University at Albany

Women's Studies Faculty - Janell Hobson
Graduate DirectorJanell Hobson

Contact Information
Office: SS 353. Email:
Telephone: 518-442-5575

Janell Hobson is Associate Professor and the current Graduate Director of Women's Studies at the University at Albany. She joined the core faculty shortly after receiving her Ph.D. in Women's Studies at Emory University. Hobson has since devoted her research, teaching, and service to multiracial and transnational feminist issues in the discipline.

Hobson is the author of Body as Evidence: Mediating Race, Globalizing Gender (SUNY Press, 2012) and Venus in the Dark: Blackness and Beauty in Popular Culture (Routledge, 2005).. She also writes and blogs for Ms. Magazine. Overall, Hobson uses a transnational lens to highlight women's iconography and experiences in global or black diasporic perspective.

Apart from teaching diverse courses on intersections of race, class, gender, media, popular culture, and feminist theory, Hobson engages in digital projects with her students.


  • Ph.D., Emory University (2001)
  • M.A., Teachers College, Columbia University (1995)
  • A.B., University of Georgia (1994)


  • Feminist Theory
  • Research Seminar
  • Feminist Pedagogy
  • Black Diasporas, Feminisms, and Sexual Politics


  • Classism, Racism, and Sexism
  • Feminist Social and Political Thought
  • Women and the Media
  • Electronic Publishing in Women's Studies
  • Gender and Nation in World Cinema
  • Narratives and Counter-narratives



Body as Evidence: Mediating Race, Globalziing Gender (NY: SUNY Press, 2012).

Venus in the Dark: Blackness and Beauty in Popular Culture (New York: Routledge, 2005).


"Digital Whiteness, Primitive Blackness: Racializing the 'Digital Divide' in Film and Art." Feminist Media Studies 8: 2 (June 2008)" 111-126.

"Everybody's Protest Song: Music as Social Protest in the Performances of Marian Anderson and Billie Holiday." Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society (Winter 2008): 443-448.

"The 'Batty' Politic: Toward an Aesthetic of the Black Female Body." Hypatia 18: 4 (Fall/Winter 2003): 87-105.

"Viewing in the Dark: Toward a Black Feminist Approach to Film." Women's Studies Quarterly 30: 1 & 2 (Spring/Summer 2002): 45-59.


"Representin': Women, Hip Hop, and Popular Music," special issue for Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism 8: 2 (2008), guest co-edited with R. Dianne Bartlow.