Kara Keeling

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Kara Keeling is an American humanities academic. As of 2016 she is Associate Professor at the University of Southern California in the Critical Studies of Cinematic Arts and in the Department of American Studies and Ethnicity.

Education and early life[edit]

Keeling received her Ph.D. in Critical and Cultural Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. Her father was Rudy Keeling, a prominent basketball coach at Emerson College.[1]

Research and publications[edit]

Her research focuses on Third Cinema, African American, African, and feminist film and media; theories and practices of Black liberation; radical imaginaries, with broader interests in critical theory, cultural studies, Africana studies, and gender and sexuality studies.[2]

In 2007, Duke University Press published Keeling's first book, The Witch's Flight: The Cinematic, the Black Femme, and the Image of Common Sense. In this book, Keeling argues that the cinema's ability to structure social reality, thus producing and reifying racism, homophobia, and misogyny, can be disrupted by the figure of the black femme. Despite her lack of representation in hegemonic imagery of race and gender, she haunts that imagery, constantly threatening to make visible alternative social arrangements.[3]

Kara Keeling has also written influential articles such as "Looking for M-: Queer Temporality, Black Political Possibility, and Poetry from the Future," published in GLQ: Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies in 2009 and "Queer OS" published in Cinema Journal in 2014.


  1. ^ Setterlund, Carl. "With a Lion's heart, Keeling sought challenges". Berkeley Beacon. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  2. ^ "Kara Keeling". Faculty Profile. Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. USC. Accessed 16 March 2016.
  3. ^ "The Witch's Flight: The Cinematic, the Black Femme, and the Image of Common Sense". Books & Journals by Title. Duke University Press. Accessed 16 March 2016.

External links[edit]