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Aisha Durham
Associate Professor (and Affiliated Assistant Professor, Departments of Humanities & Cultural Studies, Women’s & Gender Studies, and Africana Studies)

Aisha  Durham

Cultural Studies, Feminist Media Studies, Black feminist thought, Performance auto/ethnography

Office: CIS 3050
Phone: 813/974-2145

Aisha Durham is a cultural studies scholar. Her research about Black popular culture explores the relationship between media representations and everyday life. She examines how controlling images or power-laden stereotypes are produced by media makers and interpreted by media audiences to make sense of blackness in the “post” era. Durham uses auto/ethnography, performance writing, and intersectional approaches honed in Black feminist cultural criticism to analyze representations of Black womanhood in hip hop media. This scholarship contributes to an interdisciplinary field called hip hop feminism. Recent work on Black womanhood is featured in her new book, Home with Hip Hop Feminism: Performances in Communication and Culture. This book extends earlier discussions about hip hop culture, media representations, and the body in her co-edited volumes, Home Girls Make Some!: Hip Hop Feminism Anthology and Globalizing Cultural Studies: Ethnographic Interventions in Theory, Method & Policy.
Durham’s cultural criticism has been featured in popular news media and sites, such as The New Yorker, Haaretz, Crunk Feminist Collective, NewBlackMan, and Ms. Magazine.

Undergraduate Course Offerings

Communication and Visual Culture (Hip Hop Feminist Media Studies)
Analyzing Culture & Media (Analyzing Blackness)
Cultural Studies and Communication

Graduate Course Offerings

Communicating Difference: Representation and Power
Race and Ethnicity in Communication
Contemporary Cultural Studies

Representative Publications

Durham, A. (2015). “_____ While Black: Millennial Race Play and the Post-Hip-Hop Generation.” Cultural Studies ? Critical Methodologies, 253-259.
Durham, A. (2014). At Home with Hip Hop Feminism: Performances in Communication and Culture. New York: Peter Lang Publishing Group. (2015 Top Book Award from the African American Communication and Culture Division)
Durham, A. (2015). Kindred narratives: reflections of southern black orality in 'Sweetwater.'. Qualitative Inquiry, 21(2), 122-124.
Durham, A., Cooper, B., & Morris, S. (2013). The Stage Hip-Hop Feminism Built. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 38(3).
Durham, A. (2012).  “Check on it”: Beyonce, Southern Booty and Black Femininities in Music Video. Feminist Media Studies, 12(1), pp. 35-49.

Durham, A. (2010).  Hip Hop Feminist Media StudiesInternational Journal of Africana Studies, 16(2), pp 117-135.

Recent Publications

“Analog Girl in a Digital World: Hip Hop Feminism and Media Activism.” Media Activism (Feminism’s Digital Wave), Scholars Program in Culture and Communication, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania (PA), December 5, 2014.

“Hip Hop Feminism as Social Justice.” University of Nevada at Las Vegas (NV), May 2, 2014.

“Hip Hop Feminist Studies,” (Keynote). Engaged Citizenship Common Experience Speakers Series and the Women’s Center, University of Illinois at Springfield (IL), February 26, 2014.

“Hip Hop Feminist Media Studies.” Hip Hop Literacies Conference: Pedagogies for Social Change, The Ohio State University (OH), February 15-16, 2013
“Black to the Future: Old School Lessons for a New Hip Hop Generation,” (Keynote). Producing Knowledge, Pushing Boundaries: 65 Years of Communications Research. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (IL), March 2-3, 2012.
“Black Monstrosity in True Blood,” Critical and Cultural Studies Division, National Communication Association, New Orleans, LA, November 18, 2011.


Ph.D., Institute of Communications Research, University of Illinois, Urbana (IL), 2007
M.A., Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Georgia, Athens (GA) 2002
B.S., School of Mass Communication, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond (VA), 1999

Current Courses

RefCourseSecCourse TitleCRDayTimeLocation
94473COM 3052001Cultural Studies & Comm

CPR 337
94354SPC 7930001Afrofuturism
Counts as Ph.D. Seminar Communication. Ph.D. Standing or Permission of Instructor

CIS 3057
81764SPC 7980007Dissertation: Doctoral

TBA 100


Graduate Students

Sheranjeet Dhillon, Reign Hervey, Marquese McFerguson, Brooks Oglesby, Toni Powell-Young