Our Faculty

Melvin Williams

Assistant Professor

Dyson College of Arts and Sciences

Communication Studies

Location
  • @New York City
Office Hours
New York City

Tue, Thu 12:00pm-1:30pm

Tue, Thu 3:30pm-4:30pm

"It is axiomatic that if we do not define ourselves for ourselves, we will defined by others - for their use and to our detriment."
- Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches

Biography


As a communication scholar and culturist, my research examines the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality in popular culture. Specifically, I consider the political functions of popular culture to investigate how minority communities use its mediums – most notably, film, music, new media, and television – to create public voices for themselves in spite of disparaging representations and limited media ownership. My research has been published in several books and journals, including Feminist Theory and Pop Culture, Howard Journal of Communications, Journal of Sports Media, Race, Gender, and Class: The Journal, Spectrum: A Journal on Black Men, and The Journal of Hip-Hop Studies. Also, I served as a cultural commentator for The Huffington Post and offered critical analyses of Hip-Hop, LGBTQ politics, and sport communication. A native of Memphis, Tennessee, I received my Ph.D. in Communication, Culture, and Media Studies and a graduate certificate in Women's Studies from Howard University, as well as Bachelor and Master's degrees from Tennessee State University.

Education


Graduate Certificate , Howard University , Washington, District of Columbia , 2015
Women's Studies

PhD , Howard University , Washington, District of Columbia , 2015
Communication, Culture, and Media Studies

Continuing Education Certificate , The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine , Baltimore, Maryland , 2013
Science of Sex and Gender

MS , Tennessee State University , Nashville, Tennessee , 2012
Educational Administration and Supervision

BS , Tennessee State University , Nashville, Tennessee , 2010
Psychology

Awards and Honors

  • Tennessee State University Young Alumni Network , February 19, 2019 - Tennessee State University "40 Under Forty" 2019 Honoree
  • Dr. Edward Alexander Bouchet Graduate Honor Society , 2014 - Inductee

Publications


Williams, M. L. (2020). TiVo. Debra Merskin (Eds.), The Sage International Encyclopedia of Mass Media and Society. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.. http://https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/the-sage-international-encyclopedia-of-mass-media-and-society/book244632

Williams, M. L. (2020). “Meditate, Don't Medicate!” An Analysis of Addict Rap, Black Men's Social Issues, and J. Cole's K.O.D. Album. Howard Journal of Communications .

Williams, M. L. & Cotton, M. J. (2019). Better than Steph Curry and More Profitable than LeBron James: An Analysis of LaVar Ball's Agenda Building of the Ball Brothers. Journal of Sports Media. . Vol 14 (Issue 1-2) , pages 201-232.

Williams, M. L. & Tyree, T. C. (2019). The "Un-Quiet Queen:" An Analysis of Rapper Nicki Minaj in the Fame Comic Book. Adrienne Trier-Bieniek (Eds.), Feminist Theory and Pop Culture. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill Sense Publishers. Vol 2 , pages 20.

Williams, M. L. & Tyree, T. C. (2018). How to Be a Postfeminist: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Celebrity Culture, Sexual Messages, and Feminism in Amber Rose's How to Be a Bad Bitch. Carol M. Madere (Eds.), How Celebrity Lives Affect Our Own: Understanding The Impact on Americans' Public and Private Lives. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Williams, M. L. (2018). Turn Down for What? A Critical Examination of Black Youth Alcohol Consumption and the Influence of Hip-Hop Media. Christopher Emdin and Edmun Adjapong (Eds.), #HipHopEd: The Compilation on Hip-Hop Education. , The Netherlands: Brill Publishers. , pages 147-157.

Williams, M. L. (2017). "I Don't Belong in Here!" A Social Media Analysis of Digital Protest, Transgender Rights, and International Restroom Legislation. Kehbuma Langmia and Tia C. M. Tyree (Eds.), Social Media: Culture and Identity. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books. , pages 27-48.

Williams, M. L. (2017). Ain't I a Teacher? An Analysis of Black Male Teacher Television Representations on The Steve Harvey Show. Spectrum: A Journal on Black Men. . Vol 5 (Issue 2) , pages 45-70.

Williams, M. L. (2017). Sharon De La Cruz. Sheena Howard (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Black Comics. Golden, CO: Fulcrum Publishing.

Williams, M. L. & Wright, V. (2017). True Niggaz Ain't Quare: An Examination of Rap Authenticity and Black Gay Male Rappers. Jane Campbell and Theresa Carilli (Eds.), Locating Queerness. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books. , pages 85-108.

