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Nido R. Qubein School of Communication

Dr. Judy Isaksen

Dr. Judy Isaksen | jisaksen@highpoint.edu
Full Professor of Popular Culture, Media Studies, Intersectional Studies

Ph.D. in Cultural Studies and Rhetoric from University of South Florida

Dr. Isaksen has been at HPU since 2004 where she teaches at the intersection of media studies, critical/cultural theory, and rhetoric; her courses focus on issues of race, gender identity, and sexual orientation as they play out in television, film, and music. Her classes include Media & Pop Culture Studies; Media Representations; Visual Rhetoric; Hip-Hop Culture; Black-American Voices: Stories & Sound; and Mediated Gender. All of her classes are under the Popular Culture and Media Production major, and many of her classes are cross-listed with Sociology and Women’s & Gender Studies. Dr. Isaksen’s classes are rich in readings as well as in class discussions where everyone has a voice. While she piles on the workload, intellectually curious students return semester after semester!

Dr. Isaksen’s teaching is closely intertwined with her research and scholarship, and students frequently have the opportunity to read her recently published articles in the classroom. She has published two articles on the rhetoric of Barack Obama and Black masculinity, the latest in a special legacy issue of the Howard Journal of Communications. She has also published an anthology chapter that analyzes the move from the Obama era to the Trump era as represented on the TV show Black*ish. She has written on the media representations of the LGBT community within the African-American community; Black masculinity within the hip-hop nation; and the interrogation of White privilege.

Her forthcoming anthology chapter analyzes the representations of yoga practices within US media as white, sexy and bendy; and a journal article on the Twitter response to a recent Taylor Swift/Nikki Minaj beef concerning intersectionality and white feminism is forthcoming in Celebrity Studies.

Her latest scholarly project explores the overlapping of hip-hop feminism and Islamic feminism, which she co-authored with colleague Dr. Nahed ElTantawy.

Dr. Isaksen’s scholarship and teaching also folds into her committee work, where she serves as the Chair of the Diversity Committee for both the University as well as the NQSC.

In her spare time, Dr. Isaksen enjoys her hanging out with her family, yoga, art, dance, reading pleasure novels, gardening, hiking, traveling, and supporting live music; her Words with Friends name is “Counter Heg”!

Communication at HPU

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