Speaking Engagements


Dr. Leonard can cover a range of topics, including:

  • Race and the NBA
  • Masculinity
  • Whiteness and Hip Hop
  • Race, Gender and Video Games
  • Sports and Social Justice
  • Jews and Sports
  • Asian American Sports Cultures
  • White Nationalist Movements
  • Race, Media and Gun Violence

As a scholar, writer, commentator, and activist David Leonard has established himself as a significant voice on race, gender, and popular culture. An Associate Professor and chair in the Department of Critical Culture, Gender and Race Studies at Washington State University, Pullman, his work is widely discussed and circulated in both academic and popular mediums.

Mark Anthony Neal, professor of African American Studies at Duke University, describes Leonard as “one of the sharpest minds writing about race and sports in America today. Race is serious business and no one understands better than Leonard how that extends to the arenas and stadiums that have long been the site of confrontation between black bodies and spectators.”

While seemingly disparate in topic, ranging from the prison industrial complex to the NBA, from post-Katrina hip-hop to Shawn’s Green’s religious/baseball identities, Leonard’s work is linked by its commitment to examining the ways in which racial meaning is constructed, transformed, and challenged across time and space.  It focuses on the manner that representations and dominant discourses teach race within the popular imagination.  His work also explores narratives and ideologies within a myriad of popular cultural spaces, examining the ways in which media culture becomes a space of contestation, rearticulation, reification, and even resistance.  Dr. Leonard investigates popular culture as both a space of violence/white supremacist affirmation and opposition.  Focusing on sports, he underscores the importance of the historic moment of production and consumption, thinking through what we can learn about race, gender, nation, and class through examining popular cultural representations and audience reception.

He is the author of After Artest: Race and the assault on blackness  (SUNY Press, 2012); Screens Fade to Black: Contemporary African American Cinema (Praeger, 2006); he is co-editor of Visual Economies of/in Motion: Sport and Film (Peter Lang, 2006), and Commodified and Criminalized:  New Racism and African Americans in Contemporary Sports (Rowman and Littlefield, 2011).

To arrange a booking, please contact him at djl at wsu. edu (djl@wsu.edu)

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