Carnegie Mellon University

Kathy Newman

Associate Professor of English

Department of English, Carnegie Mellon University, Baker Hall 259, 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890


My primary interest is in the relationship between mass culture and the
masses—the dialectical relationship between our institutions of television, film,
radio, the internet and our social/political formations. My first book on these
questions, Radio-Active: Advertising and Activism 1935-1947, was published by
University of California Press in 2004. I am also a regular blogger for Working Class
Perspectives. My larger body of work engages critical theory, historical materialism,
literature, visual art, and music. I have published articles on Civil War medical
photographs, the image of the graduate student in popular culture, black radio
stations in the South in the 1950s, and the challenges of being a junior professor
("Nice Work if We Can Keep It"). I am currently finishing a book that combines
cultural analysis with labor history, How the Fifties Worked: Mass Culture and the
Decade the Unions Made. During the 2017-2018 school year I am working with the
Humanities Center at CMU to curate a year of lectures, performances and art that
engage with capitalism as an economic and social system as we approach the 200 th
birthday of Karl Marx (May 2018). When I am not professing I am a wife, a mother, a
political activist and a political artist!