Skip to main content

Search NYU Steinhardt

Susan Murray

Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication; Director of Graduate Studies

Media, Culture, and Communication

Susan Murray ​a historian of 20th century media who studies the ways that technologies and mediums were imagined, packaged, and sold to consumers and industry. She is the author of Bright Signals: A History of Color Television, (Duke University Press, 2018), which was supported by fellowships from the NEH, the ACLS, and The NYU Center for the Humanities and was awarded the 2019 Katherine Singer Kovacs Book Award by the Society for Cinema and Media Studies and the 2019 Michael Nelson Book Prize by the International Association for Media and History. Her work has appeared in journals such as Public Culture, Screen, The Journal of Visual Culture and Technology and Culture as well as popular outlets such as The Atlantic and NewsweekShe is currently in the process of researching her next book project: a history of the development and use of closed-circuit television in a range of contexts including medicine, education, manufacturing, policing, business, and the military. 

Selected Publications

BOOKS

 

SELECTED ARTICLES, ESSAYS AND BOOK CHAPTERS

  • “’All to See Where Few Can Be:’ Color Television as Electronic Surgical Amphitheater in Post-War Medical Education,” Technology and Culture, forthcoming April 2020.
  • “Medical School of the World: Education and Public Service through Postwar Medical Television,” Television History, the Peabody Archives, and Cultural Memory, ed. Jeffrey Jones and Ethan Thompson (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press) 2019.
  • “The Politics of Reality TV,” Media and Society, 6th edition, London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2019.
  • "Reviving the Technical in Television Histories," Companion to the History of American Broadcasting (New York: Blackwell) 2018.
  • "Never Twice the Same Color: Standardizing, Calibrating and Harmonizing NTSC Color in the early 1950s," Screen, vol. 56, issue 4, Winter 2015.
  • "Reality Celebrity: Branded Affect and the Emotion Economy," co-authored with Laura Grindstaff, Public Culture, vol. 27, issue 1: Winter 2015: 109-136.

Programs

Media, Culture, and Communication

Our media studies programs train agile researchers of a shifting media landscape. Learn to analyze media and technology in its cultural, social, and global contexts.

Courses

Amateur Media

This course will track the various manifestations of media amateurism over time and medium, while also exploring theoretical concerns and cultural discourses that surround their work and social construction, especially in relation to notions of professionalism, community, networks, artistic practice, collectivism, and marginalization.
Course #
MCC-UE 1024
Units
4
Term
Fall
Faculty

Professors

Susan Murray ,
Department

Mediating the Real

This course explores how forms of media and popular culture have historically
constructed a sense of realism, authenticity, or access to direct experience through various technologies, production, marketing, programming, performance techniques and promotion practices. It will survey the history of hoaxes, spectacles, photography, documentary, news, robotics, video games, virtual reality, reality television, and social media in order to trace the history and analyze the repercussions of the ethics, aesthetics and business of “the real”.
Course #
MCC-GE 2501
Units
3
Term
Spring
Faculty

Professors

Susan Murray ,
Department

Methods in Interpreting Popular Culture

Popular culture as both a producer and reflector of cultural meaning and a means of communication. Introduction to the fundamental theories and methods for understanding the construction of meaning in film, television, music, advertising and practices of everyday life, tracing the study of popular culture through film theory and mass media analysis to cultural studies.
Course #
MCC-GE 2145
Units
4
Term
January, Spring
Faculty

Professors

Susan Murray ,
Department