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Dr. Lauren Herold


About Me

I am a scholar of queer media: my research explores LGBTQ television, local production, media history, and media activism in relation to the politics of race, gender, and sexuality. In 2021, I received my PhD in Screen Cultures from the Radio/TV/Film department at Northwestern University and am currently serving as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Critical Identity Studies at Beloit College for the 2021-2022 academic year. My dissertation project chronicled the rise of public access programming made by and for LGBTQ people and considers this programming as a televisual archive that offers insight into the structures of feelings circulating in queer communities in the 1970s-1990s. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, my work combines gender and sexuality studies with film, television, and media studies.

As a scholar-activist, I prioritize leadership, service, and community involvement as well as research, writing, and teaching. I was a board member of the Women's Center at Northwestern University and served on the board of Northwestern's Queer Pride Graduate Student Association and LGBTQ Advisory Board for two years. I also co-founded the Screen Culture program's Graduate Student Association. Throughout my graduate career, I organized multiple events and conferences, including my department's media and historiography conference Backward Glances and Northwestern's LGBTQ graduate student conference Queertopia, to help build scholarly community at Northwestern and beyond. Advocating on behalf of and with marginalized students, staff, and scholars is crucial to me; I care deeply about cultivating equitable community in academia.


Teaching Experience

My teaching philosophy is grounded in the belief that as an educator I can prompt students to reconsider and rethink the world as they understand it. In the classroom, I encourage students to think critically about the ways in which media shape their understanding of social norms. My goal as a teacher is to create equitable learning environments where students discover how media shape their social world so they can apply these tools to critically assess media in their daily lives.

I have four years of experience teaching at the undergraduate level at both Beloit College and Northwestern University and have taught both film and media studies and gender & sexuality studies. I created and taught these classes:

I served as a teaching assistant for the following classes:​

  • Feminism as Cultural Critique: The Second Wave

  • Traditions of Feminist Thought

  • Understanding Media Contexts

  • Television History

  • Acts of Passing in Film & Media


Research & Publications


Starting in New York City in the 1970s, gay men and lesbians created public access television programs to shine a spotlight on their experiences, communities, issues, and businesses. My dissertation chronicles the rise of public access programming made by and for LGBTQ people, tracing the production, distribution, and reception and analyzing the content and textual features of a number of shows that aired on Manhattan cable access channels. As I address the significance of these shows, I ask: How did public access programming provide an emerging televisual forum for LGBTQ people to circulate queer community affects, experiences, issues, and activism? I combine archival research with interviews, textual analysis, content analysis, and historical analysis as I analyze these programs. I created a list of these programs nationwide: click here to view it.

Peer-Reviewed Articles

Living out Loud: Queen Latifah and Black Queer Television Production.” Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media, Vol. 60.

Beyond the Gaze: Seeing and Being Seen in Contemporary Queer Media,” co-authored with Nicole Morse. Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media, Vol. 60.

"Televisual Emotional Pedagogy: AIDS, Affect, and Activism on Vito Russo’s Our Time.Television and New Media, Vol. 21, Issue 1. https://doi.org/10.1177/1527476418813440

Select Online Publications

"'Reach Out to One Person a Day': Feminist AIDS Activists Reflect on COVID-19." Autostraddle.com, May 18, 2020. https://www.autostraddle.com/reach-out-to-one-person-a-day-feminist-aids-activists-reflect-on-covid-19/

“The Birth of a Nation and Cinematic Controversy: D.W. Griffith and Nate Parker’s Notorious Films.” Flavorwire.com, August 31, 2016. https://www.flavorwire.com/588185/the-birth-of-a-nation-and-cinematic-controversy-griffith-and-parkers-notorious-films.


For a CV that lists my conference presentations, fellowships, grants, service experience, and community involvement, click here.


Check out video clips and images from my research below! I am archiving this content on an Instagram account called @queers_on_cable. As a scholar invested in the public humanities, I hope that my research increases access to the history of local LGBTQ cable TV shows.

Keyboard and Mouse

Get in touch!

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