Digital Media scholarship emphasizes the production and reception of mediated messages designed to inform, persuade, educate, and entertain both historically and in contemporary society; the social cultural political, legal, economic, professional, and ethical implications of mediated messages; and the convergence that is both altering and reproducing historical assumptions about mass communication.
We are committed to understanding media broadly. We are interested in the relationships between people and media as well as media messages, uses, representations, and reception both historically and in contemporary life. Through critical dialogue, interpretations change as historians seek to deepen our understanding of the past as well as the evolution of today?s salient issues. Through the study of contemporary media including journalism, visual media, and social media we emphasize the myriad ways media play significant roles in society.
Our program includes scholarship devoted to history, journalism, broadcast, photography, media technologies and social media. Faculty have studied public broadcasting, historical leadership in the black press, historical coverage of nuclear testing, first amendment cases, how visuals operate in contemporary and historical media systems, and a variety of forms of social practice such as hacking, modding, networking, programming, and interface design. We explore questions such as: how is identity performed, shaped, and maintained in new social media systems? How are mobile and social media used in social movement, health communication, and strategic communication? How does unequal access to digital technology affect the culture, policy, and economics of new media? How do new technologies mediate our relationship with the environment? How are fields such as journalism and education adapting and being shaped by new technologies and modes of media production?