Mia Fischer PhD

Picture of Mia Fischer
Associate Professor • Affiliate Faculty Women and Gender Studies program • LGBTQ+ Faculty Assembly Committee
Department of Communication

Mailing Address:
Department of Communication
Campus Box 176
P.O. Box 173364
Denver, CO 80217-3364

Physical Location:
1201 Larimer Street
3rd Floor, Suite 3313
Denver, CO 80204


On Sabbatical for Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 Semesters.

Expertise Areas: critical media, queer, transgender, sports, and surveillance studies.

PhD University of Minnesota, 2016
MA College of Charleston, 2010
BA University of Mannheim, 2008

title="Bio" style="regular" Mia Fischer (she/her) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Colorado Denver. Working at the intersections of critical media, sports, queer, trans and surveillance studies, her work has appeared in various academic journals, including Feminist Media Studies, Communication, Culture & Critique, Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, Intelligence and National Security, Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, Communication & Sport among other venues. Her book, Terrorizing Gender: Transgender Visibility and the Surveillance Practices of the U.S. Security State (University of Nebraska Press, 2019) is the winner of the National Communication Association's 2020 Diamond Anniversary Book Award. The book argues that the heightened visibility of transgender people in national discourse has occasioned a conservative backlash characterized by the increased surveillance of trans people by the security state, evident in debates over “bathroom” laws, the trans military ban, and the rescission of federal protections for transgender students and workers. Terrorizing Gender therefore concludes that the current moment of trans visibility constitutes a contingent cultural and national belonging, given the gendered and racialized violence that the state continues to enact against trans communities, particularly those of color. Her larger teaching and research interests revolve around questions of social justice, specifically how mediated visibilities of marginalized communities impact the material realities of those communities, principally in terms of their access to national belonging and U.S. citizenship. Between 2017-2021, Dr. Fischer co-led Denver Pen Pal Collaborative (DPPC), a collaborative prison-pen-pal project that connects with folks all across the country through various forms of artistic expression as a means of empowering those who are subject to mass incarceration. At CU Denver, Dr. Fischer's service has largely focused on promoting a welcoming and inclusive climate for LGBTQ+ students, faculty, and staff. She also selectively consults on DEI implementation and LGBTQ+ inclusive teaching- and workplace practices. Questions and comments are welcome.

Fischer, M. (2023) “Protecting Women’s Sports? Anti-Trans Youth Sports Bills and White Supremacy.” Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, 20(4), 397-415. https://doi.org/10.1080/14791420.2023.2267646

Fischer, M. (2022) “‘Doom and Groom’: Rightwing Media and the Rise of Anti-Trans Legislation.” Flow: A Critical Forum on Media and Culture, 29(3).  https://www.flowjournal.org/2022/12/doom-and-groom/

Bean, H. & Fischer, M. (2021). "Queering intelligence studies." Intelligence and National Security, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/02684527.2021.1893078  

McClearen, J. & Fischer, M. (2021). "Maya Moore, Black Lives Matter, and the Visibility of Athlete Activism." The Velvet Light Trap 87, 64-68. https://www.muse.jhu.edu/article/786162

Fischer, M. & Mohrman, K. (2020). "Multicultural integration in Germany: Race, Religion, and the Mesut Özil Controversy." Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, Online First, 1-19.  https://doi.org/10.1080/17513057.2020.1782453

Fischer, M. & McClearen, J. (2020). “Transgender Athletes and the Queer Art of Athletic Failure.” Communication & Sport 8(2),147-167. doi:10.1177/2167479518823207

Fischer, M. (2019). Terrorizing Gender: Transgender Visbility and the Surveillance Practices of the U.S. Security State. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.

Fischer, M. (2019). "Piss(ed): The Biopolitics of the Bathroom." Communication, Culture, & Critique 12(3), 397–415.

Fischer, M., Slater, S., McDonald C., Allen, J. (2018). "Transgender Visibility, Abolitionism, and Resistive Organizing in the Age of Trump: A Conversation with CeCe McDonald and Joshua Allen." QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking (5)3, 181–203.

Fischer, M. (2018). “The Cistakes of Allyship.” Women & Language, 41(1), 159-161.

Fischer, M. (2017). "'Aktiv, Attraktiv, Anders'? The Bundeswehr's Deployment of German Athletes as Sports Soldiers" in M. L. Butterworth (Ed.), Sport and Militarism: Contemporary Global Perspectives. New York: Routledge.

Fischer, M. (2017). "Trans Responses to Adichie: Challenging Cis Privilege in Popular Feminism." Feminist Media Studies. Online first: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14680777.2017.1350520

Fischer, M. & Mohrman, K. (2016) Black Deaths Matter? Sousveillance and the Invisibility of Black Life. Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology, No. 10.doi:10.7264/N3F47MDV

Fischer, M. (2016). "#Free_CeCe: The Material Convergence of Social Media Activism." Feminist Media Studies 16(5), 755-771. https://doi.org/10.1080/14680777.2016.1140668

Fischer, M. (2016). "Contingent Belonging: Chelsea Manning, Transpatriotism, and Iterations of Empire.Sexualities: Studies in Culture and Society, 19(5–6), 567–586.

Fischer, M. (2016). "Under the Ban-Optic Gaze: Chelsea Manning and the State's Surveillance of Transgender Bodies" in E. van der Meulen & R. Heynen (Eds.), Expanding the Gaze: Gender and the Politics of Surveillance, 185-209Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Fischer, M. (2014). "Commemorating 9/11 NFL-Style: Insights into America’s Culture of Militarism.Journal of Sport & Social Issues, 38(3), 199-221. doi:10.1177/0193723513515889

COMM 1021 Intro to Media Studies


COMM 1051 Intro to Popular Culture

COMM 3650 Media and Society

COMM 4000/5000 Communication and Sport

COMM 4660/5560 Queer Media Studies

COMM 5710/6710 Intro to Critical Media Studies

COMM 4710/6710 #BlackLivesMatter

COMM 6711 New Trends in Media Studies