Kara Keeling is Associate Professor in the Division of Cinema and Media Studies in the School of Cinematic Arts and in the Department of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. Keeling’s research has focused on African American film, theories of race, sexuality, and gender in cinema, critical theory, and cultural studies. Current research involves issues of temporality, media and black and queer cultural politics; digital media, globalization, and difference; and Gilles Deleuze and liberation theory. Keeling’s book, The Witch’s Flight: The Cinematic, the Black Femme, and the Image of Common Sense (Duke University Press, 2007), explores the role of cinematic images in the construction and maintenance of hegemonic conceptions of the world and interrogates the complex relationships between cinematic visibility, minority politics, and the labor required to create and maintain alternative organizations of social life. She is co-editor (with Colin MacCabe and Cornel West) of a selection of writings by the late James A. Snead entitled European Pedigrees/ African Contagions: Racist Traces and Other Writing and author of several articles that have appeared in the journals Qui Parle, The Black Scholar, Women and Performance, and elsewhere. Prior to joining the faculty at USC, Keeling worked as an assistant professor of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), an adjunct assistant Professor of Women’s Studies at Duke University, and a visiting assistant professor of Art and Africana Studies at Williams College. At UNC, she was a Spray-Randleigh Fellow and a Fellow at the Institute for Arts and Humanities. She also held a Carolina Postdoctoral Fellowship for two years after graduating with a PhD in Critical and Cultural Studies from the University of Pittsburgh’s Film Studies Program in the Department of English. In the summer of 2005, Keeling participated in the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute on African Cinema in Dakar, Senegal. Keeling currently serves on the editorial boards of the journals Cultural Studies, Feminist Media Studies and is the Editor of the Moving Image Review section of Gay and Lesbian Quarterly (GLQ).
- Ph.D. Critical and Cultural Studies, University of Pittsburgh
- Carolina Postdoctoral Fellow, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2001-2002
Tenure Track Appointments
- Associate Professor of Cinema and Media Studies and American Studies and Ethnicity, University of Southern California, 2010 –
- Assistant Professor of Critical Studies and American Studies and Ethnicity, University of Southern California, 2007 – 2010
- Assistant Professor of Media and Cultural Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2003 – 2007
- Carolina Postdoctoral Fellow, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2001 – 2003
Visiting and Temporary Appointments
- Associate Professor of Modern Culture and Media, Brown University, 2017-2018
- Assistant Professor of Africana Studies and Art History, Williams College,
- Keeling, Kara and Josh Kun (Ed.). (2012). Sound Clash: Listening to American Studies. Johns Hopkins University Press.
- Keeling, K. (2007). The Witch’s Flight: The Cinematic, the Black Femme, and the Image of Common Sense. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
- Snead, J. A., Keeling, K., MacCabe, C., West, C. (2003). Racist Traces and Other Writings: European Pedigrees, African Contagions- Selected Writings of James A. Snead. Palgrave McMillan.
- USC Advancing Scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences, 2008-2009
- National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute on African Cinema, 2005/06-2005/07
Editorships and Editorial Boards
- Editorial Board Member, Feminist Media Studies”, 2011 –
- Managing Editor, American Quarterly”, 2008 –
- Editorial Board Member, Critical Studies in Media Communication”, 2007 –
- Editorial Board Member, Cultural Studies”, 2007 –