Timeka Tounsel

Timeka  Tounsel

Assistant Professor of African American Studies and Media Studies

325 Willard Building
Office Phone: (814) 865-9496


Timeka N. Tounsel originally joined the department as a Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow, and transitioned to Assistant Professor in African American Studies and Media Studies in July 2018. Her fields of inquiry include Black (digital) popular culture, audience studies, womanism, and feminist media studies. Specifically, her research considers how Black women make sense of themselves in and through mass media. Consequently, Tounsel’s study of popular culture is situated at the intersection of race, gender, and religion. Her articles on black women’s faith-based social media discourses, and black women writers in cable television, are forthcoming in the Journal of Media and Religion and Souls. Her work can also be found in Interpreting Tyler Perry: Perspectives on Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality (Routledge, 2013), Gladiators in Suits: Race, Gender, and

the Politics of Representation in Scandal (Syracuse University Press, forthcoming), and the Media Fields Journal.


Tounsel’s book project, Tangled Visions: Black Women and Media in the Age of Obama, investigates the paradox of visibility that Black women experienced from 2008-2016, being simultaneously conspicuous and strategically silenced throughout popular culture. Specifically, the book analyzes how media professionals and general audience members navigated a matrix of entanglements as they went about constructing themselves through television and digital media.


Tounsel’s interests and work as an educator also include diversity and inclusion strategies, faculty development, and professional development for students. She has designed and presented numerous workshops focused on graduate student success and inclusive pedagogies.

Tounsel earned a Ph.D. in Communication Studies with a Graduate Certificate in African American and Diaspora Studies from the University of Michigan, where she was also a Rackham Merit Fellow. Prior to that, she worked in the magazine industry and has written for Essence and BLAC. She received her B.A. in Magazine Journalism and International Relations from Syracuse University.

Click here to download Dr. Tounsel's CV.