Susana Loza

Associate Professor of Critical Race, Gender, and Media Studies
Susana Loza
Contact Susana

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Susana Loza
Franklin Patterson Hall G12

Susana Loza received her B.A. degrees in political science and psychology from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in comparative ethnic studies from the University of California at Berkeley.

She teaches cultural studies, critical race theory, film and media studies, popular music, feminist theory, and ethnic studies. Her research interests include the social construction of race and sex in speculative media; power, privilege, and cultural appropriation; gender and ethnic performativity in digital spaces; the politics of sampling and remixing; colonial cosplay in steampunk; the activist potential of social media; and the post-racial turn in popular culture.

Professor Loza’s publications include “Imperial Fictions: Doctor Who, Post-Racial Slavery, and Other Liberal Humanist Fantasies,” “Steampunk Style and the After-Life of Empire,” “Hashtag Feminism, #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen, and the Other #FemFuture,” “Playing Alien in Post-Racial Times,” “Samples of the Past: Performative Nostalgia, Illicit Sounds, and Cultural Transformation in Latin House Music,” “Sampling (Hetero)sexuality: Diva-ness and Discipline in Electronic Dance Music,” “Vampires, Queers, and Other Monsters: Against the Homonormativity of True Blood,” and “Orientalism and Film Noir: Subjective Sins and Othered Desires.”

Her current project, Speculative Imperialisms: Monstrosity and Masquerade in Post-Racial Times (Lexington Books, 2017), explores the resurgence of racial masquerade in science fiction, horror, and fantasy and contemplates the fundamental, albeit changing, role that ethnic simulation plays in American and British cultures in a putatively post-racial and post-colonial era.

Recent and Upcoming Courses

  • Since its founding, the US has closely regulated the bodies of Others and punished those that rebel against these socially-constructed designations. Utilizing an interdisciplinary amalgam of Critical Race Theory, Sexuality Studies, Queer Theory, Media Studies, Sociology, American Studies, Performance Studies, and Feminist Theory, this course will explore how the state, the media, and civilian institutions police the boundaries of race, gender, and sexuality by pathologizing, criminalizing, and stigmatizing difference. We will also examine how the subjects burdened with these dangerous inscriptions evade and contest them through passing, performativity, and other forms of identity-based resistance. Special attention will be paid to the criminalization of cross-racial and same sex desire; the re-biologization of racial and sexual difference; the dehumanization of immigrants; the racialization of crime; the gendering of mental disorder; the rise of homonormativity; genetic surveillance; the biopolitics of reproduction; and the role of The Law in constructing and controlling deviant bodies. KEYWORDS:Critical Race Theory, Disability Studies, Queer Studies, Legal Studies, Sociology

  • Late capitalism, settler colonialism, and military imperialism have wrought catastrophic damage on our planet and its nonhuman ecologies. This course focuses on how speculative fictions and forms ? sonic, visual, and literary ? confront the legacies of imperialism, colonialism, and racism in order to imagine, envision, and enact more sustainable and just futures. Through a transdisciplinary examination of science fiction, cinematic fantasies, and popular music, this course contemplates how artists and thinkers reimagine possibilities of resistance, worldmaking, and kinship amid climate catastrophe. Questions to be considered include: what happens when we put race, gender, sexuality, and disability at the core of imagining new environmental justices? How do BIPOC/queer/disabled writers, musicians, and artists transform hegemonic genres into tools of decolonization? What do their speculative productions reveal about the complex relationships between marginalized bodies, history, and technology? How do such imaginings disrupt and dismantle white supremacy, settler colonialism, and cisheteropatriarchy? KEYWORDS: Speculative Fiction, Afrofuturism, Popular Music, Alternate History, Film Studies

  • This course examines the fraught intersection of politics and popular culture in the US. In this class, we ask: What is pop culture? How does it differ from other cultural expressions? How does pop culture both challenge and reify white supremacist capitalist patriarchy? What and who get to be political? How does pop culture act as a vehicle for the appropriation or exploitation of Other cultures? Is consuming pop culture a form of political action? How do explicit political themes both enrich and detract from consumption? What economic imperatives drive pop culture production? What are the relationships between commerce, politics, and art? Particular attention will be paid to: the racialized construction of masculinity and femininity in popular culture; the appropriation of racial and gender identities; the role of global capitalism and the market in the production of popular culture. This course is reading-, writing-, and theory-intensive. Keywords: Media Studies, Ethnic Studies, Critical Race Theory, Gender Studies, American Studies

  • This seminar will explore the interface of technology with gender, race, and disability. It will consider how the concepts of gender, race, and disability are embodied in technologies, and conversely, how technologies shape our notions of gender, race, and disability. It will examine how contemporary products - such as film, TV, video games, science fiction, social networking technologies, and biotech - reflect and mediate long-standing but ever-shifting anxieties about race, gender, and disability. The course will consider the following questions: How do cybertechnologies enter into our personal, social, and work lives? Do these technologies offer new perspectives on cultural difference? How does cyberculture reinscribe or rewrite gender, racial, and sexual dichotomies? Does it open up room for alternative and non-normative identities, cultures, and communities? Does it offer the possibility of transcending the sociocultural limits of the body? Finally, what are the political implications of these digital technologies? Keywords: Critical Race Theory, Gender Studies, Film and Media Studies, Disability Studies, Queer Studies