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I research race/ethnicity, gender, and sexuality in pop culture, focusing on masculinity and Jewish identity. For example, think of Drake, Zac Efron, or Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer's "masculine" comedy in Broad City

First Book Project

Queer Glamor: Masculinity, Racial Minstrelsy, & Millennial Jewish Stardom

Under contract with New York University Press.

Upcoming Book Projects

Jews & News Satire: Embodying Candor in the Age of Fake News

Passing Fancies: Chimeric Liberation in U.S. Passing Films

Academic Articles & Conference Panels

Please see CV.

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  • Gender Studies

    • Intro to Gender Studies

    • Masculinity, Race & Nation

    • Race, Gender & Sexuality in Popular Media

    • Racial & Gender "Passing" Onscreen

    • TV's New Jews: Race, Gender & Sexuality

  • Jewish Studies​

    • Brazil to Brooklyn: Jewish Cultures of the Americas

    • TV's New Jews: Race, Gender & Sexuality​

    • Racial & Gender "Passing" Onscreen

  • Film & Media Studies

    • Intro to Film & Media Studies​

    • TV News Satire

    • TV's New Jews: Race, Gender & Sexuality​

    • Racial & Gender "Passing" Onscreen

Student Films: My students create "oppositional media" to apply class concepts, challenge inequality, and join today's web media conversation. Their films are clever, fun, and certified click-worthy:

Imitation of White: Departing from "passing" films like Imitation of  Life and White Chicks, this group created a racial passing tale that never villainizes its passing  protagonist, nor credits any white saviors with her success.

Fistful of Dining Dollars: This group researched the Western genre, then flipped its conventions with a more racially diverse ensemble, an agentic woman, and a resolution that defuses macho violence. 

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In 2013, I co-founded a holistic sex-ed and rape-prevention program at the Ohio State University with my colleague MacRorie Dean. The program now serves 2,000 students per year in Greek chapters, first-year orientations, and classrooms. This program destigmatizes sex and makes sex-ed a great time (yes, really!) by using the feminist pedagogy of laughter. See my TEDx Talk for more.

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You Be You! The Kid's Guide to Gender, Sexuality & Family

Order the book.

School Library Journal: "This inclusive and respectful guide should be part of all curricula about family, gender and sexuality."

Publisher's weekly: "Writing in warm, assuring prose...Branfman urges readers to think about identity as ever-evolving."

25 translated editions include Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, and Russian.

I wrote "You Be You!" to make feminist education more accessible beyond the classroom.  This illustrated children's book makes gender identity, sexual orientation and family diversity easy to explain for ages 7 and up. It also covers privilege, discrimination, intersectionality, and allyship.

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