Academic Symposium 2011

Scholars across discipline, epistemology, and method will come together to develop a plan for a ground-breaking, theoretically-grounded, systematic study of how entertainment media relates to, informs, and interacts with more traditional public affairs media within the context of politics.  The weekend will consist of guided roundtable discussions, a keynote presentation from a practitioner from the political entertainment industry, and finally – a wrap up session to map out future directions and collaborations.

Guest Affiliation and Background
Baym, Geoffrey

University of North Carolina, Greensboro

Associate Professor of Media Studies, author of “From Cronkite to Colbert: The evolution of broadcast news” (2009). (Winner of the 2010 Outstanding Book of the Year in Political Communication by the National Communication Association). His extensive research on The Daily Show and the Colbert Report has appeared in journals from Political Communication to Journalism Studies and the Communication Review.
Delli Carpini, Michael

University of Pennsylvania

Dean, Annenberg School for Communication, Delli Carpini has authored numerous books and articles on the topics of citizenship and political media, including Talking Together: Public Deliberation and Political Participation in America (with Lawrence R. Jacobs and Fay Lomax Cook), University of Chicago Press, 2009. A New Engagement? Political Participation, Civic Life and the Changing American Citizen. With Scott Keeter, Cliff Zukin, Molly Andolina and Krista Jenkins. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.  What Americans Know About Politics and Why It Matters. With Scott Keeter. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996
Feldman, Lauren

American University

Assistant Professor of Communication, Feldman’s research interests focus on political communication and media effects, with an emphasis on how less traditional sources of political information, like late-night comedy and opinionated cable news programs, shape citizens’ engagement with and understanding of politics. Her research has been supported by grants from the Carnegie-Knight Task Force on Journalism and published in a number of edited volumes and peer-reviewed journals, including Communication Research, Political Communication, and Journalism: Theory, Practice, and Criticism.
Gray, Jonathan

University of Wisconsin

Associate Professor of Media and Cultural Studies, Gray studies how media entertainment and its audiences interact.  Gray authored “Watching with The Simpsons: Television, Parody, and Intertextuality,” His latest book, Show Sold Separately: Promos, Spoilers, and Other Media Paratexts, considers the vast universe of paratextual or “peripheral” items that surround all films and shows – such as trailers, bonus materials, licensed games, fan creations, reviews, and so forth.
Hart, Roderick

University of Texas at Austin

Dean, College of Communication and Director, Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Participation. Hart has been named a Research Fellow of the International Communication Association, a Distinguished Scholar by the National Communication Association, and the National Scholar of the Year Award from Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, and has received the Murray Edelman Career Award from the American Political Science Association. He has authored twelve books, including Campaign Talk: Why Elections Are Good for Us (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000), Seducing America: How Television Charms the Modern Voter (New York: Oxford University Press; Sage Publications, 1994, 1999), and Political Keywords: Using Language that Uses Us with S. Jarvis, W. Jennings, and D. Smith-Howell (Oxford University Press, 2005).
Hoffman, Lindsay

University of Delaware

Assistant Professor of Communication, Her work (published in academic journals including Mass Communication and Society, the Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, and International Journal of Public Opinion Research) emphasizes the social circumstances and psychological predispositions that influence individual media uses and effects. Her research also examines the components of mediated messages that encourage individuals to participate in — or distance themselves from — political activities such as voting, news viewing, or simply expressing opinion.
Holbert, R. Lance

The Ohio State University

Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the School of Communication. Holbert is extensively published and cited for his work on the processing and effects of mediated messages on audiences.  His work has appeared in the top communication journals from the Journal of Communication, to Media Psychology, Communication Research and Political Communication.  He has also edited (with Eric Bucy) a Sourcebook for Political Communication.
Jones, Jeffrey

Old Dominion University

Associate Professor of Communication, Jones has authored several books including “Entertaining Politics: Satiric Television and Political Engagement” (which is currently in its second edition) and an edited volume, “Satire TV: Politics and Comedy in the Post-Network Era.”  Jones’ work is widely published in journals and edited volumes in critical cultural studies and journalism studies.
Lamarre, Heather

University of Minnesota

Assistant Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication, Lamarre studies how entertainment programming is perceived by audiences.  She is the author (with Landreville and Beam) of The irony of satire: Political ideology and the motivation to see what you want to see in The Colbert Report. International Journal of Press/Politics, 14, 212-231.
Prior, Markus

