Recommended Readings:

—         Arlene Davila, “Introduction” and “The Battle for Cultural Equity in the Global Arts Capital of the World,” Culture Works: Space, Value and Mobility Across the Neoliberal Americas, 1-20, 2012

—         Theaster Gates, “The Artist Corporation and the Collective,” Journal of Contemporary African Art, 34: 74-79, 2014

—         David Getsy, “‘New’ Genders and Sculpture in the 1960s,” Abstract Bodies: Sixties Sculpture in the Expanded Field of Gender, 1-42, 2015

—         Tavia Nyong’o, “Brown Punk: Kalup Linzy’s Musical Anticipations,” TDR/The Drama Review 54.3  71-86, 2010

—         Rosalind Krauss, “Video: The aesthetics of narcissism,” October, 51-64, 1976

—         Helaine Posner, “History Lessons: Tania Brugera,” September 9, 2013, The Reckoning: Women Artists of the New Millennium



Required Screenings:

—         Julia Dash, Daughters of the Dust (1991)

Required Readings:

—         bell hooks, “The oppositional gaze: black female spectators,” The feminism and visual culture reader, 94-104, 2003

—         Lisa Henderson, “Queer Relay,” Love and Money: Queers, Class, and Cultural Production, 101-128, 2013

—         Isaac Julien and Kobena Mercer, “De margin and de centre,” Screen 29.4, 2-11, 1988

Recommended Screenings:

—         Cheryl Dunye, Watermelon Woman (1996)

—         Dee Rees, Pariah (2011)

Recommended readings:

—         Jacqueline Bobo, “Black Women’s Films: A Genesis,” Black women film and video artists, 3-20, 1998

—         Patricia Hill Collins, “Mammies, Matriarchs, and Other Controlling Images,” Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, consciousness, and the politics of empowerment, 1-48, 2009

—         Kobena Mercer, “Dark & Lovely: Black Gay Image-Making,” Welcome to the Jungle: New Positions in Black Cultural Studies, 221-232, 1994

—         Jacqueline Stewart, “‘Negroes Laughing at Themselves’? Black Spectatorship and the Performance of Urban Modernity,” Migrating to the Movies: Cinema and Black Urban Modernity, 93-113, 2005



Required Screening:

—         Zeinabu irene Davis, Spirits of Rebellion (2016)

Required Readings:

—         Alisa Perren, “Majors, Indies, Independents: The rise of a three-tier system (Winter 1996—Spring 1997),” Indie, Inc.: Miramax and the Transformation of Hollywood in the 1990s, 144-175, 2012.

—         Jacqueline Stewart, “The L.A. Rebellion Plays Itself,” L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema, 251-290, 2015

—         S. Craig Watkins, “Black Cinema and the Changing Landscape of Industrial Image-Making,” Representing: Hip Hop Culture and the Production of Black Cinema, 77-106, 1998

Recommended Screenings:

—         Marlon Riggs, Tongues Untied (1989) (Canvas)

—         Jack Hill, Foxy Brown (1974)

—         Hito Steryl, “How Not To Be Seen,” (2013),

—         No Asians, No Fats, No Fems (2012, YouTube) and “Fat, Fem, and Asian” (2016, Logo)

Recommended Readings:

—         B. Ruby Rich, “New queer cinema,” Sight and Sound 2.5, 30-34, 1992

—         Kara Keeling, “’A Black Belt in Bar Stool’: Blaxploitation, Surplus and The L Word,” The Witch’s Flight: the cinematic, the Black femme, and the image of common sense

—         Richard Fung, “Looking for My Penis: The Eroticized Asian in Gay Video Porn,” A Companion to Asian American Studies, 235-253, 2005

—         Mitsuye Yamada, “Invisibility Is An Unnatural Disaster,” This Bridge Called My Back: writings by radical women of color, 4th edition, 30-35, 2015



Required Screenings:

—         Shea Couleé, Lipstick City (2016),

—         Zak Payne, Kissing Walls (2016),

Required Readings:

—         Jasmine Nicole Cobb and Robin R. Means Coleman, “Two Snaps and a Twist: Controlling Images of Gay Black Men on Television,” African American Research Perspectives 13, 82-98, 2010

—         Lynne Joyrich, “Queer television studies: currents, flows, and (main) streams,” Cinema Journal53(2), 133-139, 2014

—         Gayle Wald, “The Black Community and the Affective Compact,” It’s Been Beautiful: Soul! and Black Power Television, pp. 70-103, 2015

Recommended Screenings:

—         Chris Vargas and Greg Youmans, Falling In Love with Chris and Greg, “Work of Art! Reality TV Special,” (2012),

—         Jen Richards and Laura Zak, Her Story (2016),

—         Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, Broad City, (season two, 2011) (YouTube) and The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl (1:1-2, 2011) (YouTube)

—         Fatimah Asghar, Brown Girls (2016), and Rami George, “my mother and her sister always argued in arabic, i never understood what was said” (2016, Vimeo)

—         Ricardo Gamboa, BRUJOS (2016),

—         Jane the Virgin (1:1, 2014)

Recommended Readings:

—         Jillian Báez, “Latina/o Audiences as Citizens: Bridging Culture, Media and Politics,” in Contemporary Latina/o Media: Production, Circulation, Politics, eds. Arlene Dávila and Yeidy Rivero, 267–84, 2014

—         Christopher A. Chavez, “Building a ‘new Latino’ in the post-network era: Mun2 and the reconfiguration of the US Latino audience.” International Journal of Communication 7 , 2013

—         Katherine Sender, “Neither fish nor fowl: Feminism, desire, and the lesbian consumer market,” The Communication Review 7.4, 407-432, 2004

