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TreaAndrea Russworm

Associate Professor

TreaAndrea Russworm, Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, College of Humanities and Fine Arts, UMass Amherst

(413) 545-5514

South College W337

TreaAndrea M. Russworm focuses on the recruitment, retention, and support of undergraduate students from historically underrepresented groups.

Before joining the English Department at UMass in 2008, Russworm earned her A.B. from Brown University, A.M. from the University of Chicago, and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Her areas of research and teaching specialization include: video games and new media, digital cultural studies, African American popular culture, digital humanities, comic books and visual representation, and postmodern and psychoanalytic theories. Professor Russworm is currently working on a fourth book, a scholarly monograph, on race and the politics of play.

In her first book, Blackness is Burning: Civil Rights, Popular Culture, and the Problem of Recognition (Wayne State, 2016), Professor Russworm argues that humanizing, or trying to represent in narrative and popular culture that #BlackLivesMatter, has long been barely attainable and impossible to sustain cultural agenda. The book is one of the first to examine the ways race and psychological rhetoric collided in the public and popular culture of the civil rights era. In analyzing a range of media forms, including Sidney Poitier’s popular films, black mother and daughter family melodramas, Bill Cosby’s comedy routine and cartoon Fat Albert, pulpy black pimp narratives, and several aspects of post–civil rights black/American culture, Russworm identifies and problematizes the many ways in which psychoanalytic culture has functioned as a governing racial ideology that is built around a flawed understanding of trying to "recognize" the racial other as human.

Her other two books on popular media include the anticipated co-edited collections, Gaming Representation: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Video Games (Indiana University Press, 2017; co-edited with Jennifer Malkowski) and From Madea to Media Mogul: Theorizing Tyler Perry (University of Mississippi, 2016; co-edited with Samantha Sheppard and Karen Bowdre).

Experienced in team-based learning (TBL) pedagogies, Professor Russworm is also the advisor for the Games and Digital Humanities specialization in the English Department. The classes she teaches at UMass, which are also open to other Five College area students, include:

  • ENG: 397: Introduction to Video Game Studies
  • ENG 494: Dystopian Games, Comics, and Media
  • FFYS: Play and Video Games
  • ENG: 593: Theorizing Video Games and New Media
  • ENG 791: Major Texts in American Studies
  • ENG 302: Studies in New Media and Textuality: Race, Gender, and New Media
  • ENG 893: The Psychoanalysis of Race
  • ENG 270: American Identities
  • ENG 200: Intensive Literary Studies