Melvin Williams

Melvin Williams

Associate Professor
Dyson College of Arts and Sciences
Communication and Media Studies
NYC
| Office Hours: Tue 3:30pm-5:30pm,Thu 3:30pm-4:30pm

Biography

Personal Quote

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

Faculty Bio

An award-winning, communication scholar, my research examines the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality in popular culture. Specifically, I consider the political ramifications of popular culture to investigate how minority communities use its mediums to address disparaging media representations. My research has been published in peer-reviewed, books and journals, including Celebrity Studies; 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; The Journal of Hip-Hop Studies; and Women and Music: A Journal of Gender and Culture. 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 doctorate 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.

Awards and Honors

  • National Communication Association, 2020, African American Culture and Communication Division and Black Caucus Outstanding Journal Article Award
  • Tennessee State University Young Alumni Network, 2019, Tennessee State University "40 Under Forty" 2019 Honoree
  • Dr. Edward Alexander Bouchet Graduate Honor Society, 2014, Inductee

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

Research and Creative Works

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

Courses Taught

Past Courses

COM 200: Public Speaking
COM 393: Internship Program l
COM 394: Internship Program II
COS 213: Intercultural Communication
COS 245: Commctn and Popular Culture
COS 296: Hip-Hop Feminism and the Media
COS 296: Topics: Sport Comm & Cltr
COS 311: Ethics, Morality & The Media
COS 393: Internship Program l
COS 394: Internship Program II
FSS 275: Race and Representation
UNV 101: First-Year Smnr Unvrsty Cmmnty

Publications and Presentations

Publications

For the Dead Homie: Black Men Rappers, Homicide Survivorship Bereavement, and the Rap Tribute of Nipsey Hussle
Williams, M. L., Winley, J. K. & Causey, . A. (2022). Journal of Hip-Hop Studies. Vol 8 (Issue 1)

Social Media's Commodified, Transgender Ambassador: Caitlyn Jenner, Celebrity Activism, and Social Media
Williams, M. L. (2022). Celebrity Studies. , pages 20.

Black Women Rap Battles: A Textual Analysis of U.S. Rap Diss Songs
Tyree, T. C. & Williams, M. L. (2021). Women and Music: A Journal on Gender and Culture. Vol 25

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

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

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

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

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
Williams, M. L. & Tyree, T. C. (2018). Carol M. Madere (Eds.), Lanham, MD :Lexington Books.

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

"My Job is to Be a Bad Bitch!" Locating Women of Color in Postfeminist Media Culture on Love and Hip-Hop: Atlanta
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.

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

My Hair is "Layed" like Cyberqueer: Video Blogging, Computer Cross-Dressing, and the Curious Case of Funky Dineva
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.

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

Presentations

Social Media's Commoditized Transgender Ambassador: Caitlyn Jenner, Twitter, and Transgender Digital Activism
Williams, M. L. (2021, September 14). Kimposium: The Sequel . Brunel University London ,

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

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

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
Williams, M. L. & Tyree, T. C. (2019, February 23). FWPCA/ACA 31st Annual Conference. Far West Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association,

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

Professional Contributions and Service

Professional Memberships

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

Department Service

  • Lambda Pi Eta Honor Society, Gamma Iota Chapter [Faculty Advisor]

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]

Professional Service

Journal of Hip-Hop Studies [Reviewer, Journal Article]

Public Service

  • Hudson Pride Center [Volunteer]

Related News and Stories

In the Media

What is queerbaiting, exactly?

In an interview with USA Today, Melvin Williams, professor of communication and media studies at Pace University, summed up the concept: "Queerbaiting is a strategy used by content creators and media producers to attract queer audiences — via homoeroticism, suggestive marketing and storylines, and other symbolisms — and to insinuate queer identities and relationships between media characters and viewers."