Herman S. Gray

DivisionSocial Sciences Division
DepartmentSociology Department
AffiliationsAmerican Studies Department,
Humanities Division,
Feminist Studies Department
Phone831-459-3715 (office),
831-459-3516 (message)
Web Site Faculty Webpage
OfficeRachel Carson College, Sociology, Room 327
Office HoursTuesdays 3:30-4:30, Thursdays 2:00-4:00; and by appointment
Campus Mail StopRachel Carson College Faculty Services
Mail1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA
Herman S. Gray

Research Interests

Media, Race, Television Studies, Cultural Politics, Jazz Studies

Biography, Education and Training

1983 - Ph.D., University of California, Santa Cruz
1975 - M.A., Washington State University
1972 - B.S., Florida A & M University

Herman Gray is professor of Sociology at UC Santa Cruz and has published widely in the areas of black cultural theory, politics, and media. Gray is the author of Watching Race (Minnesota) and Cultural Moves and he co-edited Towards a Sociology of the Trace with Macarena Gomez Barris (Minnesota). Most recently, he co-edited The Sage Handbook of Television with Manuel Alvarado, Milly Buoanno and Toby Miller.

Honors, Awards and Grants


  • 2002. John Segenthaler Chair of Excellence, Presented by Tennessee State University’s School of Communication.

  • 2002. Resident Scholar at the University of California Irvine’s Humanities Research Institute.

  • 1997. Resident Scholar at the Bellagio Study and Conference Center. Sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation. Bellagio, Italy.

Selected Publications


Edited Books

Chapters in Books

  • 2010. “John Coltrane and the Practice of Freedom,” in John Coltrane and Black American's Quest For Freedom, Spirituality and the Music. Oxford University Press.

  • 2009. "Critical Comment: Tongues Untied," in Bent Light: A History of the Avante Garde Moving Image in the Bay Area, 1945-2000. Edited by S. Anker, K. Gertiz, and S. Seid. University of Berkeley Press.

  • 2006. "Katrina: Where the Natural and the Social Meet," in Hurricane Katrina: Response and Responsibilities. Santa Cruz, New Pacific Press.

Journal Articles

Selected Presentations

Public Lecture or Forum Participation

  • 2014. "The Culture of Work, Cultural Work: Changing Conceptions of Work,” for the UC Humanities Research Institute in Mexico City, Mexico. INVITED

  • 2014. Co-Convener for the Annenberg Summer Institute for Diversity and Media at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. INVITED

  • 2013. Panel Discussion: Reflections on "The Stuart Hall Project" at the University of California – Santa Cruz. INVITED

Papers Presented at Professional Meetings

  • 2014. "Creative Industries, Marketing Diversity and Managing Difference," presented at the Trajectories and Local Logics of Screen Media Labor Society for Cinema and Media Studies in Seattle. PEER REVIEWED/INVITED

  • 2013. Chair, Comment of the Sonic Ledgers of Dissent Panel at the American Studies Association in Washington, D.C. INVITED

  • 2012. "The Politics of Representation: Should the Politics of Representation be History,” Presented at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies. Boston. PEER REVIEWED/INVITED

Courses Taught

SOCY 116 Communication and Mass Media
SOCY 263 Cultural Politics of Differences
SOCY 134 TV and the Nation
SOCY 260 Culture, Knowledge, Power
SOCY 208 Writing Practicum
SOCY 133 Currents in Afric Amer Cultural Politics
SOCY 209 Cultural Forms