Racquel Gates received her Ph.D. in Screen Cultures from Northwestern University after getting her M.A. from the University of Chicago and her B.S. from Georgetown University. She specializes in African American media, particularly representations of race in popular film and television. Her dissertation, Acting White: African Americans, Whiteface, and Post-Civil Rights Popular Culture, examines how African-American performances of whiteface in the post-Civil Rights era operate as a means of strategically navigating shifting tropes of blackness across time. In addition to film and media theory, Dr. Gates' research also incorporates gender, queer, and critical race theories.


Ph.D., Northwestern University

M.A., University of Chicago

B.S., Georgetown University

Scholarship / Publications

“Keeping it Real(ity) Television.” In Watching While Black (edited by Beretta Smith-Shomade). Piscataway, NJ: Rutgers University Press, forthcoming 2012.

“Bringing the Black: Eddie Murphy and African American Humor on Saturday Night Live.” In Saturday Night Live Anthology (edited by Ron Becker, Nick Marx, and Matt Sienkiewicz). Forthcoming, 2013.

“You Can’t Turn a Ho into a Housewife: Basketball Wives and the Politics of Wifedom.” In Media Res. September 26, 2011.
“Reclaiming the Freak: Michael Jackson as Media Spectacle.” In Velvet Light Trap, Issue 65, Austin: University of Texas Press, March 2010.