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Timeka N. Tounsel

Assistant Professor of Black Studies in Communication, University of Washington

Timeka N. Tounsel is an Assistant Professor of Black Studies in Communication. She has also served in various administrative roles in higher education, including in diversity, equity, and inclusion; enrollment management; and faculty development. Dr. Tounsel earned a Ph.D. in Communication Studies with a Graduate Certificate in African American and Diaspora Studies from the University of Michigan, where she was also a Rackham Merit Fellow. Prior to that, she worked in the magazine industry and has written for Essence and BLAC magazines.

Dr. Tounsel’s work considers the stories that society tells about Black women and the narratives that Black women craft about themselves. This line of inquiry engages numerous fields, including: Africana studies, audience studies, digital cultures, feminist media studies, womanism, and the medical humanities. In her first book, Branding Black Womanhood: Media Citizenship from Black Power to Black Girl Magic (Rutgers University Press), Dr. Tounsel examines the individuals and institutions that have reconfigured Black women’s empowerment as a commercial project. Her work has also been published in scholarly venues such as Journal of Communication; Communication, Culture & Critique; and SOULS. In addition, she has contributed to edited volumes including Gladiators in Suits: Race, Gender, and the Politics of Representation in Scandal and Interpreting Tyler Perry: Perspectives on Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality.


  • 2022–present
    Assistant Professor, University of Washington
  • 2018–2022
    Assistant Professor, Pennsylvania State University