Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

Lewis Freeman
Ph.D., Columbia University

Room 450, FMH
Office hours: Mondays/Thursdays: 1-2 p.m.;
Thursdays 4-5 p.m.; also by appointment
718- 817-4853

Courses Taught:
Undergraduate Courses:

Introduction to Communication and Media Studies
Introduction to Media Industries
Theories of Media, Culture, & Society
Children & Media
Mass Communication: Theory & Research
TV Comedy & American Values
Television & Society
Understanding Television
Interactive Media
Effective Speaking
Internship Seminar

Graduate Courses:
Media & Social Awareness
Media Analysis & Criticism
Children & the Media

Research Interests:
Dr. Freeman's research interests include communication theory & practice, children & media, media literacy, media & society, mass communication, popular culture, oral cultures, organizational communication, rhetoric & persuasion, public speaking, language & social interaction, social anxiety, vocal performance, interpersonal communication, and classroom pedagogy.

Academic Leadership and Activities:

Dr. Freeman served on the National Communication Association's Task Force on Discipline Advancement and has served on the boards of the Eastern Communication Association, the New York State Communication Association, Communication Research Reports, and Qualitative Research Reports in Communication. He has analyzed communication issues for New York Times, CNN, WABC, MS-NBC, TV-Asahi (Japan), and numerous radio stations. He is a communication consultant to universities, labor unions, businesses, lawyers, and individuals and is the recipient of 2 "Telly" awards.

Current Research:
My current research project on "Communicating 'urban' in an environmental magnet elementary school" received the 2008 ECA Urban Communication Foundation Prize for Translational Communication Research, an annually endowed prize given to foster and promote significant interdisciplinary communication research contributions that extend the boundaries of "applied research" by investigating real-life communication phenomena affecting urban communities.

My overall scholarly agenda can be best described as centering on issues of social justice and fostering individual opportunity at both macro and micro levels. My work melds theory and practice with emphasis on social change, community engagement, and facilitating individual advancement. I have pursued these interests through research about social class on television and the process of employment interviewing. My scholarly activities include research on children's museum exhibits as agents of socialization; studying how technology influences concepts of community, identity, and sociability (through case studies of "third places"); and examining how educational materials communicate ideas of "urban" and "city" to students in elementary school. My theoretical perspective follows from the work of Georg Simmel, George Herbert Mead, Erving Goffman, and others, whose elucidation of underlying social forms have led to remarkable insights into individual social interaction and identity formation.

Why I Teach at Fordham: A Faculty Member's Perspective on Teaching and Scholarship at Fordham:
I joined Fordham's faculty in 2000, having previously taught at Suffolk Community College and Columbia University, where he was on the faculty for 18 years and served as Director of the Speech Program.

I've been asked, more times than I can count, why I teach at Fordham having taught, studied, and served in a variety of capacities and settings, which included being the Director of the Speech Program at Columbia University and consulting for businesses, foundations, labor unions, universities, and individuals.

I am passionate about Fordham and its students. Fordham offers scholars the opportunity to pursue teaching and research at a university that values and supports both very highly. I strive to foster students' scholarly and professional development through activities like supervising internships and mentoring students in the presentation of their scholarship at academic conferences. Fordham's curriculum enables students to empower themselves through their study of communication and their gaining knowledge that is relevant in their lives and is applicable at school, work, and home. My courses are designed to aid students in their development of critical thinking processes, sophisticated research practices, and effective written and oral communication. My scholarship informs my teaching through classroom activities that enable students to become media literate, find their intellectual "voices," and develop frameworks for understanding communication. I teach in ways that offer transformational experiences for students -- both academically and personally. I challenge students to think critically, conduct substantial research for their courses, and write extensively on topics of concern to them.

Selected Print and Web Publications:

Freeman, L. (forthcoming). Communication and local community: Symbolic interaction & Yogi Berra Stadium. In D. Herbeck & S. J. Drucker (Eds.), There used to be a ballpark here: Communication, community and the spaces of baseball. New York: Peter Lang.

Strate, L., Freeman, L., Gutierrez, P., & Lavalle, J. (2010). The future of children's television programming: A study of how emerging digital technologies can facilitate active and engaged participation and contribute to media literacy education. Washington, D.C.: Time Warner Cable Research Program on Digital Communications.

Freeman, L. (2008). Sitcom society: Social stratification and social mobility in situation comedy. Saarbrücken, Germany: VDM Verlag Dr. Müller. ISBN-10: 3639012844.

Freeman, L. (2009). What cities communicate to children: Lessons from the unindoctrinated. Communicative Cities Conference. Knowlton School of Architecture, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH. Link:

Freeman, L. (2009). The new core: The Eloquentia Perfecta speaking requirement. Bronx, NY: Center for Teaching Excellence, Fordham University. Link:

Freeman, L., and Dordick, G. (2000). Empowering teaching. The Speech Communication Annual, 14, 163-179.

Freeman, L. (1996). Developing a good presentation style for debate. Soros Regional Debate Program Handbook. New York: Soros Foundation.

Freeman, L. (1995, September). Columbia University Speech Program will continue. Spectra, 31(9), 5.

Freeman, L. (1992). Social mobility in television comedies. Critical Studies in Mass Communication, 9(4), 400-406.
[Cited in: Butsch, R. (2004). Social class and television." In H. Newcomb (Ed.), The encyclopedia of television. (Vol. 3, pp. 1524-1527). New York: Routledge. Link:]

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