Deepa Kumar Photo


Professor of Journalism and Media Studies



Deepa Kumar's work is driven by an active engagement with the key issues that characterize our era–neoliberalism and imperialism. She has been active in various social movements for peace and justice and has written numerous articles in both scholarly journals and independent media. She is an elected leader of the Rutgers faculty union (the AAUP-AFT) and has sought to amplify the faculty voice in university governance. She is affiliated faculty in the Departments of Sociology and Middle Eastern Studies, and with the Center for Race and Ethnicity.


University of Pittsburgh
Ph.D., Communication

Bowling Green State University
M.A., Mass Communication

Bangalore University
M.S., Mass Communication

St. Josephs College
B.S., Physics and Mathematics


Deepa Kumar's research centers on Islamophobia, empire, culture, gender, race, class in the media, neoliberalism, labor, and social class. Her first book, "Outside the Box: Corporate Media, Globalization and the UPS Strike" (University of Illinois Press, 2007), is about the power of collective struggle in effectively challenging the priorities of neoliberalism.

Kumar holds that if neoliberal globalization characterizes the economic logic of our age, the “war on terror” has come to define its political logic. She began her research into the politics of empire shortly after the tumultuous events of 9/11. Her second book, "Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire" (Haymarket Books, 2012), looks at how the “Muslim enemy” has historically been mobilized to suit the goals of empire. She is currently working on a third book on news media representations of the Middle East and U.S. foreign policy.

Kumar is a much sought out public intellectual who has shared her expertise in numerous media outlets such as the BBC, The New York Times, NPR, USA Today, Telesur, the Danish Broadcast Corporation, and other national and international media outlets.

Funded Projects

Fertile Crescent Project Grant on women and art in the Middle East, Institute for Women and Arts, Rutgers University, 2012-2013 (included in the NJCH grant proposal as an expert, $9000) 

SCILS Grant, Rutgers University, 2008 

Research Council Grant, Rutgers University, 2005, 2007, 2008

William C. Archie Grant for Faculty Excellence, Wake Forest University, 2003 

Research and Publication Fund Award, Wake Forest University, 2003

William C. Archie Grant for Faculty Excellence, Wake Forest University, 2002 

Selected Publications

Kumar, Deepa. Outside the Box: Corporate Media, Globalization, and the UPS Strike (University of Illinois Press, 2007, paperback 2008)

Kumar, Deepa. Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire (Haymarket Books, 2012). Being translated into Arabic, Turkish, and Malayalam.

Kumar, Deepa. “Framing Islam: The Resurgence of Orientalism During the Bush II Era.” Journal of Communication Inquiry 34.3 (2010): 254–277. Print.

Kumar, Deepa. "Media, War, and Propaganda: Strategies of Information Management During the 2003 Iraq War." Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies 3.1 (2006): 48-69. Print.

 Kumar, Deepa, and Carol A. Stabile. “‘Unveiling Imperialism: Media, Gender, and the War on Afghanistan.’” Media, Culture and Society 27.5 (2005): 765–782. Print.

Awards & Recognitions

Dallas Smythe Award, Union for Democratic Communication (UDC), for engaged scholarship, 2016

Georgina M. Smith award, American Association of University Professors (AAUP), for work on “making gender and race issues central" to union work, 2016

Journalism and Media Studies Service Award, 2014

Challenging Islamophobia Award, Council on American Islamic Relations, Cleveland, 2013

Research Council Grant, Rutgers University, 2010

Research Keywords