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Felicia Harris

Photograph of Felicia Harris

Felicia Harris

Associate Professor of Communication Studies

Office: S1083

​Felicia L. Harris, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies in Media at the University of Houston-Downtown. Prior to moving to Houston, Dr. Harris earned a B.A. in English with a concentration in professional writing from Columbus State University and attended the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia, where she worked as a professional writer and freelance health reporter while completing her M.A. in mass media studies and health and medical journalism.

In spite of an initial goal of becoming a high-profile journalist, Dr. Harris recalls being radically transformed by her early graduate coursework and freelance career covering issues of health and healthcare, race, poverty, access and power. As a result, she developed an interest in the critical components of digital storytelling and the use of social media in both creating and dispersing news that eventually led her to complete a Ph.D. in mass communication with a layered interest in health promotion and behavior. Her doctoral coursework explored how members of marginalized groups create online communities to thrive in spite of dominant structures that impact every aspect of their lives, including their health and well-being.

At UHD, Dr. Harris frequently teaches the introductory course in mass media; advanced media studies; advertising as communication; race, ethnicity and communication; research in communication studies; and a special topics course, “Black Twitter & Beyond.” Her course topics are designed to integrate seamlessly with her current scholarship, which examines media culture, representations of gender and race in media, and community formation in online spaces.

Ph.D., Mass Communication, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA, 2015

M.A., Mass Media Studies, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA, 2012

B.A., English, Magna Cum Laude, Columbus State University, Columbus, GA, 2010

  • COMM 1302: Mass Media
  • COMM 1306: Public Speaking
  • COMM 3303: Advertising as Communication
  • COMM 3311: Advanced Media Studies
  • COMM 3313: Race, Ethnicity and Communication
  • COMM 3314: Research in Communication Studies
  • COMM 4390: Black Twitter and Beyond

Peer Reviewed Articles

Harris, F., & Roushanzamir, E. L. (2016). #Blackgirlsrun: Promoting Health and Wellness Outcomes Using Social Media. Fire!!!, 3(1), 160-189. Retrieved from  

Peer-reviewed Conference Papers and Presentations

"You Heard it Here First: Black journalists, alternative media and the legacy of calling out “fake” news," Panelist and Panel Organizer, National Communication Association 103rd Annual Convention, Nov. 16-19, 2017, Dallas, Tx.  

Harris, F. (Nov. 2017). “A radical contextualization: Using ethnograph(ies) to examine health in online spaces,” American Public Health Association 2017 Annual Meeting & Expo, Nov. 4-8, Atlanta, Ga.

Harris, F. (Nov. 2017). “Considering Community: Uniting Black Women through Images and Hashtags,” American Public Health Association 2017 Annual Meeting & Expo, Nov. 4-8, Atlanta, Ga.

“Why Do We Always Have to Talk about Race?: Critical Reflections on How Black Mass Communication Faculty include Topics of Race and Culture in Core Curriculum Classrooms,” Panelist, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication 2017 Conference, Aug. 9-12, 2017, Chicago, Ill.

Harris, F. (March 2017). Hashtags and Health: How Black Women are Fueling a Fitness Movement. 41st National Council for Black Studies Conference, March 8-11, 2017, Houston, Tx.

Harris, F. (November 2016). “You’ve Got to See This”: An auto-ethnographic account of meaning-making through online community membership and (re)presentation among black girl runners. National Communication Association 102nd Annual Convention, Nov. 10-13, 2016, Philadelphia, Penn.  

Harris, F. & Coleman, L. (September 2016). Being Mary Jane (and a Black woman on television): A cultural analysis. Union for Democratic Communications 2016 Conference, Sept. 29-Oct.1, 2016, Detroit, Mich.

Harris, F. (October 2015), “Health communication and community in a digital age: A case study of #blackgirlsrun.” American Public Health Association 2015 Annual Meeting & Expo, Oct. 31 - Nov. 4, 2015, Chicago, Ill.

Harris, F. (Sept. 2015). “#Blackgirlsrun: Promoting Health and Wellness Outcomes Using Social Media.” Centennial Meeting of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Sept. 26, 2015, Atlanta, Ga.

Harris, F. (May 2015). “Hashtagging Health: Exploring Black women’s use of social media to promote health in online communities.” International Communication Association Annual Conference, May 21-25, 2015, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Harris, F. (May 2015), “Trending Topics: Social media’s roles in supply and demand, criticism, and engagement with Black women on television.” International Communication Association Annual Conference, May 21-25, 2015, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Harris, F. and Linder, C. (March 2015), “Countering Digital Marginality: Opportunities for Inclusion in Online Spaces.” 2015 NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education Annual Conference, March 21-24, 2015, New Orleans, La.

Harris, F. (October 2014), "Our Tweets Go Back Centuries: Contextualizing the emergence of the early Black press." American Journalism Historians Association Convention, October 9-11, 2014, St. Paul, Minn.

Harris, F. (September 2014), "Hashtag Intervention: A content analysis of Black Girls RUN!'s viral health movement." Southeastern Conference Symposium, "Prevention of Obesity: Overcoming a 21st Century Public Health Challenge,” September 21-23, 2014, Atlanta, Ga.

Harris, F., Carey, T., and Hicks, A. (March 2014), Hashtag Intervention: Why #BlackGirlsRun. 2014 South by Southwest Interactive Festival, Austin, Tx.

Harris, F., & Hou, S. (Nov. 2013), Black Girl Syndrome (BGS): An Introduction. Visual media project presented at Film Festival of the 141st Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association, Boston, Ma.

Popular Press

Harris, F. (March 2015). Your Race, Your Pace. Chronicle Vitae.  

Harris, F. (Dec. 2014). We Can’t Afford to Hold Our Breath. Chronicle Vitae.

Last updated 8/16/2021 10:50 AM