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, 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.
Historically, settler states and imperial regimes have disenfranchised and dispossessed racialized Others by constructing ideological frameworks that justify and obscure the ongoing violence of the colonial process. Through a close examination of film, television, music, and digital media, this course will explore how contemporary US popular culture fabricates and disseminates imperialist fantasies and settler mythologies. It will interrogate the political meanings embedded in popular culture and ask: What do imperial productions and settler creations reveal about the tangled relationships between race, history, and desire? How do colonial and imperial settings propagate racism, sexism and ableism; anxieties about class, gender, and sexuality; and concerns about the white (settler) colonial state's ability to digest and domesticate non-normative Others? What are the material consequences of romanticizing imperialism and settler colonialism? Can cultural industries rooted in racial and sexual conquest be decolonized? How does one disrupt and subvert the white (settler) colonial gaze? (keywords: film and media studies, cultural studies, ethnic studies, popular culture, critical race theory)
The idea of whiteness structures our societies in myriad ways that go from the aesthetic, to the economic and political, defining standards of beauty, mechanisms for the transfer of wealth, and criteria for national belonging, to name a few examples. While it is well-known that whiteness is a social construct (rather than a scientific "truth), it continues to rest on and reproduce biologized notions of human difference that resonate with historical forms of racism and perpetuate it in new forms today. As the structuring pillar of racial difference around which racial Others are defined and judged, whiteness continues to be conspicuously invisible. In this course, we will analyze the historical and contemporary construction of whiteness and its consequences in various areas of social and political life. Importantly, we will not restrict our exploration to the United States, but rather will consider whiteness (in its different iterations) as a global phenomenon with a particular focus on the Americas. (keywords: sociology, anthropology, literature, film & media studies, critical race theory)
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. (keywords: cultural studies, fandom studies, legal studies, internet studies, popular music)
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 resurgence of white supremacy during the Trump era? 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 reactionary rise of the right. This course is reading-, writing-, and theory-intensive. (keywords: media studies, legal studies, politics, sociology, critical race theory)
Although early internet theorists imagined the World Wide Web as a wild frontier where only minds mattered, social media testifies to the lasting force of bodily inscriptions like race, gender, sexuality, dis/ability, and class. In this course, we will consider how identity shapes how we communicate, debate, collaborate, and mobilize online. We will investigate how different populations engage with digital technologies and social media in particular; how such environments expedite stereotypes and construct difference; and how online platforms like YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook are tools of social justice as well as replicators of reactionary ideologies. Our critical arsenal will draw upon Media Studies, Gender & Sexuality Studies, Cultural Studies, and Ethnic Studies. We will apply these theories to current events online. Throughout our examination of the politics of hashtags, memes, and trolls, we will foreground the ways that power relations continue to inform how bodies travel through the digital realm.
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.
This course examines questions of race, gender/sexuality, and disability 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.