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Media Studies

  • Tim Havens

    Tim Havens

    Professor and Department Chair

    Tim’s research and teaching interests include television studies; media globalization; race, ethnicity, and media; and critical analysis of media industries. He is the author of Black Television Travels: African American Media Around the Globe (NYU Press, 2013) and Global Television Marketplace (BFI Publishing, 2006); the co-author with Amanda D. Lotz of Understanding Media Industries (Oxford University Press, 2011, 2016); and co-editor with Aniko Imre and Katalin Lustyik of Popular Television in Eastern Europe Before and Since Socialism (Routledge, 2012). He is a former Fulbright Scholar to Hungary.

  • Joy Hayes

    Joy Elizabeth Hayes

    Associate Professor

    Joy’s research and teaching interests include radio studies; media history; Latin American media; media theory; race, ethnicity and media; and Latin American Studies.  She is co-author/editor of War of the Worlds to Social Media: Mediated Communication in Times of Crisis (2013, Peter Lang); author of Radio Nation: Communication, Popular Culture and Nationalism in Mexico, 1920-1950 (2000, University of Arizona Press); and a former Fulbright Scholar to Mexico.  Her scholarship has also appeared in The Radio Journal, The Journal of Radio and Audio Media, Diálogos de la comunicación, and Cinema Journal.  Her current US research examines the legacies of New Deal government broadcasting and explores the construction of “radio bodies” in broadcasting from the 1930s-2000s.  Her research on Mexico investigates community broadcasting and translocalism.

  • Al Martin

    Alfred Martin

    Assistant Professor

    Alfred L. Martin Jr.'s current book project, The Queer Politics of Black-Cast Sitcoms (Indiana University Press, forthcoming) argues that the black-cast sitcom is an explicit genre, and therefore its engagement with black gayness does not resemble any other contemporary genre. By examining audience reception, industrial production practices, and authorship, the project argues that representations of black gay characters are trapped into particular narrative tropes.

    Martin has published articles in scholarly journals including Communication, Culture & CritiqueFeminist Media StudiesPopular Communication, and Television and New Media. Martin is currently the Co-Chair of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies’ Television Studies Scholarly Interest Group. Martin serves on the editorial board of Queer Studies in Media and Popular Culture.

    Martin is currently working on essays about black audiences and the film Black Panther, and the black ballerina Misty Copeland and the contours of black fandoms. Martin is also co-editing an edited collection on The Golden Girls tentatively titled Thank You for Being A Friend: The Cultural Phenomenon of The Golden Girls.

  • Kembrew McLeod

    Kembrew McLeod


    Kembrew McLeod is a Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Iowa and an independent documentary producer. A prolific author and filmmaker, he has written and produced several books and documentaries that focus on popular music, independent media and copyright law. He co-produced the documentary Copyright Criminals, which premiered at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival and aired in 2010 on PBS’s Emmy Award-winning documentary series, Independent Lens. His first documentary, Money For Nothing, was programmed at the 2002 South by Southwest Film Festival and the 2002 New England Film and Video Festival, where it received the Rosa Luxemburg Award for Social Consciousness. McLeod’s second documentary, Freedom of Expression®: Resistance and Repression in the Age of Intellectual Property, was distributed by the Media Education Foundation—where he also worked as an educational documentary producer. Freedom of Expression® serves as a companion to his book of the same name, which won the American Library Association’s Oboler book award for “best scholarship in the area of intellectual freedom” in 2006. Most recently, McLeod co-authored the book Creative License: The Law and Culture of Digital Sampling and the anthology Cutting Across Media: Appropriation Art, Interventionist Collage and Copyright Law, both published by Duke University Press in 2011. His fifth book, Pranksters: Making Mischief in the Modern World, will be published by New York University Press on April 1, 2013. McLeod’s music and cultural criticism have appeared in Rolling Stone, SPIN, MOJO, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Village Voice, and The New Rolling Stone Album Guide.

  • Jenna Supp-Montgomerie

    Jenna Supp-Montgomerie

    Assistant Professor

    Jenna Supp-Montgomerie earned a Ph.D. in religious studies with a certificate in cultural studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She holds a joint appointment in Religious Studies and Communication Studies at the University of Iowa. Her research examines the relationships of religion, media, and technology.

    Jenna’s work focuses on the appearance of religious thinking and practices in everyday life, particularly as we adopt and negotiate technological change. She has published essays and book chapters on this theme, including “Planetary Subjects after the Death of Geography” in Planetary Loves: Gayatri Spivak, Postcoloniality, and Theology and “‘If Only You Could See What I’ve Seen Through Your Eyes’: Destabilized Spectatorship and Creation’s Chaos in Blade Runner” in CrossCurrents. She is currently working on a book about the vital influence of American Christianity on globalization. This study begins in 1858, when the Atlantic telegraph cable was first successfully strung across the ocean. At that moment, Americans declared the advent of a world unified by communication and marked by the ends of distance and war. This persistent rhetoric animated what it meant to be modern and American and today echoes in claims that the Internet creates a global village.

    Jenna teaches courses on critical theory, media history and theory, religion and cultural life, digital media, and American religious history.

  • Rita Zajacz

    Rita Zajacz

    Assistant Professor

    Rita seeks to understand the challenges and opportunities available to states as they seek control over the global communications infrastructure. She is interested in the application of enduring legal and geopolitical thinking to new technologies. Her historical book project analyzes the transition from British to American world leadership in global communications by defining “network control” and applying the concept to the early point-to-point radio network. Reluctant power: networks, corporations and the struggle for global governance in the early 20th century has been accepted for publication at MIT Press. Her new project examines the origins and contemporary manifestations of anonymity online. Rita serves on the editorial board of The Information Society and her research has appeared in the following journals: Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, International Communication Gazette, Media, Culture and Society and The Information Society. On the undergraduate level, she teaches Media and Society, Global Media Studies and Communication, Technology and National Security. Courses on the graduate level include Internet Policy and Internet Histories.


    Recent publications:  Silk Road: the market beyond the reach of the state. Information Society (2017) 33(1): 23-34.​

    WikiLeaks and the problem of anonymity: a network control perspective. Media, Culture and Society (2013) 35(4): 487-503.

    Reluctant power: networks, corporations and the struggle for global governance in the early 20th century

    Reluctant Power Rita Zajacz cover

    In Reluctant Power, Rita Zajácz examines how early twentieth century American policymakers sought to gain control over radiotelegraphy networks in an effort to advance the global position of the United States. Doing so, she develops an analytical framework for understanding the struggle for network control that can be applied not only to American attempts to establish a global radio network in the early twentieth century but also to current US efforts to retain control of the internet.