Diana Blaine

Professor (Teaching) of Gender and Sexuality Studies
Diana Blaine
Email dblaine@usc.edu Office JEF 150 Office Phone (213) 821-5650


Dr. Blaine teaches in the Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies where she also serves as Director of Undergradute Studies. Her research and publications examine representations of death in media, including analysis of corpses in advertising, literature, news, films and television.  Besides thanatology, Blaine studies other representations of gender and the body, including abortion, yoga, and celebrity.  For better or worse, she sees everything through the lens of mortality.


  • Ph.D. English, University of California – Los Angeles, 1995
    • Fellow NEH Institute, Columbia University
  • Tenure Track Appointments

    • Assistant Professor, University of North Texas, 1996 – 2000

    Research, Teaching, Practice, and Clinical Appointments

    • Professor of Writing and Gender Studies, University of Southern California, 2015-2020
    • Associate Professor, Teaching, University of Southern California, 2009-2014
    • Senior Lecturer, University of Southern California,
    • Lecturer, University of Southern California, 2001-2006

    Visiting and Temporary Appointments

    • Visiting Associate Professor, University of Southern California, 2000-2001
  • Summary Statement of Research Interests

    Dr. Blaine analyzes representations of death in American culture.

    Research Keywords

    death in American culture, representations of death in media, feminist theory, gender studies, images of women in art and advertising, Michael Jackson, Dr. Phil, JonBenet Ramsey, yoga, memorials, scandal

  • Conference Presentations

    • Death and the Maiden, Literally: The Ongoing Fascination with the Death of JonBenet Ramsey , Death and The MaidenTalk/Oral Presentation, University of Winchester, Winchester, England, 2017-2018
    • Capitalism and the Commodification of the Female Body in the Marketing of Yoga Talk/Oral Presentation, California Sociological Association, Riverside, CA, 2014-2015
    • Vampires and the Undead in Twilight and She Said Yes , Pacific and Modern Language AssociationTalk/Oral Presentation, San Diego, CA, 2013-2014
    • Yoga, Capitalism, and the Scapegoating of the Fat Body , ACA/PCATalk/Oral Presentation, Albuquerque, NM, 2013-2014
    • Female Masculinity in the Workplace , Dykes We LikeRoundtable/Panel, QuASA, GLBT Resource Center, Rainbow Floor, Invited, University of Southern California, Fall 2011
    • “Dead Like Me?: Constructions of Subjectivity in the Mummies of the World Exhibit” , The Carnival of Death: Perceptions of Death in Europe and the AmericasTalk/Oral Presentation, Institute for Germanic and Romance Studies, University of London, Spring 2011
    • Media Representations of Women in Power , Women’s Leadership RetreatLecture/Seminar, Center for Women and Men, USC, Invited, Shalom Institute, Malibu, Spring 2011
    • Forever Famous: Michael Jackson’s Memorial , Are Celebrities Mortal?Roundtable/Panel, The College Commons, USC, Fall 2010
    • “‘Man Up’: The Rhetoric of Dominant Masculinity on Dr Phil” , The Cultural Studies Association 7th Annual MeetingTalk/Oral Presentation, The Cultural Studies Department, Kansas State Univ, Kansas City, Spring 2009
    • The Media, Women and Leadership , Women’s Leadership RetreatTalk/Oral Presentation, Center for Women and Men, University of Southern C, Invited, Running Springs, CA, Spring 2009

    Other Presentations

    • Facing Our Final Failure: Talking About Death and Dying, Series on Mortality , USC, 2011-2012
    • Signs of Life: Decoding the Dead Body, Dialogue with Thomas Laqueur: Series on Mortality, USC, 2011-2012
    • Dead Hollywood, Cemetery Tour, Hollywood, CA, 2010-2011
    • Living Ethically, What Matters to Me and Why, USC, 2009-2010
    • Appearance as expert on the history of the women’s movement in the United States in “Birth of an Independent Woman, Part 1 and Part 2.” Mad Men Season 2 DVD.
  • Book Chapters

