Mary Beltrán specializes in critical studies-driven scholarship at the intersections of film and television studies, Latina/Latino and critical race studies, and gender studies. Informed by her prior careers as a journalist and social worker, Dr. Beltrán writes and teaches on ethnic diversity and the U.S. media industries, U.S. television and film history, mixed race and media culture, and feminist media studies, with emphasis on U.S. Latina and Latino representation and media production.
Dr. Beltran’s scholarship has explored such topics as 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, and strategies on the part of television networks to appeal to more diverse audiences. She is the author of Latina/o Stars in U.S. Eyes (University of Illinois Press, 2009), co-editor, with Camilla Fojas, of Mixed Race Hollywood (NYU Press, 2008), and author of the forthcoming Latino TV: A History (NYU Press, January 2022). Her recent journal articles and book chapters include “Fast and Bilingual: The Fast Franchise’s Lucrative Embodiment of U.S. Borderlands,” “SNL’s ‘Fauxbama’ Debate: Facing Off Over Millennial Mixed(-Racial) Impersonation,” and the forthcoming “Action Latinas in an Era of Precarity.”
Dr. Beltrán is the Associate Director and former Founding Director of the Moody College of Communication’s Latino Media Arts & Studies Program. She is also an affiliate of the Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies and the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies. She is the co-editor of the Race and Mediated Cultures book series with Ohio State University Press, and from 2014-2017 was an elected member of the Board of Directors of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies.