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Racquel Gates


Racquel Gates is an Associate Professor of Cinema and Media Studies at the College of Staten Island, CUNY. Her research focuses on blackness and popular culture, with special attention to discourses of taste and quality. She is the author of Double Negative: The Black Image and Popular Culture (Duke, 2018), where she argues that some of the most disreputable representations of black people in popular media can strategically pose questions about blackness, black culture, and American society in ways that more respectable ones cannot. Her work appears in both academic as well as popular publications, some of which include Film QuarterlyTelevision & New MediaThe New York TimesThe Los Angeles Review of BooksThe Root, as well as other journals and collections. 
Ph.D., Screen Cultures, Northwestern University
M.A., Humanities, The University of Chicago
B.S., Foreign Service, Georgetown University
Research Interests
Popular Culture, Racial Representation, Reality Television

Selected Publications
Double Negative: The Black Image and Popular Culture. Duke University Press (2018).
“The Last Shall be the First: Form, Politics, and Reality Television.” Dimensions in Black: Perspectives on Black Film and Media special issueFilm Quarterly Vol. 71, No. 2 (Winter 2018): 38-45.


“Subverting Hollywood from the Inside Out: Melvin Van Peebles’s Watermelon Man.” Film Quarterly Vol. 68, No. 1 (September 2014): 9-21.


“Bringing the Black: Eddie Murphy and African American Humor on Saturday Night Live.”

Saturday Night Live and American TV. Eds. Ron Becker, Nick Marx, and Matt Sienkiewicz (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2013), 151-172.


“Keeping it Real(ity) Television.” Watching While Black: Centering the Television of Black Audiences. Ed. Beretta Smith-Shomade (Piscataway, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2013), 141-156.


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Society for Cinema and Media Studies
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(405) 325-8075