Ralina Joseph 150x200
Ph.D., University of California, San Diego, 2005
Office: CMU 127
E-Mail: rljoseph@uw.edu

Ralina L. Joseph, associate professor in UW’s Department of Communication and adjunct associate professor in the Departments of American Ethnic Studies and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, received her Ph.D. and M.A. in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, San Diego and B. A. in American Civilization from Brown University.

Cover of Transcending BlacknessDr. Joseph is the founding director of the University of Washington’s Center for Communication, Difference, and Equity.  Dr. Joseph is interested in the mediated communication of difference, or, more specifically, contemporary representations of race, gender, and sexuality in the media. Her first book, Transcending Blackness: From the New Millennium Mulatta to the Exceptional Multiracial (Duke University Press, 2012), critiques anti-Black racism in mixed-race African American representations in the decade leading up to Obama’s 2008 election. Listen to the interview about her new book on Seattle’s NPR affiliate, KUOW. She is currently working on her second book project, Speaking Back to Screens: How Black Women on Television Resist PostIdentity Culture, a television studies examination of African American women’s resistance to “postidentity,” the ostensibly “after” moment of racism and sexism, and race- and gender-based identities.

She has published work in Critical Studies in Media Communication; Communication Studies; The Black Scholar; and Communication, Culture, and Critique, and has chapters in Race/Gender/Media: Considering Diversity Across Audiences, Content, and Producers; Blackberries and Redbones: Critical Articulations of Black Hair/Body Politics in Africana Communities; and Claiming a Seat at the Table: Feminism, Underserved Women of Color, Voice, and Resistance.  Dr. Joseph is on editorial boards of Communication, Culture, and Critique and Cinema Journal, Critical Studies in Media Communication, and she chairs the Critical Ethnic Studies Committee of the American Studies Association.  She is a recipient of awards and fellowships from the Ford Foundation, Woodrow Wilson/Mellon, the University of California, the American Association of University Women, and the Walter Chapin Simpson Center for the Humanities at the University of Washington.

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Selected Writings


Ralina L. Joseph. “Imagining Obama: Reading Overtly and Inferentially Racist Images of our 44th President, 2007–2008.” Communication Studies. Vol. 62, No. 4, September 2011.

Ralina L. Joseph. “Hope is Finally Making a Comeback’: First Lady Reframed.” Communication, Culture and Critique Vol. 4 No. 1, March 2011.

Ralina L. Joseph. “Tyra Banks Is Fat: Reading (Post-) Racism and (Post-) Feminism in the New Millennium.” Critical Studies in Media Communication. Vol. 26 No. 3. Fall 2009. Reprinted in Gail Dines and Jean Humez, eds., Race, Class, Gender, a Reader, December 2010.



Communicating Difference (COM/AES/GWSS 289): Large lecture course examining the communication of difference and diversity in the 21st century U.S.

Race, Ethnicity, and Sexuality in the Media (COM/AES/GWSS 389): Survey course examining the cultural forces and implications of race, gender, and sexuality in the media.

Representing Beyond the Binaries: Mixing Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Media (COM/AES 490/GWSS 486): Course examining the realities and ramifications of mixed-race representations in mass media and the broader social and political dynamics in U.S. culture.

Black Cultural Studies (COM/AES/GWSS 489): Course examining historical, social, political, legal, and media discourses about Blackness in U.S. culture.


Black Cultural Studies (COM 563): Course examining historical, social, political, legal, and media discourses about Blackness in U.S. culture.

Reading Race in Cultural Studies Theories and Methods (COM 597): Methods course using central analytic of race in cultural studies.

Visual Culture Theories and Methods (COM 597): Methods course focusing on strategies of reading visual cultural representations.