Susan Murray

Associate Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication

Susan Murray

Phone: 998-5645

Research interests include: cultural, technological and industrial histories of the media, visual culture, television studies, and the interrelationships between various media systems. She is a associated faculty in Cinema Studies at NYU and her work has appeared in journals such as Public Culture, The Journal of Visual Culture and Cinema Journal as well as numerous anthologies. Murray is the author of Hitch Your Antenna to the Stars: Early Television and Broadcast Stardom (Routledge, 2005) and the coeditor of Reality TV: Remaking Television Culture (NYU Press, 2004; second edition, 2009) with Laurie Ouellette. She is currently working on Brought to You In Living Color: A Cultural History of Color Television (working title), a book project under contract with Duke University Press. 


Degrees Held

  • Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin
  • M.A. New School for Social Research
  • B.A. University of Wisconsin at Madison


  • 2013 : American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Fellowship
  • 2013 : Humanities Initiative Faculty Fellowship (NYU)
  • 2013 : Humanities Initiative Grant-in-Aid (NYU)
  • 2012 : Hagley Museum and Library Exploratory Grant
  • 2010 : Wolf Visiting Professor of Television Studies, Cinema Studies Program, University of Pennsylvania
  • 2004 : AAUW American Postdoctoral Fellowship

Selected Publications

  • Color Adjustments: Standardizing, Calibrating and Harmonizing RCA-NBC Color, 1950-54," Screen, Winter 2015, forthcoming.
  • “Reality Celebrity: Branded Affect and the Emotion Economy,” co-authored with Laura Grindstaff, Public Culture, vol. 27, issue 1; Winter 2015.
  • “Reviving the Technical in Television Histories (working title),” Companion to the History of American Broadcasting, ed. Aniko Bodroghkozy, (New York: Blackwell), in progress.
  • “Live from New York,” SNL: Beyond Saturday Night, ed. Ron Becker and Nick Marx, (Indiana University Press) 2013.
  • “Amateur Auteurs: The Cultivation of Online Video Content Producers”, Media Authorship, ed. David Gerstner and Cynthia Chris (New York: Routledge) 2012. (link)
  • Reality TV: Remaking Television Culture, Second Edition, co-edited with Laurie Ouellette (New York: New York University Press) 2009. (link)
  • Hitch Your Antenna to the Stars: Early Television and Broadcast Stardom (New York: Routledge) 2005. (link)
  • Reality TV: Remaking Television Culture, co-edited with Laurie Ouellette (New York: New York University Press) 2004. (link)
  • “New Media and Vernacular Photography: Revisiting Flickr,” The Photographic Image in Digital Culture, 2nd edition, ed. Martin Lister (New York: Routledge) 2013.
  • “The Politics of Reality TV: An Overview of Recent Research” Mass Media and Society, 5th edition, ed. James Curran and Michael Gurevitch, (London: Bloomsbury Academic) 2010.
  • "Digital Images, Photo-sharing, and Our Shifting Notions of Everyday Aesthetics", Journal of Visual Culture Volume 7, no. 2, August 2008: 147-163. (link)
  • "' I Think We Need a New Name for It'": The Meeting of Documentary and Reality Television," Reality TV: Remaking Television Culture Susan Murray and Laurie Ouellette, eds. (New York: New York University Press) 2004: 40-56.
  • "'TV Satisfaction Guaranteed!' Nick at Nite and TV Land's Adult Attractions," Nickelodeon Nation: The History, Politics and Economics of America's Only TV Channel for Kids, ed. Heather Hendershot (New York: New York University Press) 2004: 69-84.
  • "Ethnic Masculinity and Early Television's Vaudeo Star," Cinema Journal 42, No. 1, Winter 2002: 97-119. (link)
  • "Our Man Godfrey: Arthur Godfrey and the Selling of Stardom in Early Television," Television & New Media, August 2001: 187-203.

Selected Presentations

  • “’Natural Vision vs. Tele-Vision’: Defining and Managing Electronic Color in the Postwar Era,”
    Comparative Media Studies Colloquium, MIT, Cambridge, MA: April 10, 2014
  • Reality Television’s Accessible Celebrity
    Public Culture Conference/Workshop on “Celebrity and Publics in the Internet Era,” New York, NY: November 2, 2013
  • "Postwar Reality Celebrity"
    (Keynote) Celebrity Studies Conference, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia: December 15, 2012


  • Origins of Modern Media: 1880-1950
  • Media Analysis
  • Social Experiences in Consumer Culture
  • Television: History and Form
  • Reality and Documentary Television
  • The Sitcom
  • Amateur Media
  • Cultural History of Television
  • Methods in Interpreting Popular Culture
  • Special Topics in Visual Culture: Fundamentals of the Moving Image Historiography and Media
  • Historiography and Media
  • Dissertation Proposal Seminar