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Maryann Erigha

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Associate Professor of African American Studies and Sociology

Maryann Erigha is an Associate Professor of Sociology and African American Studies at the University of Georgia. Her research examines the production and circulation of popular media messages about race. Her scholarship is situated at the intersections of race and racism, media and popular culture, and technology and society.

Her book The Hollywood Jim Crow: The Racial Politics of the Movie Industry (NYU Press) investigates practices of racial inequality in the Hollywood film industry through the lens of film directing. The Hollywood Jim Crow has been featured in  The Atlantic, Philadelphia Tribune, and Black Agenda Report, among other outlets. Additionally, the book was included in the list of Choice Outstanding Academic Titles and was named one of the best arts books of the year by Library Journal.

Her current project investigates messages of race and racism in media depictions of girlhood. In another project, she examines the intersections of race, technology, and media in contemporary research. Her co-authored book project examines the uses and misuses of common concepts such as race, Blackness, colorism, and diversity in social life and institutions such as academia.

She currently serves on the editorial board for Poetics: Journal of Empirical Research on Culture and the Brill Press Contemporary Cinema book series. She earned a PhD in Sociology—as well as graduate certificates in Cinema Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, and College and University Teaching—from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to her appointment at UGA, she taught in the Department of Film and Media Arts at Temple University and at the University of Memphis.



  • Ph.D., Sociology, University of Pennsylvania, 2014
  • M.A., Sociology, University of Pennsylvania, 2009
  • B.A., Sociology & Computer Applications, University of Notre Dame, 2007
Research Interests:

Race and Racism, Media and Popular Culture, Film Studies, Technology and Society, African Americans in the Media, Content Analysis

Selected Publications:
  • Racial Valuation: Cultural Gatekeepers, Race, Risk, and Institutional Expectations of Success and Failure. Social Problems (2021).
  • The Hollywood Jim Crow: The Racial Politics of the Movie Industry. New York University Press (2019).