Kishonna Gray

Dr. Kishonna L. Gray (@kishonnagrayis an assistant professor in the Department of Communication and Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Illinois – Chicago. She is also a faculty associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. She also previously served as a MLK Scholar and Visiting Professor in Women and Gender Studies and Comparative Media Studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Dr. Gray is an interdisciplinary, intersectional, digital media scholar and digital herstorian whose areas of research include identity, performance and online environments, embodied deviance, cultural production, video games, and Black Cyberfeminism.

Dr. Gray is completing a manuscript, tentatively titled Intersectional Tech: The Transmediated Praxis of Black Users in Digital Gaming (LSU Press, 2020). Intersectional tech can be understood as the visual, textual, and/or oral engagement of the Black body in transmediated spaces, focusing on the critical deconstruction of the exploited, hypervisible, labor of any associated Black performances (online and ‘IRL’).

Dr. Gray is also the author of Race, Gender, & Deviance in Xbox Live (Routledge, 2014) which as been described by T.L. Taylor as “an insightful, original, and compelling piece of research.” And also described by Tressie McMillan Cottom as “an important contribution to the sociology of race in the digital era.”

Dr. Gray is also the co-editor of two volumes on culture and gaming. Feminism in Play (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2018), which focuses on women as they are depicted in video games, as participants in games culture, and as contributors to the games industry, and Woke Gaming (University of Washington Press, 2018) which illustrates the power and potential of video games to foster change and become a catalyst for social justice.

Dr. Gray has published in a variety of outlets across disciplines: New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia, Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies, Information, Communication, & Society, Sociology Compass, Bulletin of Science, Technology, & Society, and others. She has also been featured in public outlets such as The Guardian, The Telegraph, The New York Times, Business Insider, CNET, BET, and others. Follow Dr. Gray on Twitter @KishonnaGray or on Snapchat @DrGrayThaPhx

Selected Publications:
  1. Gray, K. L. (2020). Black gamers’ resistance. In L. K. Lopez (Ed.), Race and media: Critical approaches (pp. 241-251). New York University Press.
  2. Gray, K. L. (2020). Intersectional tech: Black users in digital gaming. LSU Press.
  3. Gray, K. L. (2019). Racializing space. Gendering place: Black feminism, ethnography, and methodological challenges online and IRL. In K. Smets, K. Leurs, M. Georgiou, S. Witteborn, & R. Gajjala (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of media and migration. London: SAGE Publications Ltd.
  4. Gray, K. L., & Leonard, D. J. (Eds.) (2018). Woke gaming: Digital challenges to oppression and social justice. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
  5. Gray, K. L. (2018). Power in the visual: Examining narratives of controlling black bodies in contemporary gaming. Velvet Light Trap, 81, 62-66.
  6. Gray, K. L. (2017). Gaming out online: Black lesbian identity development and community building in Xbox Live. Journal of Lesbian Studies, 22(3). 
  7. Gray, K. L. (2017). “They’re just too urban”: Black gamers streaming on Twitch. (2016) In J. Daniels, K. Gregory, & T. M. Cottom (Eds), Digital Sociologies (pp. 355-368). Bristol, UK: Policy Press. 
  8. Gray, K. L. (2015). Race, gender, & virtual inequality: Exploring the liberatory potential of Black cyberfeminist theory. In R. Lind (Ed.), Produsing Theory in a Digital World 2.0: The Intersection of Audiences and Production in Contemporary Theory (Vol. 2) (pp. 175-192). New York: Peter Lang. 
  9. Gray, K. (2013). Collective organizing, individual resistance, or asshole griefers? An ethnographic analysis of women of color in Xbox Live. Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology, 2.