Missouri State University


Charlton McIlwain

Department of Communication

Charlton McIlwain is an associate professor of media, culture and communication at New York University. As a researcher, writer and teacher, Dr. McIlwain’s primary interests focus broadly on issues of race and media, particularly within the social and political arena.

His most recent work focused on such questions as: How do political candidates construct and mobilize race-based appeals through language and visual imagery? How does the media represent African American, Latino and other candidates of color when covering their respective electoral campaigns? How are unconscious attitudes about race and implicit prejudices about people of color expressed in various forms of media such as popular television and film, commercial and political advertising, music or the spoken word? How did racial discourse shape President Barack Obama’s historic election? And, how has his election affected race-related discourse in the time since?

His book, Race Appeal: How Candidates Invoke Race in U.S. Political Campaigns, won the prestigious Ralph Bunche Award and was recognized by the American Library Association as one of the Best of the Best books among academic publishers.

Dr. McIlwain has testified as an expert witness in several legal cases and regularly provides expert commentary on topics related to race, media and popular culture, race relations, race and political campaigning, African American culture and communication for broadcast and print media.

He has appeared on/in national and international news outlets, including CNN, MSNBC, NPR, Biography Channel, the New York Times, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Associated Press, Le Monde (France) and O Globo (Brazil).

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