—         Katherine Sender, “Queens for a day: Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and the neoliberal project,” Critical Studies in Media Communication 23.2: 131-151, 2006

—         C. Riley Snorton, “Referential Sights and Slights,” Palimpsest, 2(2) pp. 175-186, 2013

—         Rebecca Wanzo, “Precarious-Girl Comedy: Issa Rae, Lena Dunham, and Abjection Aesthetics,” Camera Obscura, 31(2) pp. 27-59, 2010



Required Screenings:

—         The Get Down, “Where There Is Ruin, There Is Hope for a Treasure,” (2016, Netflix)

Required Readings:

—         Aymar Jean Christian, “Indie TV: Innovation in Series Development,” in Media Independence: working with freedom or working for free?, pp 159-181, 2014

—         Herman Gray, “The Transformation of the Television Industry and the Social Production of Blackness,” Watching Race: Television and the Struggle for Blackness, pp. 57-69, 2004

—         Jennifer Fuller, “Branding blackness on cable,” Media, Culture and Society 32(2): 285-305, 2010

Recommended Readings:

—         Aymar Jean Christian, “Scaling Open TV: The Challenge of Big Data Television,” Open TV: Innovation Beyond Hollywood

—         Vicki Mayer, “Producers as Professionals: Professionalism in Soft-core production,” Below the line: producers and production studies in the new television economy, 67-100, 2011

—         Eileen Meehan, & Jackie Byars, “Telefeminism: how lifetime got its groove, 1984-1997,” Television & New Media1(1), 33-51, 2000

—         Eve Ng, “A ‘Post‐Gay’ Era? Media Gaystreaming, Homonormativity, and the Politics of LGBT Integration,” Communication, Culture & Critique 6.2 (2013): 258-283.

—         Beretta Smith-Shomade, “Eyes Wide Shut: Capitalism, Class and the Promise of Black Media,” Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy: selling Black Entertainment Television, 1-30, 2008

—         Kristen Warner, “’I’m glad no one was hung up on the race thing:’ Grey’s Anatomy and the Innovation of Blindcasting in a Post-Racial Era,” The Cultural Politics of Colorblind Casting, 62-94, 2015

Recommended Screenings:

—         DOUX, Boyd’Ega

—         Wifey.TV,

—         The Show About The Show (2016, BRIC) and Outtakes (Season 1, 2013, Open TV)

—         Orange Is The New Black (1:2, 2013) (Netflix) or Scandal (1:1, 2012)

—         Black & Sexy TV,

—         Todrick Hall,



Required Screenings:

—         Anita Sarkiessian, “Damsel in Distress: Part 1 – Tropes vs Women in Video Games,” (2013)

Required Readings:

—         Kara Keeling, “Queer OS,” Cinema Journal53(2), 152-157, 2014

—         Stephanie Schulte, “From Computers to Cyberspace: Virtual Reality, the Virtual Nation and the CorpoNation,” Cached: decoding the Internet in global popular culture, 83-112, 2013

—         Adrienne Shaw, “When and Why Representation Matters to Players: Realism versus Escapism,” Gaming at the Edge: Sexuality and Gender at the margins of gamer culture, 2014

Recommended Readings:

—         André Brock, “From the blackhand side: Twitter as a cultural conversation.” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media 56.4: 529-549, 2012

—         Alex Cho, “Queer Reverb: Tumblr, Affect, Time,” Networked Affect, 43-58, 2015

—         Roopali Mukherjee, “To See and Not To See: Racial Economies of Visibility and Invisibility,” Flow (2016),

—         Jasbir Puar, “The Cost of Getting Better: Ability and Debility,” The Disability Studies Reader, 177-184, 2013

Recommended Screenings:

—         Black Contemporary Art,

—         Branden Miller, Joanne the Scammer,

—         Evelyn from the Internets,

—         #GirlIGuessImWithHer and #NotMyAbuela (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram)



Required Screenings:

—         #BlackGirlMagic and #BlackBoyJoy (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram)

—, Anna Anthropy’s games,

Required Readings:

—         Rena Bivens, “Programming Violence: Under a Progressive Surface, Facebook’s Software Misgenders Users,” Cultural Digitally, January 27, 2016,

—         Christian Fuchs, “Class and Exploitation on the Internet,” Digital Labor: The Internet as Playground and Factory, 211-224, 2013

—         Shaka McGlotten, “Black Data,” No Tea, No Shade: New writings in Black Queer Studies, 262-286, 2016

—         Safiya Umoja Noble, “Google search: Hyper-visibility as a means of rendering black women and girls invisible,” InVisible Culture 19 (2013)

Recommended Readings:

—         Anna Anthropy, “The Problem with Videogames,” Rise of the Videogame Zinesters: How Freaks, Normals, Amateurs, Artists, Dreamers, Drop-outs, Queers, Housewives, and People Like You Are Taking Back an Art Form, 1-22, 2012.

—         micha cárdenas, Shifting Futures: Digital Trans of Color Praxis, 2015,

—         Elizabeth Ellcessor, “Interrogating and Integrating Access,” Restricted Access: Media, Disability, and the Politics of Participation, 1-28, 2016

—         Lori Kido Lopez, “Blogging while angry: the sustainability of emotional labor in the Asian American blogosphere,” Media, Culture & Society 36.4: 421-436, 2014

—         Tavia Nyong’o, “Queer Africa and the Fantasy of Participation,” WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly, 40-63, 2012

Recommended Screenings:

—         17 Games that Showcase Gaming,

—         Angry Asian Man/Angry Asian America,

—         #BlackTransLivesMatter and #TurnUpforTT (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram)

—         #YouOKSis and #SayTheWord (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram)

—         #SayHerName and #ThingsLongerThanBrockTurnersRapeSentence (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram)