Associate Professor of Critical Race, Gender, and Media Studies
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, Forthcoming 2016), 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.
This seminar delves into the dynamics, debates, and desires that drive pop fandom. In this class, we ask: What is fan culture? Does it build community? Are fans different from other consumers? What are the ethics and politics of fandom? What are the aesthetic, social, and legal ramifications of fan-produced forms such as mash-ups, remixes, youtube videos, and fanfic/slash that borrow, customize, and reinterpret pop commodities? How do such textual appropriations call into question the boundaries between high and low, production and consumption, intellectual property and fair use? Do fan-produced forms challenge or reinforce Romantic notions of authorship and authenticity? Particular attention will be paid to: the queering of heterosexist pop texts; the racialized and sexualized construction of masculinity and femininity; the politics of sampling, remixing, and mashing; and the role of the Internet, blogs, and social networking technologies in fan culture. This course is reading-, writing-, and theory-intensive.
The Post-Racial State: Ideology, Politics and the Media: In the wake of Obama's historic presidency, the American media triumphantly declared that we are living in post-racial times. But is race dead? Are we color-blind? If so, how do we explain the persistence of racial inequality in the US and the rampant racism in Election 2016? Utilizing an interdisciplinary amalgam of Ethnic Studies, Critical Race Theory, Media Studies, US Third World Feminism, Sociology, Cultural Studies, Political Philosophy, and Post-Colonial Theory, this course will investigate how "race" continues to shape American society in the post-civil rights era. Topics to be covered include: the social construction of race, racial formation, panethnicity, class-based and gendered racialization, multiculturalism, neoliberalism, double-consciousness, colonialism, essentialism, institutional racism, commodification of race/ethnicity, identity politics, colorblind ideology, cultural appropriation, resistance, and citizenship. Particular attention will be paid to affirmative action, immigration, hate speech, hate crimes, reparations, racial profiling, and the resurgence of white supremacy. This course is reading-, writing-, and theory-intensive.
This course examines questions of race, gender, sexuality, cultural difference, and reproduction in science fiction and horror films. It investigates how and why people in different social positions have been constructed as foreign, freakish, or monstrous. In addition to exploring the relationship between sex/gender norms and hierarchies based on race/species or class/caste, we will also consider the following questions: Does the figure of the alien/freak/monster reconfigure the relationship between bodies, technology, and the division of labor? How do such figures simultaneously buttress and transgress the boundary between human and non-human, normal and abnormal, Self and Other? How does society use the grotesque body of the alien/freak/monster to police the liminal limits of sexuality, gender, and ethnicity? How does The Other come to embody Pure Evil? Finally, what are the consequences of living as an alien/freak/monster for specific groups and individuals? This course is reading-, writing-, and theory-intensive.
This seminar will examine the history of US immigration from the founding of the American nation to the great waves of European, Asian, and Mexican immigration during the 19th and early 20th centuries, to the more recent flows from Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Africa. In addition to investigating how these groups were defined and treated in relation to each other by the media, we will consider the following questions: Who is an "American?" Has the definition shifted over time? How do contemporary political debates about immigration compare with those from previous eras? Is public opinion about immigration shaped by the media? How are arguments over citizenship bound up with ideas of race, class, ethnicity, gender, and nation? Special attention will be paid to the role of immigration in national politics; Hollywood's fabrication and circulation of ethnic stereotypes; and the virulent xenophobia routinely exhibited on cable news.
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.
Is music raced? How do musical sound, image, performance, and even performer become racialized? How does music speak to, reflect, reproduce, reinforce, and/or contest race and racism? How do individuals use music to express their ethnic/racial identity? Such questions hint at the undeniable yet ineffable influence of race on the American musical imagination. This seminar will consider the fraught intersection of race, power, and desire in contemporary popular music (hip hop, electronic dance music, rock, pop, punk, R&B/soul, world music, etc.). Utilizing an interdisciplinary amalgam of Popular Music Studies, Post-Colonial Theory, Critical Race Studies, Ethnic Studies, Literary Criticism, Media Studies, Cultural Studies, and (Ethno)Musicology, we will investigate the local creation and global circulation of racially-coded sonic signifiers; questions of authenticity and appropriation; music as a form of cultural resistance and colonial domination; and music as a key component in identity formation. This course is reading-, writing-, and theory-intensive.
This seminar will explore the interface of technology with gender and race, how the concepts of gender, race, and sexuality are embodied in technologies, and conversely, how technologies shape our notions of gender, race, and sexuality. 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 sexuality. 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 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? This course is reading-, writing-, and theory-intensive.
This course examines the fraught intersection of politics and popular culture. In this class, we ask: What is popular culture? How does it differ from other cultural expressions? How does popular culture connect to other aspects of social, economic and political experience? What differences, if any, are there between "high" and "low" culture? Is consuming pop culture products a form of political action? How do explicit political themes both enrich and detract from consumption? What economic imperatives drive popular culture production? What are the relationships between commerce, politics, and art? How does popular culture act as a vehicle for the appropriation or exploitation of other cultures? 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.