    • Blaine, D. Y. (2016). “The Topless Professor in the Digital Age”. Scandal in the Digital Age Palgrave Macmillan.
    • Blaine, D. Y. (2016). “Mainstream Representations of Yoga: Capitalism, Consumerism, and Control of the Female Body”. Yoga and the Body: An Intersectional Analysis of C Rowman and Littlefield.
    • Blaine, D. Y. (2014). “Death on Display: The Social Function of Bodies at the Mummies of the World Exhibit”. The Power of Death Oxford: Berghahn Press.
    • Blaine, D. Y. (2012). “We Are Going to See the King”: Christianity, Capitalism and Celebrity at Michael Jackson’s Memorial. Michael Jackson: Grasping the Spectacle Ashgate Press.
    • Blaine, D. Y. (2011). “Tell Me, Does She Talk During Sex?”: The Gendering of Permissible Speech on Dr. Phil. Women and Language: Essays on Gendered Communiatio McFarland Press.
    • Blaine, D. Y. (2003). Death and the Crying of Lot 49. Thomas Pynchon: Reading from the Margins London: Associated University Presses.
    • Blaine, D. Y. (2003). The Abjection of Addie and Other Myths of the Maternal in As I Lay Dying. William Faulkner: Six Decades of Criticism Michigan State University Press.
    • Blaine, D. Y. (1999). Necrophilia, Pedophilia, or Both? The Sexualized Rhetoric of the JonBenet Ramsey Murder. Sexual Rhetoric: Media Perspectives on Sexuality Greenwood Press.

    Book Review

    • Blaine, D. Y. (2002). Review of the Bleeding of America: Menstruation as Symbolic Economy in Pynchon, Faulkner and Morrison. Pynchon Notes.

    Journal Article

    • Blaine, D. Y. (2000). Death and the Novel: An Introduction. Studie in the Novel. Vol. 32 (2), pp. 107-111.
    • Blaine, D. Y. (1994). The Abjection of Addie and Other Myths of the Maternal in As I Lay Dying. Mississipi Quarterly. Vol. 47, pp. 419-39.
    • Fatal Fantasies: Representations of Death in American Culture, ARLT, Spring 2013
    • Dead Los Angeles, Sociology, Spring 2012
    • Mellon Mentoring Award for Mentoring Undergraduates, 2013-2014
    • Professor of the Year, Gamma Sigma Alpha, 2007-2008
    • Remarkable Woman Award, 2005-2006
    • Top 10 Faculty/Staff Mentor, 2004-2005
    • Advanced Writing Teaching Award, 2003-2004
    • Pursuit of Excellence in Teaching Award, University of North Texas, 1998-1999
  • Other Advisement or Time Devoted to Students

      Capstone Project Director for Sarah Marson
      Directed Study Advisor for Monica Ramsey
      Directed Research Advisor, Breanna Betts
      “Beyond Books” table host
      Faculty Mentor dinner and presentation on the Writing Program with residents, Graduate, Upperclassmen and Family Housing
      Took students on tour of Mummies of the World exhibit at California Science Center. Returned with class on later date for special panel discussion with museum administrators.
      “Pro-Anorexia Websites” WSA panel speaker
      Attended “Cats” at the Pantages Theater as Faculty Mentor, gave talk on the background of the play to students at intermission
      Panel Member, “What’s Your Fantasy?” WSA
      Table Leader, Undergraduate Writer’s Conference
      “Dykes We Like” panel member, GBLT and WSA
      Moderator, “Lesbian X-Rated.” Sponsor Gay, Lesbian, Transgender Organization USC
      Faculty Mentor trip to Grove with students from Parkside Dorm
      GBLT Forum Moderator
      Faculty Mentor panel member “Getting into Grad School” Parkside Dorm
  • Committees

