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Susan Murray

Department Chair and Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication

Media, Culture, and Communication

Susan Murray ​is a media studies scholar and historian who uses television as an entry point to analyze post-war era technology, culture, design, aesthetics, and industry. A 2021 Guggenheim fellow, her research has also been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the NYU Center for the Humanities, and the American Association of University Women. She is the author of Bright Signals: A History of Color Television (Duke University Press, 2018), which 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, and Hitch Your Antenna to the Stars: Early Television and Broadcast Stardom. Her work has appeared in journals such as Public Culture, Screen, The Journal of Visual Culture, Technology and Culture as well as popular outlets such as The Atlantic

She is currently writing a history of the development and use of closed-circuit television as essential infrastructure and form of automation for a set of diverse fields such as medicine, education, business, manufacturing, and the military. The aim of this work is to better understand the technology as an aid to the expansion of U.S. post-war consumer society, industrial science, and social reform, as well as to consider it as a pre-history to our current moment of increasingly expansive and invasive deployment of digital-based surveillance and our even more recent reliance upon digital video connection for social distancing. 

Selected Publications

Books

 

Listen to Susan's interview with Steven Johnson about TV technology on an episode of  American Innovations.

Recent articles and chapters

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.

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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
Credits
4
Department
Media, Culture, and Communication

Introduction to Methods in Media Studies

This course provides an overview of the most relevant qualitative methods used to research media audiences, platforms, technologies, industry, history, policies and texts.
Course #
MCC-GE 2145
Credits
4
Department
Media, Culture, and Communication

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
Credits
4
Department
Media, Culture, and Communication