Media, Communication, and Culture

Anthropology has long been concerned with the centrality of communication in human experience. Communication impacts relations of truth, evidentiality, power, identity, wellness, and the sacred, among others. Narrative, ritual speech, bureaucratic discourse, scientific argument, and political slogans are just some of the myriad ways that communication manifests and matters in human life. 

In recent years, anthropologists have increasingly turned their attention to mass media, new media, and state discourse, as additional types of communication forms that impact society, culture, power, global relations, and everyday life. At Emory, the study of media and communication both forms the center of scholarly projects and informs research projects which have other themes as their central foci.

A vibrant interdisciplinary community of scholars both within anthropology and outside anthropology share a focus on media, communication and culture.  Research areas include:  media ethnography, cultures of media production and media consumption, media power, new media, ethnographic film, visual culture, digital culture, digital scholarship, sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, and rhetoric.

Current and past projects of Emory Anthropology faculty and graduate students have engaged topics as diverse as: presidential campaign media and rhetoric in Brazil; development discourse in Moldovan nation building; verbal and visual media of piety in Lebanon; gender and ritual language in Kenya; health communication in Africa and within US-based African immigrant communities; ethnography of radio reception and production in Zambia; and young adults’ engagements with media and politics in the US.

Resources include:
Program in Linguistics
Department of Film & Media Studies
Journalism Program
Certificate in Digital Scholarship and Media Studies
Center for Mind, Brain, and Culture

Working Group on Critical Media Literacy
Media Publics and Critical Discourse Lab

Faculty in Anthropology:
Anthropology faculty with central research in media, communication and culture include Jenny ChioBradd Shore and Debra Vidali

Anthropology faculty with research areas that intersect media, communication, and culture include Peggy BarlettPeter BrownCraig HadleyBruce KnauftDavid NugentChikako Ozawa-de Silva, and Michael Peletz

Faculty in other departments and programs include:  Matthew Bernstein (Film & Media Studies), Anna Grimshaw (ILA), Michael Moon (ILA), Allen Tullos (ILA), Sam Cherribi (Sociology), Timothy Dowd (Sociology), Roberto Franzosi (Sociology),  Holli Semetko (Political Science), Sheila Tefft (Journalism), Maisha Winn (Educational Studies), Donald Tuten (Linguistics; Spanish and Portuguese), Benjamin Hary (Middle Eastern Studies), and Susan Tamasi (Linguistics).