"The Dark Side of Stand-Up Comedy," a new book co-edited by Patrice Oppliger (CRC fellow) and Eric Shouse, is now available for purchase.
*Update: While this schedule remains the same, the conference will now be taking place virtually (not in Australia, as previously planned).*
This May, communication scholars from around the globe will convene for the International Communication Association's 70th annual conference, including several of the CRC's fellows.
As the program has recently been made available, we've compiled our own schedule of sessions and presentations that will feature CRC/BU COM-affiliated faculty and students. It can be accessed here.
In a project conducted for the State House News Service, CRC researchers used biometric methods to measure potential voters' subconscious responses to candidates running in this year's presidential election.
Utilizing galvanic skin response (GSR), facial expression analysis, eye tracking, and self-report survey data, researchers Susie Blair, Anne Danehy, and Mina Tsay-Vogel designed a study to better understand how voters respond to information about six of this year's candidates—five of the Democratic frontrunners, plus Donald Trump.
"Biometrics studies like the one the CRC conducted for the News Service do ask voters questions in traditional ways, and the group was asked a battery of questions about their personal impressions of the contenders after being presented with their photos and biographies," he writes. "But they studied those photos and biographies on a monitor that recorded their eye movements and facial expressions, and while wearing sensors that measured their galvanic skin response—a proven indicator of emotional involvement and arousal."
From the mid-90s to the present, television drama with religious content has come to reflect the growing cultural divide between white middle-America and concentrated urban elites. As author Charlotte E. Howell argues in this forthcoming book, by 2016, television narratives of white Christianity had become entirely disconnected from the religion they were meant to represent. Programming labeled "family-friendly" became a euphemism for white, middlebrow America, and developing audience niches became increasingly significant to serial dramatic television. Utilizing original case studies and interviews, Divine Programming investigates the development, writing, producing, marketing, and positioning of key series including 7th Heaven, Friday Night Lights, Rectify, Supernatural, Jane the Virgin, Daredevil, and Preacher.
As this book shows, there has historically been a deep ambivalence among television production cultures regarding religion and Christianity more specifically. It illustrates how middle-American television audiences lost significance within the Hollywood television industry and how this, in turn, has informed and continues to inform television programming on a larger scale. In recent years, upscale audience niches have aligned with the perceived tastes of affluent, educated, multicultural, and-importantly-secular elites. As a result, the televised representation of white Christianity had to be othered and shifted into the unreality of fantastic genres to appeal to niche audiences. To examine this effect, Howell looks at religious representation through four approaches—establishment, distancing, displacement, and use—and looks at series across a variety of genres and outlets in order to provide varied analyses of each theme.
Charlotte E. Howell is an Assistant Professor of Television Studies in the Department of Film and Television and a research fellow of the CRC. Her work has been published in the Cinema Journal, Critical Studies in Television, Networking Knowledge, Kinephanos, and in the anthology Supernatural, Humanity, and the Soul: On the Highway to Hell and Back.
This week, communication scholars, practitioners, and educators from around the world are congregating in Toronto, Canada for the Association of Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC)'s 102nd annual conference. Many members of the BU COM community—including some of the CRC's research fellows—will be in attendance to share their scholarly work and convene with colleagues around this year's theme, "Investing in Our Futures."
Below is a list of AEJMC conference presentations and panels featuring BU COM and CRC-affiliated faculty and doctoral candidates (click image to view full-size):