Associate Professor of Radio-Television-Film, Mary Beltrán specializes in critical race studies and television and film studies. She also is a faculty affiliate of UT's Center for Mexican American Studies and Center for Women’s and Gender Studies. She joined the RTF faculty in Fall 2011 after having served as an Assistant and Associate Professor of Communication Arts and Chicana/o-Latina/o Studies at the University of Wisconsin for eight years.
Her research is focused on the construction of race, class, and gender in U.S. television, film, and celebrity culture—with an emphasis on Latina/o and mixed race representation –and how media texts and producers articulate and challenge social hierarchies and group identities. She also has strong interest in and teaches on U.S. television and film history, critical and cultural studies of television and film, celebrity studies, feminist media studies, media activism and alternative media.
Mary has published on a wide variety of topics, including the evolution of Latina/o film and television production and stardom since the 1920s, the implications of the rising visibility of mixed-race actors and characters, strategies on the part of television networks to appeal to more diverse audiences, and the increasing “Latinization” of media narratives in the post-millennial era. She 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) and co-editor, with Camilla Fojas, of Mixed Race Hollywood (NYU Press, 2008). Her current projects include the essay “Fast and Bilingual: The Fast Franchise’s Lucrative Embodiment of U.S. Borderlands” and the book manuscript Post-Race Pop: Interrogating ‘Racelessness’ in Millennial Media Culture. She serves on the editorial boards of such journals as Feminist Media Studies, Critical Mixed Race Studies, Celebrity Studies, Cinema Journal, and Communication Monographs.