I am an Associate Professor of Media Studies, based in the School of Communication & Information at Rutgers University. I’m interested in how ideas, things and practices become valuable; and the technologies of legitimacy that render them that way. My current research focuses on the intersection of promotional culture with environmental problems: How do promotional campaigns featuring the natural environment influence our ability to value climate futures?
Bob Brulle, Maria I. Espinoza, and I are writing about this in our new book, The Climate of Publicity, for Oxford University Press. It’s a critical look at the intertwined history of environmental (in)action in the United States and the rise of the PR industry in the twentieth century.
I have two other books out: Branding the Nation: The Global Business of National Identity, available from Amazon or via Oxford University Press; and Blowing Up the Brand: Critical Perspectives on Promotional Culture, an edited book with Devon Powers, available from Amazon. You can hear me talk about the ideas in my book, Branding the Nation, on the New Books Network podcast or on the National Public Radio show Marketplace.
Here at Rutgers I’m a Faculty Associate with the Eagleton Institute of Politics and Affiliated Graduate Faculty with the Department of Sociology. I’m also a Faculty Fellow with the Center for Cultural Sociology at Yale University.
I’m currently an Associate Editor of the Canadian Journal of Communication, and an editorial board member for the International Journal of Cultural Studies; the International Journal of Communication; and Advertising & Society Quarterly.
I have a Ph.D. from the Department of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University.