Media and Cultural Studies
6146 Vilas Hall
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 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 (and its second edition) with Amanda D. Lotz about television and television studies as a field of study. And I have co-edited seven collections, one (and its second edition) 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 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.
- Ph.D. Goldsmiths College, University of London, 2003
- M.A. Goldsmiths College, University of London, 2000
- M.A. University of Leeds, 1997
- B.A. University of British Columbia, 1996
- Hamel Family Distinguished Chair in Communication Arts
- Vilas Mid-Career Investigator’s Award, Graduate School, University of Wisconsin at Madison, 2016
- Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award, University of Wisconsin at Madison, 2015
- H. I. Romnes Faculty Fellowship, Graduate School, University of Wisconsin at Madison, 2011
- Television Entertainment selected as a Top Academic Title of the Year, Choice Magazine, 2008
- Faculty Research Grant, Fordham University, 2008
- Top Paper in Popular Communication Division, International Communication Association, 2007
- Unsung Hero Commendation, Undergraduate Teaching Experience Survey, University of California, Berkeley, 2005
- Top Paper in Popular Communication Division, International Communication Association, 2003
- Full Studentship/Grant, Arts and Humanities Research Board of the United Kingdom, 2000
- 2017. “Reviving Audience Studies.” Critical Studies in Media Communication, 34.1, 79-83, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15295036.2016.1266680.
- 2016. “Hidden: Studying Media Dislike and its Meaning.” International Journal of Cultural Studies, 19.4: 357-72, http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1367877915572223.
- 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, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10304312.2010.510593#preview.
- 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, http://mcs.sagepub.com/content/early/2014/07/08/0163443714536081.
- 2018. Television Studies (with Amanda Lotz; second edition. first edition 2012). London: Polity Press.
- 2017. Keywords in Media Studies. New York: New York University Press.
- 2017. Fandom: Identities and Communities in a Mediated Era (second edition. first edition 2007). New York: New York University Press.
- 2013. A Companion to Media Authorship. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
- 2013. Breaking Boundaries in Political Entertainment Studies. Los Angeles: Annenberg Press, USC.
- 2010. Show Sold Separately: Promos, Spoilers, and Other Media Paratexts. New York: New York University Press.
- 2009. Satire TV: Politics and Comedy in the Post-Network Era. New York: New York University Press.
- 2008. Television Entertainment. New York: Routledge.
- 2008. Battleground: The Media. Westport, CT: Greenwood.
- 2006. Watching with The Simpsons: Television, Parody, and Intertextuality. New York: Routledge.
- 2016. “The Politics of Paratextual Ephemeralia.” The Politics of Ephemeral Digital Media: Permanence and Obsolescence in Paratexts, Sara Pesce and Paolo Noto New York: Routledge, 32-44.
- 2014. “In the Game: The Creative and Textual Constraints of Licensed Videogames.” Wired TV, Denise Mann New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 53-71.
- 2013. “When is the Author?.” A Companion to Media Authorship, Jonathan Gray and Derek Johnson Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 88-111.
- 2013. “The Amazing Race: Global Othering.” How to Watch TV, Ethan Thompson and Jason Mittell New York: NYU Press, 94-102.
- 2011. “Fan Cultures and Fan Communities (with Kristina Busse).” The Handbook of Media Audiences, Virginia Nightingale Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 425-443.
- 2011. “From Whence Came Cartman: South Park’s Satiric Lineage.” Deconstructing South Park: Critical Examinations of Animated Transgression, Brian Cogan Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 3-16.
- 2010. “The Reviews Are In: TV Critics and the (Pre)Creation of Meaning.” Flow TV: Television in the Age of Media Convergence, Michael Kackman, Marnie Binfield, Matthew Thomas Payne, Allison Perlman, and Bryan Sebok New York: Routledge, 114-127.
- 2010. “Texts That Sell: The Culture in Promotional Culture.” Blowing Up the Brand: Critical Perspectives on Promotional Culture, Melissa Aronczyk and Devon Powers New York: Peter Lang, 307-326.
- 2009. “We’re Not in Portland Anymore: Lost and Its International Others.” Reading Lost, Roberta Pearson New York: I. B. Tauris, 221-239.
- 2009. “Throwing Out the Welcome Mat: Public Figures as Guests and Victims in TV Satire.” Satire TV: Politics and Comedy in the Post-Network Era, Jonathan Gray, Jeffrey P. Jones, and Ethan Thompson New York: New York University Press, 147-166.
- 2009. “Cinderella Burps: Gender, Performativity, and the Dating Show.” Reality TV: Remaking Television Culture (second ed.), Susan Murray and Laurie Ouellette New York: New York University Press, 260-277.
- 2007. “The News: You Gotta Love It.” Fandom: Identities and Communities in a Mediated Era, Jonathan Gray, Cornel Sandvoss, and C. Lee Harrington New York: New York University Press, 75-87.
- 2005. “Scanning the Replicant Text.” The Blade Runner Experience: The Legacy of a Science Fiction Classic, Will Brooker New York: Wallflower Press, 111-123.
- 2016. “Text To Be Confirmed,” Paratextual Media and Memory Symposium, University of Warwick, Warwick, UK, July 04, 2016.
- 2016. “Swipe for More: Satire, Play, and Citizenship on the Move,” Body, Lived Space, and Mobile Media, Penn Wharton China Center, Beijing, China, June 18, 2016.
- 2014. “Cheap, Quick, Crude, and Important: Limited Animation, Satire, and Kids,” Full or Limited? The “Quality” of Animation on TV, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris, France, November 06, 2014.
- 2013. “Paratextual Politics and Power,” Media Mutations — Ephemeral Media: Time, Persistence and Transience in Contemporary Screen Culture, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy, May 20, 2013.
- 2012. “Telling Time: Serial Television’s Experiences of Time,” Film and History Association of Australia and New Zealand, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia, December 04, 2012.
- 2009. “Malawian Media Circulation and Consumption,” MIT Communications Forum, MIT, Cambridge, MA, April 23, 2009.
- 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 950 – Textuality: Beyond the Screen
- CA 950 – Audiences, Voice, and Identity
- CA 950 – Cultural Theory