Jonathan Gray

Jonathan Gray's picture
  • Professor
  • Media and Cultural Studies
Expertise and Activities: 

My work examines how media entertainment and its audiences interact, and examines how and where value and meaning are created. More specifically, my research projects fall into one or more of the following areas: (1) textual theory, criticism, and analysis, (2) contemporary television studies, (3) new media extensions of and convergence with television and film, (4) satire, comedy, parody, and political entertainment, (5) international media consumption, and (6) qualitative audience studies, fandom, and anti-fandom.

My first book, Watching with The Simpsons: Television, Parody, and Intertextuality, used The Simpsons to examine how audiences consume with a whole barrage of other images and structures learned from other items of media. This interest in how meaning and impact are constructed outside of the film or show itself extended to my latest book, Show Sold Separately: Promos, Spoilers, and Other Media Paratexts, about the vast universe of paratextual or "peripheral" items that surround all films and shows - such as trailers, bonus materials, licensed games, fan creations, reviews, and so forth. My other single-authored book, Television Entertainment, introduces the study of television through various thematic lenses, and grew out of my continuing interest in how television is changing as a textual, industrial, and experiential entity. I also wrote Television Studies with Amanda D. Lotz about television and television studies as a field of study. And I have co-edited six collections, one about fandom, another a two-volume encyclopedia of hot-button issues in the study of media, the third about the recent wave of satirical programming on television (complemented by a special edition of a journal, later turned into an e-book, Breaking Boundaries in Political Entertainment Studies (edited with Dannagal G. Young)), one about media authorship, and the most recent a collection of 65 short essays defining keywords in media studies. I co-edited Popular Communication: The International Journal of Media and Culture for five years, am now Chief Editor of The International Journal of Cultural Studies, and sit on the editorial boards of Critical Studies in Media Communication, Television and New Media, Communication and the Public, Communication, Culture, and Critique, and Transformative Works and Cultures, was Chair of the Popular Communication Division of the International Communication Association, and am editor, with Aswin Punathambekar and Adrienne Shaw, of NYU Press' Critical Cultural Communication series.

I'm currently working on a project about anti-fans, media dislike, hatred, and disgust; another project on how television and film have interacted; and I remain interested in global media studies. Indeed, a transnational entity myself, having grown up in five countries, I have always been fascinated by how culture moves across borders. I'm also honored to sit on the Board of Jurors for the Peabody Awards, and to be a Fellow for the Peabody Media Center.


  • 2017. "Reviving Audience Studies." Critical Studies in Media Communication , 34.1, 79-83 , .
  • 2016. "Hidden: Studying Media Dislike and its Meaning." International Journal of Cultural Studies , 19.4: 357-72 , .
  • 2011. "Mobility Through Piracy, Or How Steven Seagal Got to Malawi." Popular Communication , 9.2: 99-113 .
  • 2010. "Entertainment Studies and Media/Cultural/Communication/Etc. Studies." Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies , 24.6: 811-17 , .
  • 2008. "Television Pre-Views and the Meaning of Hype." International Journal of Cultural Studies , 11.1: 33-49 .
  • 2007. "Imagining America: The Simpsons Go Global." Popular Communication , 5.2: 129-48 .
  • 2005. "Television Teaching: Parody, The Simpsons, and Media Literacy Education." Critical Studies in Media Communication , 22.3: 223-38 .
  • 2003. "New Audiences, New Textualities: Anti-Fans and Non-Fans." International Journal of Cultural Studies , 6.1: 64-81 .
  • "Scales of Cultural Influence: Malawian Consumption of Foreign Media." Media, Culture and Society , 36.7: 982-997 , .


  • CA 250 - Survey of Contemporary Media
  • CA 451 - Television Criticism
  • CA 448 - Media and National Identity
  • CA 458 - Global Media Cultures
  • CA 540 - Television Comedy
  • CA 613 - Contemporary Primetime Serials
  • CA 662 - Media and Cultural Theory
  • CA 950 - Textuality: Beyond the Screen
  • CA 950 - Audiences, Voice, and Identity
Curriculum Vitae: