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 Armond   Towns
Armond Towns
Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Communication Studies

Armond R. Towns earned his Ph.D. in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with an emphasis in Black Studies, media philosophy, communication history, and British cultural studies. He is increasingly interested in Western “man’s” overrepresentation as the human in both science and philosophy and alternative genres of the human outside Western man’s vantage point. This leads Professor Towns to ask questions about race, gender, sexuality, class, time, and space.

Grants and Fellowships

Interdisciplinary Research Incubator for the Study of (In)Equality Faculty Fellow, University of Denver, 2015

John Robert Bittner Fund in Literature, Popular Media, and Journalism, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2013


Champion Change: Outstanding Faculty Advocate, University of Denver, 2017

Student Initiative Award, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2013


Invited Seminar Instructor: “Becoming Human: Anti-Racist Resistance in Digital and Embodied Publics,” with Dana Cloud, to be presented at the Rhetoric Society of America Summer Institute at Indiana University, Bloomington, IN. 2019.

Invited Panelist: "#Commssowhite but we knew that already: Reflections, Thoughts, and Strategies," to be presented a National Communication Association, Salt Lake City, UT. 2018.

Invited Panelist: “New Materialities, New Mobilities: Retheorizing Place through Embodied and Experiential Differences,” to be presented at National Communication Association, Salt Lake City, UT. 2018.

Invited Panelist: "The (Black) Elephant in the Room: McLuhan and the Racial," Mary McLuhans: Celebrating the UNESCO Designation, Toronto, ON. 2018.

Invited Seminar Instructor: “What’s this ‘Ally’ in Allyship?” The Allyship Summit, The University of Denver, Denver, CO. 2018.

Invited Panelist: “Campus Rebellions and Plantation Politics,”University of Denver, Diversity Summit Conference, Denver, CO. 2018.

Invited Panelist: “The Smithsonian Channel’s The Lost Tapes: Malcolm X,” History Colorado Center, Denver, CO. 2018.

Presenter: “Exchanging Debt for Dissent: Race, Political Economy, and the Russell Simmons Rush Card,” with Carolyn Hardin at the American Studies Association, Chicago, IL. 2017.

Invited Panelist: “Black ‘Matter’ Lives,” Marshall McLuhan Centre, Monday Night Seminar, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON. 2017.

Presenter: “Mediating the Death of God: Religion, Science, Race, and the Printing Press,” Speaking or Not Speaking of God: An Interdisciplinary Conference, University of Denver, Denver, CO. 2017.

Speaker: “All the Things You Could Do with Media Studies if Frantz Fanon Was Your Father!” Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Faculty Lecture Series, University of Denver, Denver, CO. 2017.

Invited Panelist: “The Chain of Perception in Black America,” Sturm Hall Art Exhibit, Denver, CO. 2017.

Invited Panelist: “Voice, Activism, & Democracy,” Harriet Elliot Lecture Series, Greensboro, NC. 2017.

Presenter: “Commemorating Doreen Massey: Mapping a Scholar’s Influence,” National Communication Association, Philadelphia, PA. 2016.

Presenter: “What’s Different about Differentiality: The Future of Theories of Difference,” National Communication Association, Philadelphia, PA. 2016.

Presenter: “Study Abroad: Privilege, Power and Paradigm Shifts,” University of Denver, Internationalization Conference, Denver, CO. 2016.

Invited Panelist: “Making #BlackLivesMatter,” University of Denver, Diversity Summit, Denver, CO. 2016.

Presenter: “What’s ‘New’ about the New Black Panther Party? The Limits of Reactionality,” National Communication Association, Las Vegas, NV. 2015.

Presenter: “‘Gentrified Mobility’: Protecting and Protected by Whiteness,” National Communication Association, Las Vegas, NV. 2015.

Presenter: “A ‘New’ South Central: LA Gang Tours and Racial Violence,” American Studies Association, Toronto, ON. 2015.

Presenter: “Rebel Moves: LA Gang Tours and the Challenge to White Los Angeles,” Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora Conference, Charleston, SC. 2015.

Presenter: “Mobility as a Critical/Cultural Concept,” National Communication Association, Chicago. 2014.

Presenter: “‘Tour Bus as Media’: Mobile Technologies and Blackness on LA Gang Tours,” National Communication Association, Chicago. 2014.

Respondent: “Faculty Roundtable,” Equality Equals… Conference, Chapel Hill, NC. 2013.

Presenter: “Touring Blackness (and Maybe Brownness If There’s Enough Time),” National Communication Association, Washington, DC. 2013.


Technological Darwinism: The Black Body as Medium. Under contract with the University of California Press.


Towns, A.R. (2020). "Toward a Black Media Philosophy," Cultural Studies, 34.5.

Towns, A. R. (2019). “(Dark) Pure War: Virilio, the Cinematic, and the Racial,” Media Theory, 3.1.

Towns, A. R. (2019). “The (Black) Elephant in the Room: McLuhan and the Racial,” The Canadian Journal of Communication, 44.4.

Richter-Hardin, C. & Towns, A. R. (2019). “Plastic Empowerment: Financial Literacy and Black Economic Life,” American Quarterly, 71.4.

“Black ‘Matter’ Lives,” Women’s Studies in Communication, 41.4. 2018.

“The ‘Lumpenproletariats’ Redemption’: Black Radical Potentiality and LA Gang Tours,” Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture and Society, 19(1), 39-58. 2017.

“Geographies of Pain: #SayHerName and the Fear of Black Women’s Mobility,” Women’s Studies in Communication, 39: 2 2016. (Lead Article).

“Ceasing Fire and Seizing Time: LA Gang Tours and the White Control of Mobility,” with coauthor Sarah Sharma, Transfers: Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies, 6(1), 26-44. 2016.

“Rebels of the Underground: Media, Orality, and the Routes of Black Emancipation,” Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, 13(2), 184-197. 2016.

That Camera Won’t Save You! The Spectacular Consumption of Police Violence,” Present Tense: A Journal of Rhetoric in Society, 5(2), 2015.

“The (Racial) Biases of Communication: Rethinking Media and Blackness,” Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation and Culture, 21(5), 474-488. 2015.


“The Racial Violence(s) of Inclusion: Time, Space, and the Afterlife of the Plantation,” Campus Rebellion and Plantation Politics, SUNY University Press, 2018.

“‘The Street is the Message’: Racial Violence and the White Control of Mobility,” The Routledge Urban Media Companion, Routledge, 2018.


“Book Review of Break Beats in the Bronx: Rediscovering Hip-Hop’s Early Years,” Ethnic and Racial Studies, 41(13), 2018.

“Banking Against (Black) Capitalism: On The Color of Money,” The Los Angeles Review of Books, with Carey Hardin, 2018.!

“Book Review of When the Devil Knocks: The Congo Tradition in Twentieth Century Panama,” The Western Journal of Black Studies, 39: 4, 334-335. 2015.

Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 2015
Communication Studies
M.A., University of North Carolina at Greensboro 2008
Communication Studies
B.A., University of North Carolina at Greensboro 2004
Media Studies
Contact Information
402F Weinstein Hall
(804) 287-6698
Areas of Expertise
Communications and media theory
Black studies
Decolonial theory
Cultural studies
Feminist geographies
Philosophy of communication
Science and philosophy of race