Robeson Taj Frazier
Robeson Taj
Associate Professor of Communication; Director of the Institute for Diversity and Empowerment at Annenberg (IDEA); Director of Doctoral Studies


Communication (BA)
Communication (PhD)


(213) 740-6595



More Robeson Taj

Words to live by

“That’s the problem with history, we like to think it’s a book… [But] it’s memory, & memory is time, emotions, & song." Paul Beatty


American Studies
Arts and Culture
Cultural History
Popular Culture
Race and Ethnicity
Race and Gender Studies
Transnational Studies

Center Affiliation

Institute for Diversity and Empowerment at Annenberg

Professor Frazier is a cultural historian who explores the arts, political and expressive cultures of the people of the African Diaspora in the United States and elsewhere.  His research examines histories and current-day dynamics of race and gender, cultural traffic and contact, urban culture and life, and popular culture.  As a Black studies and communication scholar trained in the humanities, his interdisciplinary scholarship, pedagogical mission, and intellectual purpose is aimed at facilitating for different communities: 1) the value of a critical approach to culture, communication, and the historical, ontological, and material dimensions of power, resistance, and subjectivity; 2) old and new creative modes of cultural and political intervention.


He is the author of The East Is Black: Cold War China in the Black Radical Imagination (Duke University Press, 2014), co-producer of the documentary film The World Is Yours, was on the Scholarship Steering Committee for the audio-visual and traveling art platform Question Bridge: Black Males, and is on the editorial boards for the Journal of Race and Policy and Communication, Culture, & Critique.

Frazier's writings have been published in books including The New Black History: Revisiting the Second Reconstruction (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), African Americans in Global Affairs (University Press of New England/Northeastern University Press, 2010), and Migrating the Black Body: Visual Culture and the African Diaspora (University of Washington Press, forthcoming); as well as in academic journals and periodicals such as American Quarterly, China Information, Boom: A Journal of California, Socialism & Democracy, The Journal of History and Cultures, The Journal of African American History, Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture and Society, The San Francisco Chronicle, and The Black Arts Quarterly


* Moderator/Panelist @ FORWARD LA: HIP HOP: ‘Alright’, Civic Engagement, and Stories of Resistance

* Interview by PULLED TOGETHER

* Interview by Culture Matters

* USC ASE Commons Lecture Series

* USC US-China Institute 2013 Conference


2017 "“Playing the Chinese card”: Globalization and the Aesthetic Strategies of Chinese Contemporary Artists." International Journal of Cultural Studies

2015 "Ethnic identity and racial contestation in cyberspace: Deconstructing the Chineseness of Lou Jing." China Information

2013 "Krumpin’ in North Hollywood: Public Moves in Private Spaces.” Boom: A Journal of California

2013 "Diplomacy as Black Cultural Traffic: Debates over Race in the Asian Travels of Adam Clayton Powell and Carl Rowan." The Journal of History and Cultures

2011 "Thunder in the East: China, Exiled Crusaders, and the Unevenness of Black Internationalism." American Quarterly

2011 "Afro-Asia and Cold War Black Radicalism." Socialism & Democracy

2011 "Gerald Horne’s Sketches of Black Internationalism & Transnationalism." The Journal of African American History

2011 "The Routes Less Traveled: The Great Transformation of James Boggs."  Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture and Society

2009 "Black history most important in Obama era." The San Francisco Chronicle

2009 "Biggie Smalls lives on big screen." The San Francisco Chronicle

2006 "Of saints and rappers -- artist melds old and new." The San Francisco Chronicle

2006 "The Congress of African People: Baraka, Brother Mao, and the Year of ‘74." Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture and Society

Course Titles


COMM 206: Communication & Culture

COMM 360: The Rhetoric of Los Angeles

COMM 450: Visual Culture & Communication

COMM 458m: Race & Ethnicity in Entertainment & the Arts


COMM 519: Cultural Studies & Communication

COMM 620: Black Popular Culture—Theory and Central Debates