EPISODE 255 - Mixed Chicks Chat with Mary Beltran
Summary: Mary BeltrÃ?Â¡n, an Assistant Professor of Radio-Television-Film at the University of Texas at Austin, is of Mexican and German, English, and Scotch Irish heritage. Her research is focused on the production and narration of race, ethnicity, gender and class in U.S. television, film, and celebrity culture, with an emphasis on Latina/o and mixed race representation. She is the co-editor (with Camilla Fojas) of Mixed Race Hollywood (NYU Press 2008), an anthology of scholarship on mixed-race representation in film, television, and new media. She also is the author of Latina/o Stars in U.S. Eyes: The Making and Meanings of Film and TV Stardom (University of Illinois Press, 2009), which explores the construction and marketing of Latina and Latino stars in the U.S. in relation to the evolving status of Mexican Americans and other Latinos since the 1920s. Mary is a former journalist and social worker; her experiences working in San Francisco with Latina and African American teens and interest in the complexities of popular culture and its impact on young people of color spurred her to pursue a career that would allow her to combine her various interests and conduct research at the intersections of race, class, and gender and entertainment media studies. Since becoming a faculty member of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and now the University of Texas, BeltrÃ?Â¡n has taught a variety of classes on race and entertainment meida, including first-ever courses at both universities on Mixed Race and U.S. Media Culture. Aside from her books, she has published on such topics as mixed-race actors and characters in U.S. media culture, racial representation in millennial television, ethnic media activism targeting the television networks, and the racial politics of beauty and body ideals as reinforced in Hollywood media productions. She has been conducting research for a new book, Post-Race Pop: Interrogating Racelessness in Millennial Media Culture. Post-Race Pop explores the emphasis on racial ambiguity and utopic presentations of racial and ethnic diversity in contemporary television and other millennial media culture, particularly in light of the imperatives of the media industries to appeal to an increasingly diverse audience and popular political rhetoric that has utilized notions of post-racial America to widely divergent ends.