Catherine Knight Steele

Catherine Knight Steele (@steelecat717) is and Assistant Professor of Communication at the University of Maryland – College Park and was the Founding Director of the Andrew W. Mellon funded African American Digital Humanities Initiative (AADHum). She earned her Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research focuses on race, gender, and media with a specific focus on African American culture and discourse in traditional and new media. She examines representations of marginalized communities in the media and how groups resist oppression and utilize online technology to create spaces of community. Dr. Steele’s research on the Black blogosphere, digital discourses of resistance, and digital Black feminism has been published in such journals as Social Media + Society, Information, Communication and Society, and Television and New Media. Dr. Steele argues that online practices of joy, gossip, signifying, and play are integral to understanding Black discursive practices online. Her forthcoming book, Digital Black Feminism examines the relationship between Black feminism and technology as a centuries-long gendered and racial project in the U.S. with implications on the future of both Black feminist rhetoric and as potentially the most generative way to understand the possibilities and constraints of digital technology.

Selected Publications:
  1. Steele, C. K. (2021). Digital black feminism. New York University Press.
  2. Steele, C. K. (2017). Black bloggers and their varied publics: The everyday politics of black discourse online. Television and New Media, 19(2), 112-127.
  3. Steele, C. K. (2016). The digital barbershop: Blogs and online oral culture within the African American community. Social Media and Society.
  4. Steele, C. K. (2016). Signifyin’, bitching and blogging: Black women and resistance discourse online. In S. U. Noble & B. M. & Tynes (Eds.), The intersectional internet: Race, sex, class, and culture online (pp. 73-93). New York: Peter Lang.