Melissa R. Meade
Department: Media & Communication
Annenberg Hall, Room 344


Melissa Meade is a PhD candidate in Media and Communication at Temple University who is engaged in dissertation fieldwork in the Anthracite Coal Region of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Her dissertation research, “In the Shadow of ‘King Coal,’” explores the restructuring of Pennsylvania’s de-industrialized Anthracite Coal Region—a restructuring that involves the region’s scalar and spatial positioning, mediated imaginaries of the community, ethnic relations, and issues of capital accumulation and economic abandonment. It focuses on the region’s cultural processes, which are intensely local but also linked to wider circulations of capital and media: mediated representations of “Appalachia,” the out-migration of youth and the in-migration of new residents, and the social memory of mining labor and mine-related violence. Meade’s project incorporates autoethnographic writing, with more traditional ethnographic approaches to communication research, since she hails from the Anthracite Coal Region and grew up among family who labored in the local mines.






Intercultural Communication (Sociolinguistics and Educational Linguistics)

University of Pennsylvania

Graduate Certificate

Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies

University of Pennsylvania

Postgraduate Diploma

Intercultural Studies

University of the Basque Country, Donostia, Spain


Spanish and English, minor in Women’s Studies

Albright College

<>Courses Taught




MSP 3421

Technology and Culture


MSP 821

Future of Your TV


FMA 1172

Film and Video Analysis


JRN 1101

Elements of Writing


JRN 1114

Design for Journalists (TA, 4 classes)


STRC 2552

Introduction to Public Relations (TA, 1 class)


MSP 821

Future of Your TV (TA, 2 classes)


MSP 1021

Media and Society (TA, 1 class)



—Meade, Melissa R. In the Shadow of the Coal Breaker: Cultural Extraction and Digital Dialogical Communication in the Anthracite Coal Mining Region. Cultural Studies. (Accepted, anticipated publication date December 2016.)

—Meade, Melissa R. (First author). Existential and Historical Coherence in Political Campaign Speech. Discourse and Communication, with Jessica Robles, second author. (Accepted.)

—Meade, Melissa R. Critical ethnography. In J. Matthes, C. Davis, & R. Potter (Eds.) International Encyclopedia of Communication Research Methods. (2015). New York, NY: Wiley-Blackwell & the International Communication Association. (In press.)

—Meade, Melissa. Latrinalia in a Room of One’s Own: Language, Gender, and Place. In T. Lovata & E. Olton (Eds). The Materiality of Graffiti: Studying and Understanding Graffiti from Prehistory to the 21st century. (2015.) Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press.

—Meade, Melissa. R. Violence, Oppression, and Double Standards in Three Colombian Films. Cine J Cinema Journal. (2011.)

—Meade, Melissa. “When Words Won’t Come,” Featured essay on NPR-affiliated WHYY.

<>Lectures / Conferences



(Invited lecture). Dialogical Communication and Digital Citizenship in the Anthracite Coal Region of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Abandoned Mine Reclamation Conference. Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PA.

June 2016

In the Shadow of the Coal Breaker: Place and Landscape in the Anthracite Coal Mining Region. National Communication Association, Ethnography Division, Las Vegas, NV. Top competitive paper in Ethnography and Donald P. Cushman Memorial Award—awarded to top-ranked student-authored paper across the entire National Communication Association.

November 2015

Ethnographic Encounters, Cultural Traces, Media Producers, and Everyday Extractivisms in the Anthracite Coal Region of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Global Fusion, Texas A&M, College Station, TX.

October 2015

Affect and Extraction in the Anthracite Coal Region of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Affect Theory Conference: Worldings, Tensions, Futures. Millersville University’s Ware Center, Lancaster, PA.

October 2015

(Invited panelist). Types and Levels of Collaboration of Digital Humanities Projects: Making the Most out of the Digital Humanities Summer Institute. Hamilton College, Institute for Liberal Arts Digital Scholarship, Clinton, NY.

August 2015

Mine Lands, Mine Bodies, Mine Memories in the Anthracite Coal Region. International Communication Association, Environmental Communication Division, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

May 2015

(Invited panelist, declined). Present Constructions of Our Archival Pasts: Cultural Memories of Human Suffering. National Communication Association, Communication as Social Construction Division, Chicago, IL.

November 2014

Latrinalia: Writing Gender in a University Restroom. International Communication Association, Language and Social Interaction Division, Seattle, WA.

May 2014

Conflict, History, and the Social Memory of Ethnicized Labor in the Anthracite Coal Region. International Communication Association, History Division Pre-Conference, “Making Sense of History and Memory.” Seattle, WA.

May 2014

Ethnic Relations in the Shadow of “King Coal.” American Anthropological Association, Visual Ethnographies and Defined Experiences. Chicago, IL.

November 2013

Collective Memory, Identity, and Place: Remembering U.S. Industry. National Communication Association, American Studies. Washington, DC.

November 2013

Communication and Mediations in the Shadow of “King Coal.” Global Fusion Conference, Carbondale, IL.

October 2013

Complementarity of Traditional Ethnographic Methods with Methods of Discourse Analysis in the Anthracite Coal Region. Southern States Communication Association, Ethnography Division. Louisville, KY and the Temple University Competitive Graduate Research Forum. Top three paper award.

April 2013

War and Peace Journalism: Coverage of the 11-M Train Bombings in Spain’s El País. International Communication Association, Global Communication and Social Change Division. Phoenix, AZ.

May 2012

Historical and Existential Coherence in Two Campaign Advertisements. International Communication Association, Language and Social Interaction Division. Phoenix, AZ.

