Dr Jonathan Ward
Lecturer in CMCI - Race and Diversity Studies
I first joined King’s in 2019 on a fixed-term contract as a Lecturer in American Literature in the English department, before moving to the Culture, Media & Creative Industries department as a permanent Lecturer in Race and Diversity Studies. I have also taught at the University of East Anglia, the University of Hertfordshire, the University of Westminster, and Oxford Brookes University.
Research interests and PhD supervision
I’m currently working on a monograph tentatively entitled “What-Is-It?” Containing the Threat of the Black Male Body in American Popular Culture, which examines the racist narratives attached to the Black male body in order to contain it, and the function of these narratives in maintaining white supremacy. This project builds on the research conducted for my PhD at the University of East Anglia. My research more generally is interested in somatic disciplinarity and visual & literary representations of the Black body, which feeds into new research ranging from queer Black aesthetics, Afrofuturism and technology, and the use of mothering as a disciplinary framework.
For more details, please see my full research profile.
I teach across a range of modules in the CMCI department, specialising in Black Atlantic Visual and Literary Culture. I am particularly interested in interrogating traditional foci within academia: as a queer person of colour from a working-class and state school background and the first of my family to attend university, I am passionate about the ways in which education can be utilized to reveal the voices and experiences of those who have historically been marginalized and erased, in addition to making the spaces in which I teach as accessible and inclusive as possible. As part of this work, I created The Abolitionist Curriculum: an open-access resource which centres engagement with the multiplicities of Blackness.
Journal Article: “Wakanda Liberation is this? Interrogating Black Panther’s relationship with Colonialism.” Slavery and Abolition 41 (1), 2020, 14-28.
Journal Article: “Serving “Reality” Television Realness: Reading RuPaul’s Drag Race and its Construction of Reality.” Comparative American Studies 17 (1), 2020, 23-40.
Book Chapter: “Examining the ‘White Saviour’ in The Birth of a Nation” in Art, Culture & Ethics in Black and White: Over 100 Years of D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation, Manchester University Press (In-press).
Journal Article: “Making Black Motherhood (In)Visible: The Importance of Race, Gender, and Nation in the Mediation of Meghan Markle on Instagram.” Women’s Studies in Communication (In-press).