    • Tenure and Privileges Appeals Committee, 2014-2018
    • Writing Program Personnel Committee, 2014-2017
    • Gender Studies Program Curriculum Committee, 2014-2017
    • Writing Program Merit Review Committee, 2016-2017
    • University Committee on Academic Review, 2013-2016
    • Committee to Evaluate Faculty Merit Review Procedures, 2015-2016
    • Trustees Committee on Student Affairs, 2012-2015
    • Non-Tenure Track Promotions Committee, Dornsife College, 2009-2015
    • Executive Board Member, Academic Senate, 2011-2014
    • Academic Senate, 2009-2014
    • Dornsife Faculty Council Secretary, 2011-2012
    • Senate Faculty Environment Committee, 2011-2012
    • Senate Committee on Non-Tenure Track Affairs, 2011-2012
    • Faculty Council, 2011-2012
    • Academic Senate, 2011-2012
    • Dornsife Faculty Council, 2011-2012
    • Writing Program Personnel Committee, 2010-2011
    • Executive Board Nominating Committee, Academic Senate, 2010-2011
    • Dornsife Faculty Council, 2010-2011
    • Merit Evaluations Appeals Committee, College, 2010-2011
    • Academic Senate, 2009-2010
    • Faculty Council, 2009-2010
    • Faculty Caucus, 2009-2010
    • Personnel Committee, The Writing Program, 2009-2010
    • Nominating Committee, CAS, 2009-2010

    Media, Alumni, and Community Relations

    • Guest Faculty Speaker, Associated Trustee and Presidential Scholars Retreat,
    • Speaker, Women’s Leadership Workshop, the Center for Women and Men,
    • Speaker, Making Ethical Life Choices, LEADership Week,
    • Guest Panel Member, Trans/Feminist Luncheon,
    • “Feminism and Gay Rights: Conflicts and Correspondences,” Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Ass,
    • Speaker, What Matters to Me and Why, Office of Religious Life,
    • Featured Speaker, Women and Spirituality, Women’s Student Assembly,
    • Dinner with Diana Blaine, Women’s Student Assembly,
    • Speaker, Gamma Phi Beta Scholarship Dinner,
    • Speaker, Student Government Diversity Affairs,
    • Speaker, Women’s Student Assembly,
    • Table Host, Parent’s Dinner,

    Other Service to the University

    • NTT Mentorship Panel Presenter, Dornsife College,
    • Part Time Faculty Mentoring Panel Presenter,
    • Promotion Mentorship Panel Presenter, The Writing Program,
    • NTT Mentorship Panel Presenter, Dornsife College,
    • Beyond Books Table Host, Fall Fall
    • Undergraduate Writer’s Conference Panel Moderator, Fall Spri
    • Beyond Books, Faculty Table Host, 2011-2012
    • Faculty Fellow, Parkside Dorm, 2011-2012
    • Undergraduate Writer’s Conference, Panel Moderator, 2010-2011
    • Attended “Cats” as faculty sponsor,
    • Undergraduate Writer’s Conference, Panel Moderator, 2009-2010
    • Getting into Graduate School, Parkside Dorm,
    • “Lesbian X-Rated” moderator, discussion sponsored by GLBTA and WSA,
    • Faculty Fellow, Parkside Dorm, 2008-2009
    • Faculty Table Host, Beyond Books,
    • “What Matters to Me and Why” lecture series, 2006-2007
    • Women and Sprituality, featured speaker. Women’s Student Assembly, 2006-2007
    • Dinner with Dr. Blaine, Women’s Student Assembly, 2006-2007
    • “To Thine Own Self Be True,” Gamma Beta Phi Scholarship Dinner Featured Speaker, 2006-2007
    • “Speak Out” USC Undergraduate Student Government University Affairs, Invited Speaker, 2006-2007
    • “The F Word,” Women’s Student Assembly Featured Speaker, 2006-2007