Princeton University

Associate Professor of Politics and Public Affairs, Prior is the author of Post-Broadcast Democracy (Cambridge University Press, 2007), which won the 2009 Goldsmith Book Price, awarded by Harvard’s Joan Shorenstein Center, and the 2010 Doris Graber Award for the “best book on political communication in the last 10 years” given by APSA’s Political Communication Section. The book examines how broadcast television, cable television, and the Internet have changed politics in the United States over the last half-century. Prior’s work has also appeared in the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, and Public Opinion Quarterly.
Williams, Bruce

University of Virginia

Professor of Media Studies and Sociology, Williams has published three books and more than forty scholarly journal articles and book chapters. His book Democracy, Dialogue, and Environmental Disputes: The Contested Languages of Social Regulation (with Albert Matheny), published by Yale University Press won the Caldwell Prize as best book for 1996 from the Science, Technology, and Environmental Politics section of the American Political Science Association.
Xenos, Michael

University of Wisconsin

Associate Professor of Communication, Xenos studies how the context and content of political communication influences the quality of democratic deliberation, public opinion, and civic engagement. He is the author of numerous journal articles including (with Becker) of 2009’s Moments of Zen: Effects of the Daily Show on information seeking and political learning. Political Communication, 26, 317 – 332, and is the author (with Moy and Hess) of 2005’s Communication and citizenship: Mapping the political effects of infotainment. Mass Communication & Society, 8, 111-131.
Young, Dannagal G.

University of Delaware

Assistant Professor of Communication, Young studies the cognitive psychology of message processing in the realm of political entertainment.  Her research on the psychology and influence of political humor has been published in numerous edited volumes and journals in politics and media, including Media Psychology, Political Communication, International Journal of Press/Politics, Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, and Mass Media and Society.


Breaking Boundaries: 2011 Symposium on Political Entertainment Media

Sponsored by the Center for Political Communication
at the University of Delaware
April 8-10, 2011

Schedule of Events (Printable Schedule)


Friday, April 8
Registration and Sessions held in 231 Pearson Hall Conference Room

1:45 pm
Catherine meets guests at Courtyard Marriott Lobby to walk to Pearson Hall

2:00  – 2:15 pm
Registration in 231 Pearson

Light refreshments will be served

2:15 – 2:45 pm
Introduction from Symposium Hosts

2:45– 4:15 pm
Session One:
Looking back to look forward
Historical Change and Contemporary Challenge
Discussion Leaders:
Michael Delli Carpini and Geoffrey Baym

4:30 – 6:00 pm
Session Two:
Politics, journalism, entertainment, and power
Critical cultural approaches to the study of politics and entertainment
Discussion Leaders:
Jeffrey Jones, Jonathan Gray, and Bruce Williams

6:15 pm
Dinner at Caffe Gelato

90 E. Main Street, Newark

DAY TWO:  Saturday, April 9
Sessions held in 201 Smith Hall Conference Room

8:30 – 9:00 am
at Courtyard Hotel

9:15 – 10:30 am
Session Three:
Politics and entertainment meet the Brain
Cognitive psychology and the processing of political entertainment
Discussion Leaders:
Lindsay Hoffman and Danna Young

10:40 – 12:00 pm
Session Four:
Quantifying meaningful outcomes
Discussion Leaders:
Michael Xenos (Xenos NOTES), Heather LaMarre, & Lauren Feldman (Feldman NOTES)

12:15 – 1:15 pm
Lunch at Kildare’s. 45 East Main St. Upstairs.

1:20 – 2:40 pm
Session Five:
Politics, Entertainment, and Democracy
The Normative Question
Discussion Leaders
: Rod Hart, Markus Prior (Prior NOTES), and Lance Holbert

2:40 – 4:00 pm

4:00 – 5:30 pm
Keynote Speaker Colloquium:
The Onion’s Joe Randazzo with Political Satire from Don Montrey and Tony Braithwaite of 1812 Productions.  Book Signing to Follow.
Clayton Hall Auditorium (Room 128) – Clayton Hall is adjacent to Courtyard Marriott. Doors open at 3:30. Symposium guests have seats reserved Front Center 2 rows.

6:00 pm
Cocktails and Dinner at Iron Hill Brewery

147 E. Main Street, Newark

DAY THREE:   Sunday, April 10
Smith Hall Conference Room 201

8:45 – 9:15 am
Breakfast at Courtyard Hotel

9:30 – 11:00 am
Final Wrap Up:
Future Directions
Final thoughts, brainstorming research agendas to pursue moving forward

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