Tara Pixley

Tara-Lynne Pixley


Ph.D., Communication. 2012-present.
M.A. Arts Administration, Savannah College of Art and Design, 2013
M.F.A. Photography, Savannah College of Art and Design, 2010
B.S. Philosophy and Journalism, Florida A&M University, 2005


A scholar and theorist of visual media as well as a documentary photographer and filmmaker, Tara Pixley is interested in the role of visual representations of “the real,” particularly as it intersects with discursively produced conceptions of the Other.

Her Ph.D research in communication at UC San Diego is focused within the field of media studies, looking at contemporary visual journalism industry practices/practitioners and considering the role of the visual media producer in sociocultural construction/dissemination. Past work has attended to the relationship of image makers to subjects, frequently using filmic and photographic portraiture to probe the complexities of self-presentation/re-presentation, particularly as it pertains to conceptions of race, gender, and sexuality.

Her film Porn Star Quotidian on feminist adult film star Ela Darling has been screened internationally in film and media festivals from Los Angeles to Paris. Her photography has been published in the New York Times, Newsweek, ESPN Magazine, Propublica, the Sunday Mirror, and the International Herald Tribune, among other news organizations.

She was a 2016 Visiting Fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism of Harvard University, researching and writing about how to improve inequities behind the documentary camera. Her Nieman Reports cover story on visual journalism's lack of diverse perspectives was recently awarded the 2017 FOLIO Ozzie for Best B2B Single Article. She is a founding member of RECLAIM Photo, an international initiative to decolonize photojournalistic perspective and the visual journalism industry.

Research Areas

  • Film and media studies
  • Journalism studies
  • Photography
  • Documentary studies
  • Visual culture
  • Post-colonial theory, Critical race studies
  • Feminist theory

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Book Review: Image Brokers: Visualizing World News in the Age of Digital Circulation by Zeynep Devrim Gürsel. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly. Vol 94, Issue 3, pp. 905 - 907. (2017).

“Trope and Associates: Olivia Pope’s Scandalous Blackness.” The Black Scholar: Journal of Black Studies and Research, 45:1 (2015).

Digital Humanities Publications

“A Line in the Sand: Immediate Responses to the Election of the 45th President of the United States.” The Black Scholar: Journal of Black Studies and Research. 6 Feb. 2017.

“Neo-Burlesque’s Neo Feminism.” Dangerous Women Project. Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities. University of Edinburgh. 26 Jan. 2017.

Public Scholarship 

“Why We Need More Photographers and Photo Editors of Color.” PDN Magazine, Sept. 2017.

“A New Focus: Why We Need More Visual Journalists and Editors of Color.” Nieman Reports. 15 May 2017.

“Inequities Among Photojournalists Produce a Familiar Image.” Newsweek. 19 Feb. 2017.


Website: www.tarapixley.com
Instagram + Twitter: @tlpix
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tarapixley/
Email: tpixley@ucsd.edu


PhD. Students