May 2012

Mourning Industrial Labor: Global Landscapes of Economic Abandonment. Critical Theories: Villanova University’s 17th Annual Conference in Philosophy. Villanova University, Villanova, PA. (Co-authored).

March 2012

Immigrant Voices in the Public Sphere: A Case Study. National Communication Association. La Raza Division. New Orleans, LA.

November 2011

A Counterpublic in the Time of the Arizona Law. Cornell University. Youth, Identities, and Transnational Flows. Ithaca, NY.

March 2011

Beautiful Penn Wimmin’ [sic] Writing in a Room of Their Own. University of Notre Dame. Gender, Place, and Space Conference. South Bend, IN.

March 2010

<>Additional Projects



Dates Active

Anthracite Coal Region of Northeastern Pennsylvania

PUBLIC PROJECT: Director, Founder & Editor. The Anthracite Coal Region of Northeastern Pennsylvania is an interactive documentary, interpretive, and archival project representing the extensive social effects and cultural transformations of the Appalachian Region of Northeastern Pennsylvania containing the only reserves of United States’ anthracite coal—through 19-century industrialization, the decline of the coal industry in the middle of the 20th century, and the upheavals of de-industrialization that followed. While research has been done on the region’s industrial significance and on past individual events and tragedies, this project offers new directions in considering how those pasts are interpreted in the present, how coal-related infrastructure relates to the present of the region, and what the extractive industry’s social consequences have been to the region and its residents. The region’s socially poignant events (child labor, environmental degradation and poverty) and exploitation shot through with instances of land subsidence, mining accidents, significant mafia activity and strike-breaking alongside regular community life have not been the focus of official histories. The Anthracite Coal Region coalesces artifacts, books, commentary, ethnographic vignettes, interviews, letters, maps, oral histories, photographs and writings with citizen journalism, user-curated content, and user-generated content. The project continues the momentum of the pilot project, begun in December 2013 as a Facebook page, and expanding onto other platforms, offering a rich digital resource for community engagement, future research, general information and teaching. Through work with an expanding project team, this community engagement project is moving onto another digital platform on which offline and social media engagements can be preserved and utilized by the community.


In the Shadow of “King Coal”: Anthracite Sunset

CREATIVE WORK: Center for Public Interest Journalism’s Year-End Photo Night. “In the Shadow of ‘King Coal’: Anthracite Sunset.” The Pen and Pencil Club. Philadelphia, PA. (curated by David Maialetti, Photojournalist, Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA).

January 2015

Shenandoah, PA

Shenandoah, PA. (Short film. 10 min). Pennsylvania Communication Association. Westminster College. New Wilmington, PA.

September 2010–October 2011



Type of Award


Donald P. Cushman Memorial Award

Awarded to top-ranked student-authored paper across the entire National Communication Association


Top Competitive Paper in Ethnography

National Communication Association


John T. Warren Top-Student Paper in Ethnography

National Communication Association, Ethnography Division


University Fellow

Awarded to nominated Temple students who demonstrate outstanding potential for success in their chosen fields


Center for the Humanities at Temple (CHAT) (declined)

Graduate Associate Fellow


Wenner-Gren Foundation Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Funding for In the Shadow of “King Coal”


Waterhouse Family Institute for the Study of Communication and Society Research Grant for Communication Research Focused on Social Justice, Ethics, and Social Change

Funding for In the Shadow of “King Coal”


Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy



Center for the Humanities at Temple (CHAT)

Funding for Competitively Selected ILiADS (Institute for Liberal Arts Digital Scholarship) at Hamilton College


HASTAC Digital Humanities Scholar at the Center for Humanities at Temple (CHAT)

Graduate students are nominated by their home institutions to meet with other scholars to learn about digital research methods, develop their own project and participate in an international online collective.


Alice Raefsky Scholarship

Awarded to Temple University students who have demonstrated leadership and achievement in their academics or community service activities


Summer Research Opportunity Program Scholar

University Fellowship Committee of the Graduate Board of Temple University

2014, 2015

Top-Three Paper, Competitive Graduate Research Forum

Temple University, School of Media and Communication


International Communication Association

Travel Grant

2015, 2014

Oliver H. M. Jordan Memorial Award

Awarded by the Philadelphia Mayor’s Commission for People with Disabilities


Temple University, Pre-doctoral Future Faculty First Summer Research Fellowship

Competitive summer research award for doctoral students traditionally underrepresented in their field of study


International Communication Association

Annenberg Award; Language and Social Interaction Accepting Division Travel Award; Travel Grant


Temple University, Graduate Assistantship

Office of the Provost


Temple University Research Assistantship

Institute on Disabilities


Temple University

Graduate Assistantship


Temple University

Travel Grant


National Communication Association Service Grant

Day of Service in the Ninth Ward, New Orleans


University of Klagenfurt, Austria

Travel Grant


Charlotte Newcombe Foundation



Rotary Foundation International Ambassadorial Scholar

Fully funded to live and study in the Basque Country and give talks about international and intercultural issues.


Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM), Mexico

Research Fellowship and Travel Grant


University of Pennsylvania

Graduate Assistantship


International English Honor Society

Sigma Tau Delta

National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society

Sigma Delta Pi

Golden Key

International Honour Society

All-Academic Track Team

Middle Atlantic Conference

All-Star Track Team

Middle Atlantic Conference

Most Outstanding Female Athlete

Al Adelman Award



–Intensive Spanish language study


–Intensive Spanish language study

  • Native speaker of English
  • Fluency in Spanish
  • Read, write and speak basic conversational Italian