Gwenyth L. Jackaway, Ph.D.
Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania
Room 415B, Lowenstein
Versions of Censorship and Freedom of Expression
Class, Taste and Mass Culture
Children and Media
Theories of Media, Culture and Society
Introduction to Media Industries
I am interested in the reciprocal relationship between media and society, and the ways in which the media both reflect and shape our culture. The dominant theme of my teaching and research at this time is simply this: we create the media, and they create us, and our responses to the media are largely reactions to looking in the mirror.
My approach to these issues is informed by training in both the humanities and social sciences. As an undergraduate, studying American History at Columbia University, I became fascinated by the impact of new communication technologies on the development of our nation. Both my master’s and doctoral theses at the Annenberg School for Communication (Univ. of Pennsylvania) explored the issue of social resistance to changes in dominant modes of mass communication, examining reactions to the introduction of radio in the 1930’s, and television in the 1950’s. Upon discovering that people are often afraid that new communication technologies will bring harmful effects to various areas in society, I then developed an interest in censorship and media law, as our fears regarding the impact of mass media often result in regulations over media technology and content.
Over time, my research and teaching focus has shifted from historical to contemporary questions, with a dominant focus on public discourse about mediated communication, and the ways in which our beliefs about mass media reflect deeper, often unresolved tensions issues in our society about power and control. Upon becoming a parent, my interests turned to debates and claims regarding the effect of media on children. As the mother of a child on the autistic spectrum, I am also concerned about media stereotyping of people with cognitive and neurological differences.
Media At War: Radio's Challenge to the Newspaper, 1924-1937 (Praeger, 1995)
“Government Censorship and Freedom of Speech”, in Andersen, Robin & Jonathan Gray, Battleground: The Media (Greenwood, 2008)
“Obscenity and Indecency”, in Andersen, Robin & Jonathan Gray, Battleground: The Media (Greenwood 2008)
“Selling Mozart to the Masses: Crossover Marketing as Cultural Diplomacy”, Journal of Popular Music Studies (1999/2000)
"The Press-Radio War as a Case Study in Battles Between Old and New Media", Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, 1994
"Mixed Reception: Initial Reactions to the Introduction of Television, 1938-1953", Culture and Communication, Vol IV, Thomas and Evans (eds.), (Ablex, 1990)
“Pride and Prejudice: Biphobia in the Gay Community”, Out Magazine, October 2002.