Dr. Maryann Erigha joined the department of sociology this fall as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Erigha is originally from the metro Atlanta area. She did her undergraduate work at the University of Notre Dame, majoring in sociology and computer applications. She completed her PhD in sociology at the University of Pennsylvania in 2014.
Dr. Erigha is media sociologist. In her research she examines how media institutions resist or reproduce inequality during times of cultural change. In her current book project, The Hollywood Jim Crow, she explains how despite changes in race relations and increases in representation of Black films and directors in a post-Civil Rights era, Hollywood reproduces inequality through racial hierarchies. In another research project, she investigates the relationship between news media, audiences, and inequality in a changing political and technological environment.
Dr. Erigha enjoys teaching courses on the media, social inequality, and research methods. Students come to class with their personal experiences with inequality, as such Dr. Erigha finds it useful to relate those experiences to broader trends in sociological research and to use those interests as a gateway to conducting research. Because we are all avid consumers of media, Dr. Erigha also likes to discuss the role of the media in society – including media’s relationship to stereotypes, inequality, technology, politics, and the environment.
Dr. Erigha has lived in several cities rich in culture, history and traditions: Atlanta, Philadelphia and now Memphis. She enjoys exploring what the city has to offer. She also enjoys road trips in her free time.