Josh Shepperd, Assistant Professor of Media Studies
Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison
I teach courses related to critical, conceptual, and methodological approaches to media studies. My pro-seminars provide opportunities for experiential learning by utilizing the great historical resources of Washington D.C., especially the Library of Congress, National Archives, and Library of American Broadcasting. I'm also actively involved in media preservation, and currently serve as the National Research Director of the Radio Preservation Task Force for the National Recording Preservation Board of the Library of Congress.
My research focuses on the genealogical development and enactment of media advocacy strategies, especially cases in which social movements have used media to successfully influence communications policy, media industries, and cultural perspective. I examine these histories through primary document analysis, and my approach is informed by a combination of Birmingham school and political economy methodologies. My secondary research area is concerned with phenomenology of media, specifically how technologies constitute or disrupt conditions of mundanity in everyday life.
I'm currently writing a book that investigates how the media reform movement built Public Broadcasting in the U.S. by innovating standardized forms of noncommercial research, production and distribution, aesthetic development, and institutional organization. Educators spent almost twenty years, 1934-1952, developing these initiatives as advocacy strategies to persuade policymakers that educational technology was in fact educational, and deserving of protected frequencies.
Courses Offered, Spring 2015:
MDIA 201: Introduction to Media Studies
MDIA 325: Media Advocacy and Activism