Williams, M. L. (2017). White Chicks with a Gangsta' Pitch: Gendered Whiteness in United States Rap Culture (1990-2017). Journal of Hip-Hop Studies. . Vol 4 (Issue 1) , pages 50-93. http://jhhsonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/jhhs41.pdf

Williams, M. L. (2016). "My Job is to Be a Bad Bitch!" Locating Women of Color in Postfeminist Media Culture on Love and Hip-Hop: Atlanta. Race, Gender, and Class Journal. . Vol 23 (Issue 3-4) , pages 68-88.

Tyree, T. C. & Williams, M. L. (2016). Flawless Feminist or Fallible Freak? An Analysis of Feminism, Empowerment, and Gender in Beyoncé's Lyrics. Adrienne Trier-Bieniek (Eds.), The Beyoncé Effect: Connecting Gender, Race, and Body Politics. Jefferson, NC: McFarland Publishing. , pages 124-142.

Williams, M. L. & Tyree, T. C. (2015). "The "Un-Quiet Queen:" An Analysis of Rapper Nicki Minaj in the Fame Comic Book. Adrienne Trier-Bieniek (Eds.), Feminist Theory and Pop Culture. , The Netherlands: Sense Publishers. , pages 65-76.

Williams, M. L., Tyree, T. C. & Lewis, M. (2015). My Hair is "Layed" like Cyberqueer: Video Blogging, Computer Cross-Dressing, and the Curious Case of Funky Dineva. Spectrum: A Journal on Black Men. . Vol 3 (Issue 2) , pages 99-122.

Williams, M. L. (2014). Black Man Interrupted: The Impact of HBCU Brotherhood. Christopher D. Carthcart and Tia C. M. Tyree (Eds.), HBCU Experience - The Book. Bloomington, IN: Xlibris Publishing.

PRESENTATIONS


Williams, M. L. (2019, November 14). National Communication Association Annual Convention. "Meditate, Don't Medicate: An Analysis of Addict Rap, Black Men's Social Issues, and J. Cole's K.O.D. Album". National Communication Association , Baltimore Maryland

Tyree, T. C. & Williams, M. L. (2019, April 18). PCA/ACA . Femcee Rap Battles: A Textual Analysis of U.S. Female Rap Diss Songs (1988-2017).

Williams, M. L. & Tyree, T. C. (2019, February 23). FWPCA/ACA 31st Annual Conference. How to Be a Postfeminist: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Celebrity Culture, Sexual Messages, and Feminism in Amber Rose's How to Be a Bad Bitch. Far West Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association, Las Vegas, Nevada

Williams, M. L. & Cotton, M. J. (2018, November 1). North American Society for the Sociology of Sport Conference. Better than Steph Curry and More Profitable than LeBron James: An Analysis of LaVar Ball's Agenda Building of the Ball Brothers. North American Society for the Sociology of Sport, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

RESEARCH INTEREST


African-American Representations in Popular Culture; Black Female Celebrity Representations in Feminist Media Culture; Black Masculinity Studies; Black Queer Studies; Feminist Media Studies; Hip-Hop Feminist Politics; Minority Cultural Production on Social Media; Popular Culture; Queer Online Political Communication; Social Media and Social Change; Sport Communication

Grants, Sponsored Research and Contracts

MEDIA CONTRIBUTIONS

  • LaVar Ball's Master Class on Black Fatherhood and Agenda Building is Legit. [Internet], June 18 2017
    Cultural Commentary by The Huffington Post. Link: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/lavar-balls-a-master-class-on-black-fatherhood-and_us_59460907e4b0940f84fe2f60
  • Miley Cyrus Takes a Whack Out of Hip-Hop. [Internet], May 31 2017
    Cultural Commentary Published by The Huffington Post. Link: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mileys-wrecking-ball-takes-a-whack-out-of-hip-hop_us_592c4e9fe4b0a7b7b469cc56

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

  • North American Society for the Sociology of Sport 2018
  • Popular Culture Association - American Culture Association 2014
  • National Communication Association 2013

UNIVERSITY SERVICE

  • New York Faculty Council Public Relations and Public Functions Committee [Committee Member]
  • New York Faculty Council Student Affairs Committee
  • First Generation Mentor Program [Faculty Mentor]
  • Urban Male Initiative (UMI) [Faculty Mentor]

PUBLIC SERVICE

  • Hudson Pride Center [Volunteer]
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