This area of research finds its roots in the study of the political economy of communication and media, as well as critical and cultural studies.

It examines the laws, policies, institutions and infrastructures that undergird media industries. Global media and economic systems have become increasingly complex in recent years due to the expansion of the internet, digital technologies, and globalization. It explores the legal and economic infrastructure of media industries and their influence on freedom of expression, privacy, human rights, creative labor, the production of culture, and other areas.

Recent research by our faculty has addressed:

  • Privacy and surveillance online and in mobile technologies
  • The changing meaning of surveillance and privacy
  • How Jamaican popular music challenges the colonial underpinnings of copyright law
  • Pirate radio
  • The ethical and legal implications of child-targeted advertising
  • Consumer culture and branding 

The media industry, laws and policies news

January 2021: Dr. Devon Powers’ book On trend: The business of forecasting the future is selected as one of the Choice Outstanding Academic Titles for 2020.

February 2020: Dr. Brian Creech publishes "Fake news and the discursive construction of technology companies' social power," in the journal Media, Culture, & Society.

5/1/19: M&C doctoral student Robert McMahon to present paper "The language of surveillance capitalism: A critical discourse analysis of the data broker industry" at the Partnership for Progress on the Digital Divide Conference in Washington DC.

4/15/19: Dr. Larisa Mann presents lecture “Rude Citizenship: Jamaican Popular Music, Copyright, and Colonial Power” at the Race + IP Conference, NYU Law School

4/1/19: Dr. Larisa Mann presents “Innovating In and Out of Time: Sound Systems’ Challenges to Citizenship” at the Global Reggae Conference, University of the West Indies, Kingston JA

12/1/18: Dr. Larisa Mann gives keynote speech at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt “Rude Citizenship: Jamaican popular Music Challenges to Copyrighted Culture” for their “100 Years of Copyright” event. 

9/1/18: Dr. Devon Powers publishes article “Thinking in trends: the rise of trend forecasting in the United States” in the Journal of Historical Research in Marketing.

9/1/18: Dr. Jan Fernback publishes article “Academic/digital work: ICTs, knowledge capital, and the question of educational quality” in Triple-C.


Geoffrey Baym, Jessica Castonguay, Erin CoyleJan Fernback, Larisa Mann, Wazhmah Osman, Devon Powers, Adrienne Shaw 

Typical courses offered:

  • Emerging media and communication
  • Communication institutions
  • Historical methods