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Department of Pan African Studies



Pan African Studies
221 Santa Susana Hall
CSU Northridge
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330-8315

Hours: M-F (8 a.m. to 5 p.m)
Phone: (818) 677-3311
Fax: (818) 677-3619



Professor Theresa White


Theresa White

Contact Information


  • Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles,(UCLA), 2008 
    M.A. University of California, Los Angeles, (UCLA), 1999
    B.A. University of Southern California (USC), 1992 

Courses Taught

  • PAS 451 Mass Communication in the African American Community
    PAS 392 Field Work in the African American Community
    PAS 337 Black Images on the Silver Screen
    PAS 324 Black Women in Contemporary Times
    PAS 252 Popular Culture in the Black World  
    PAS 151 Fundamentals of Public Speaking



Selected Publications and Presentations

"Media Savvy Adolescent Consumers in the Fight Against Childhood Obesity." Paper Presentation: Health, Wellness and Society International Conference, Sao Paolo, Brazil, March 2013.

"Missy 'Misdemeanor' Elliot and Nicki Minaj: Fashionistin' Black Female Sexuality in Hip Hop Culture---Girl Power of Overpowered?" Paper Presentation: National Women's Studies Association (NWSA), Oakland, California, 2012.

"Missy 'Misdemeanor' Elliot and Nicki Minaj: Fashionistin' Black Female Sexuality in Hip Hop Culture---Girl Power of Overpowered?" Journal of Black Studies (JBS): First published on September 4, 2013 as doi: 10.1177/0021934713497365

"Muslim Women and Girls: Searching for Democracy and Self-Expression." Paper Presentation: International Visual Sociology Association (IVSA) Conference, Buenos Aires, Argentina, August 2012.

"Muslim Women and Girls: Searching for Democracy and Self-Expression." Journal of International Women's Studies (JIWS), 14(3), 2013

"Using Visual, Participatory Research to Critique the Psychosocial Effects of Social Media." Paper Presentation: International Visual Sociology Association (IVSA), Vancouver, B.C., July 2011.

"Digital Social Media Detox: Responding to a Culture of Interconnectivity." Social Media and the New Academic Environment: Pedagogical Challenges. 2013.

"Documentaries as Scholarly Research: Honing Media and Visual Literacy Through Community Engagement." Paper Presentation: International Visual Literacy Association (IVLA) Conference, Cyprus, Greece, September 2010.

"Visual Literacy and Cultural Production: Examining Black Masculinity Through Community Engagement." Journal of Visual Literacy, 1(31), 2012.

"Documentaries as Ethnographic Research and Self Expression." Poster Presentation: Broadcast Education Association (BEA), Las Vegas, Nevada, April 2012.

"A Glance at Herstory: Black Female Documentarians Navigating Beyond the Normative Constraints in A Question of Color and My Mic Sounds Nice: The Truth About Women in Hip Hop." Documenting the Black Experience: Non-narrative Cinema & African American History, Culture and Identity (In press)

"Childhood Obesity and Ethnic Communities." Northridge Child and Adolescent Development Alumni Chapter Conference: Childhood Obesity—Practical Approaches to Positive Change. Panelist, CSUN, Northridge, CA, March, 2011.

"Economic Coping and Heads of Households' Perception of Family Health." Handbook of Psychology of Coping: New Research. 2012

"Battling Beauty; Re-Presenting Global REELalities in the Search for Self." Paper Presentation: National Women's Studies Association (NWSA) Conference, Atlanta, GA, November 2011.

Documentary Pitch Proposal Award, Broadcast Education Association (BEA), "Battling Beauty; Re-Presenting Global REELalities in the Search for Self." Las Vegas, Nevada, April 2012

Research and Interests

Dr. White is an Associate Professor in the Cultural Studies Option of the Pas African Studies (PAS) Department. She is a creative scholar, whose interests include Film Criticism; Feminist Theory; Cultural Studies; Visual Culture; Documentary Film Production; Race, Gender and Media Representations; Critical Media Literacy; Sexuality; Masculinity, Self Image/Self Esteem and Health Disparities for Minority Populations.  Having taught for more than ten years, she has been a teaching fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and a lecturer at Loyola Marymount University.

Community Engagement:
Currently the Co-Director of the Civil Discourse and Social Change (CDSC) Initiative, Dr. White works with faculty, students and community organizations to create a culture where social justice is a permanent part of the institutional make-up, by engendering a community of consciousness, academic engagement, and advocacy.  She is the former Director of the DuBois Hamer Institute for Academic Achievement, where she created a COLLAB-LAB, designed to promote the exchange of ideas, and the development of innovative community engagement projects addressing Female Health Literacy, African American Male Empowerment, and Financial and Media Literacy.

Cultural Production:
Dr. White is the Director and Producer of educational documentary films that offer narratives and perspectives from marginalized groups. She is in the post-production phase of several projects---Battling Beauty: Re-Presenting Global REELatiies in the Search for Self (globalization, self-esteem, self-image and female empowerment); Buckism to Barackism: Re-Imagining Black Masculinity and Manhood (Black masculinity and manhood in America); Developing Media Savvy Adolescent Girls in the Fight Against Childhood Obesity (M.I.S.S.); RIMI-An Interview with Dr. Carrie Saetermoe.

Health Disparities for Minority Populations:
Working as part of a collective to reduce health inequities, Dr. White has been an active member of the RIMI Research Infrastructure for Minority Institutions (RIMI) at CSUN. She has developed several community-based programs for African American and Latino adolescent and tween girls. Her most recent project is Developing Media Savvy Adolescent Consumers in the Fight Against Childhood Obesity, for which she received the prestigious NIH (RIMI) Tiered Mentor Scholar Award. Commonly referred to as the M.I.S.S. (Media Inspired Savvy Sisters) program, it is an after-school psychosocial, nutritional, media intervention for at-risk African American tween (8-11) females at the Challengers Boys and Girls Club in Los Angeles. It aims to empower girls, while placing emphasis on eating in normal and healthful ways, developing increased levels of self-esteem and media/advertising literacy.  The project also examines the effects of food marketing on children, focusing on how they respond to, and perceive commercials embedded in the online environment of selected videogames, media platforms and outdoor advertising.

Student Collaboration:
Dr. White is the founding faculty advisor for the CSUN student research group, C.A.P.T.U.R.E.D. (Creative Awareness Productions Through Universal Research and Educational Documentaries), and is the faculty editor for the C.A.P.T.U.R.E.D. Multi-Media Student Journal. She has also co-authored several peer-reviewed articles with CSUN students.