Andre Cavalcante headshot

André Cavalcante

Associate Professor of Media Studies and WGS

Department of Media Studies
225 Wilson Hall
PO Box 400866
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4866


Women, Gender & Sexuality
201 Levering Hall
PO Box 400172
Charlottesville, VA 22904

Office Hours: Spring 2024: Wednesdays, 3:30-6:00pm in 225 Wilson Hall, and by appointment

Andre Cavalcante is an associate professor with a dual appointment in the departments of Media Studies and Women, Gender, and Sexuality. Dr. Cavalcante's research explores lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) issues in media.  He also specializes in audience research and the qualitative study of media and everyday life.

His first book Struggling for Ordinary: Media and Transgender Belonging in Everyday Life (NYU Press) explores how media and technology influence the everyday life experiences of transgender individuals and communities. Informed by in-depth interviews and three years of ethnographic work, it examines the toll that media take on this population along with their resilience in the face of disempowerment. The book uses everyday circumstances to show how media and technology operate as a medium through which transgender individuals are able to cultivate an understanding of their identities, build inhabitable worlds, and achieve the routine affordances of everyday life from which they are often excluded. 

His current book project Life in Purple: Young, Queer, and Connected in the American South extends his research program focusing on the ways media influences the everyday possibilities of LGBTQ individuals and communities. It investigates how emerging media and technology rearticulate the meaning of LGBTQ belonging, community, and politics for young LGBTQ people living in the “purple” states of Virginia and North Carolina, which are on the vanguard of the culture wars and offer a mixed bag of possibilities for LGBTQ college-aged people. 

Dr. Cavalcante’s work has appeared in the journals Television & New MediaCritical Studies in Media Communication, Feminist Media Studies, Communication, Culture and Critique, and in the anthologies Watching While Black: Centering the Television of Black Audiences and Reality Television: Oddities of Culture. He received his PhD from the University of Michigan and his MA and BS from New York University.

Struggling for Ordinary: Media and Transgender Belonging in Everyday Life available at