Dr. Rowe wears a printed button down shirt. She has locs and light brown skin. She smiles and stands in front of green bushes.




Fax: 657-278-5820

Dept: 657-278-2441

Office: Gordon Hall  415

Cal State University, Fullerton

American Studies
800 N. State College Blvd. UH-313
Fullerton, CA. 92831


Kristin Rowe, PH.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of American Studies

Kristin Denise Rowe (“Kris”) is a teacher and interdisciplinary scholar of body politics, beauty culture, race, gender, new media, and popular culture.

Her forthcoming book project examines narratives within art and popular culture of Black women’s experiences with natural hair, within the context of the contemporary natural hair movement. Kris's work has been featured in journals including Journal of American Culture, Women and Language, Open Cultural Studies, and Journal of Contemporary Ethnography. Her work has been supported by entities such as the Institute for Citizens & Scholars, funded by the Mellon Foundation. 

Kris has been quoted in publications such as The Washington Post , Refinery 29 , Travel Noire , “The Lily” by The Washington Post, “Unbothered” by Refinery 29, Byrdie, and The Orange County Register. She was also featured in the docu-series The Black Beauty Effect  produced by FaceForward Productions and presented by Comcast Xfinity. Kris has written for outlets such as CRWN magazine, The Body is Not an Apology, CurlyNikki , and The Research Collective for Decolonizing Fashion

Kris has also taught in African American Studies at CSUF, where she is listed as a faculty affiliate. She earned her doctorate in African American and African Studies (with a certification in Women's and Gender Studies) at Michigan State University in May 2019. 





2019, Ph.D., African American and African Studies, Michigan State University

2015, M.A.,  African American and African Studies, Michigan State University

2013, B.A., English & Black American Studies (Dual Degree), University of Delaware

Body politics; hair and beauty culture; race and popular culture; cultural studies; social media/new media, feminism(s) and sexuality

Courses Regularly Taught

AMST 300 Introduction to American Popular Culture

AMST 401T The Body in American Culture

AMST 401T Drugs in American Culture (New, Spring 2024)

AMST 412 Women, Race, and Ethnicity in American Culture

AMST 447 Race and American Popular Culture

PEER-REVIEWED Publications


Rowe, Kristin Denise. “Embodied Absence: Black Womanhood, Beauty, and Exploring “Body Neutrality.” Critical Studies in Fashion & Beauty Special Issue: “Black Beauty: Perspectives, Views and Representations” (Forthcoming, TBA). 


Rowe, Kristin Denise. “‘Unmanageable’: Exploring Black Girlhood, Storytelling, and Ideas of Beauty.” Open Cultural Studies, Vol. 6, Issue 1 (October 2022): https://doi.org/10.1515/culture-2022-0160


Rowe, Kristin Denise. “Rooted: On Black Women, Beauty, Hair, and Embodiment” in The Routledge Companion to Beauty Politics Ed. By Maxine Leeds Craig (Routledge, 2021)


Rowe, Kristin Denise. Beyond “Becky with the Good Hair’: Hair, Beauty, and Interiority in Beyoncé Knowles-Carter’s ‘Sorry.” eds. Baade. C, Smith, M., and McGee, K. Beyoncé in the World: Making Meaning with Queen Bey in Troubled Times (Wesleyan University Press, 2021).


Rowe, Kristin Denise. “Nothing Else Mattered After That Wig Came Off’: Black Women, Hair, and Scenes of Interiority.” Journal of American Culture, Vol. 41, No. 1 (Spring 2019): 21-36: https://doi.org/10.1111/jacc.12971 - Top Downloaded Paper 2018-2019, Journal of American Culture, Wiley Publishing Company.


Rowe, Kristin Denise. “Beyond ‘Good Hair’: Negotiating Hair Politics Through African American Language.” Women and Language, Vol. 42, No. 1 (May 2019) doi: 10.34036/WL.2019.004 - Inaugural Article of the Year Award (2019), Women and Language, Organization for the Study of Communication, Language, and Gender (OSCLG), Miami University.


Randolph, Antonia, Holly Swan, and Kristin Denise Rowe. “That $hit Ain’t Gangsta’: Symbolic Boundary Making in an Online Urban Gossip Community.” Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Vol. 47, No. 2 (2018): 609-639 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0891241617716744

 Career Enhance Fellowship, Institute for Citizens & Scholars, Mellon Program (Research leave 2022-2023)


 Inaugural Article of the Year Award (2019). Women and Language. Organization for the Study of Communication, Language, and Gender 


Dean’s Faculty Scholarly Achievement Award, California State University Fullerton, College of Humanities and Social Sciences


Office Hours


Spring 2024: 

Monday and Wednesdays 1:30pm - 2:00pm and 4:00pm - 5:00pm 

& by appoointment