Media influence our understanding of, and attitudes toward, others. This research area examines how different groups around the world, and particularly marginalized groups, are presented through the media and how this representation shapes identities, attitudes, and social and political power relations. It explores how domestic and international processes of media production, distribution, exhibition and reception influence these trends and how they intersect with the cultural production of identity.

Recent research by our faculty has addressed:

  • How processes of globalization intersect with gender, race, class, ethnicity and sexuality
  • Representations of gender, race, and sexuality in video games
  • Representations of gender and sexuality in the American and global mass media
  • Representations of gender and sexuality by global media industries
  • The capacity of music to decolonize identity among oppressed people 

Media, identity and representation news

January 2021: M&C alum Diantha Vliet starts new position as lecturer in the Department of Media and Cultural Studies at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.November 2020: M&C doctoral student Diantha Vliet successfully defends her dissertation “Postcolonial Pete: Race, media, and memory in the politics of Dutch identity.”

November 2020: M&C doctoral student Kelly Ryan successfully defends her dissertation “Transjacking television: Transgender representation on American narrative television from 2004-2014.”

October 2020: Dr. Brian Creech’s article "Exploring the politics of visibility: Technology, digital representation, and the mediated workings of power" was awarded the 2020 Mouton d'Or Article of the Year prize from the journal Semiotica, the official journal of the International Association for Semiotic Studies.

October 2020: Dr. Brian Creech co-authors “Interrogating LeftTube: Contrapoints and the possibilities of critical media praxis on YouTube” in the journal Television & New Media.

October 2020: M&C doctoral student Aiden Kosciesza presents his paper, "Turning points in identity formation for Japanese media fans," at the 2020 Global Fusion conference.

October 2020: M&C doctoral student Aiden Kosciesza presents his paper, "'It’s do or die': Cultural labor, competitive reality TV, and the reproduction of neoliberal capitalism" at the 2020 conference of the New York State Communication Association.

August 2020: Dr. Adrienne Shaw co-authors “Beyond texts: Using queer readings to document LGBTQ game content” in the journal First Monday.

10/7/19: Dr. Adrienne Shaw speaks at Bradley University in an event co-sponsored by the Interactive Media Department and the Common Ground (LGBTQ+) student organization.

9/25/19: Dr. Adrienne Shaw and colleagues publish an annotated bibliography on Feminist and Queer Game Studies as part of Oxford bibliographies in communication.

8/28/19: M&C doctoral student Diantha Vliet publishes article “Defending Black Pete: Strategies of justification and the preservation of tradition in Dutch news discourse" in the journal Critical Studies in Media Communication.

8/26/19: Dr. David Mindich's third book and first textbook, The Mediated World: A New Approach to Mass Communication and Culture, published by Rowan & Littlefield.

8/21/19: M&C doctoral student Joseph Giomboni’s paper ““Constructing the ideal public relations employee: Ambiguity and identity in the digital economy" wins Top Student Paper award in the Public Relations Division of NCA. Joe will present his paper and receive the award at the National Communication Association's 105th Annual Convention in November 2019.

4/15/19: Dr. Adrienne Shaw and doctoral student Hocheol Yang publish article "Counting Queerness in Games: Trends in LGBTQ Digital Game Representation, 1985-2005" in the International Journal of Communication

4/15/19: Dr. Carolyn Kitch and an editorial team organize a suffrage-themed special issue of American Journalism 

4/15/19: Dr. Adrienne Shaw publishes book chapter "Leisure Suit Larry and LGBTQ representation" in the edited anthology How to Play Video Games from NYU Press.

4/15/19: Dr. Adrienne Shaw publishes the Rainbow Arcade Catalog. The catalog was published by winterwork in Berlin as part of the exhibit at the Schwules Museum she co-curated, and was just released to Kickstarter backers.

4/4/19: Doctoral student Melissa Meade successfully defends her dissertation "In the Shadow of 'King Coal': Memory, Media, Identity, and Culture in the Post-Industrial Pennsylvania Anthracite Region."

3/28/19: Doctoral student Urszula Pruchniewska successfully defends her dissertation "Everyday Feminism in the Digital Era: Gender, the Fourth Wave, and Social Media Affordances."

3/15/19: Dr. Carolyn Kitch’s co-edited book, Women’s Suffrage and the Media, to be published by the University of Illinois Press in 2020.

9/15/18: Dr. Carolyn Kitch receives the Guido H. Stempel III Award for Journalism and Mass Communication Research, given annually by the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, Ohio University. 


Brian Creech, Fabienne Darling-WolfAndrew Iliadis, Carolyn Kitch, Marc Lamont Hill, Larisa Mann, David MindichWazhmah Osman, Clemencia Rodríguez, Soomin Seo, Adrienne Shaw

Typical courses offered

  • Media, identity and representation
  • Communication institutions
  • Critical analysis of mass media
  • Visual communication
  • Critical textual analysis
  • Historical methods
  • Media ethnography
  • Media and social memory