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Jefferson Pooley - Muhlenberg College. Allentown, PA, US

Jefferson Pooley

Associate Professor and Chair of Media & Communication | Muhlenberg College

Allentown, PA, United-States

Associate Professor, Media & Communication
Media History and Social Theory



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Jeff Pooley’s research centers on the history of communication studies, as the field's emergence has intersected with the twentieth century rise of the other social sciences. He also writes about consumer culture and and the self. Recent work includes an edited collection, with David W. Park, on the field’s history (The History of Media and Communication Research: Contested Memories, 2008), and a book chapter on “The Consuming Self: From Flappers to Facebook” (Blowing up the Brand, 2010). He is currently working on a short book, on the late James W. Carey He teaches Introduction to Communication, Media and Society, Media Theory & Methods, and Communication and Public Relations

Areas of Expertise (5)

Social Science Human Science Media and Society Human Communication Media and Culture

Accomplishments (2)

Class of 1932 Research Professorship (professional)


The Class of 1932 Research Professorship provides an opportunity for a Muhlenberg faculty member to pursue a year of full-time research.

Robert C. Williams Award for Junior Faculty (professional)


In memory of the life and service of Robert C. Williams, who was Academic Vice President and Dean of the College from 1985 to 1987, Muhlenberg College honors a junior member of the faculty each year for distinguished scholarship and research or public performance.

Education (3)

Columbia University: Ph.D., Communications (with distinction) 2006

Dissertation: “An Accident of Memory: Edward Shils, Paul Lazarsfeld, and the History of American Mass Communication Research”

Columbia University: M.A., Communications 2001

Harvard University: A.B., Social Studies 1998

Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa

Affiliations (5)

  • American Sociological Association
  • International Communication Association
  • Cheiron: Society for the History of the Behavioral and Social Science
  • Forum for the History of Human Science
  • History of Science Society

Media Appearances (2)

Gamify Your Life: Social Media Metrics Let You Get A Quantified Digital Version Of Yourself

Science 2.0  online


Earlier this month, LinkedIn announced an update to its users’ already-teeming profile view. The social network now lets you track and chart who’s viewed your posts, complete with a “performance summary” and a colorful demographic breakdown...

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The Myth of the War of the Worlds Panic

Slate  online


Wednesday marks the 75th anniversary of Orson Welles’ electrifying War of the Worlds broadcast, in which the Mercury Theatre on the Air enacted a Martian invasion of Earth. “Upwards of a million people, [were] convinced, if only briefly, that the United States was being laid waste by alien invaders,” narrator Oliver Platt informs us in the new PBS documentary commemorating the program. The panic inspired by Welles made War of the Worlds perhaps the most notorious event in American broadcast history...

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Articles (3)

Further Notes on Why American Sociology Abandoned Mass Communication Research Journal of Communication


Communication research seems to be flourishing, as evident in the number of universities offering degrees in communication, number of students enrolled, number of journals, and so on. The field is interdisciplinary and embraces various combinations of former schools of ...

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Fifteen pages that shook the field: Personal Influence, Edward Shils, and the remembered history of mass communication research The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science


Personal Influence's fifteen-page account of the development of mass communication research has had more influence on the field's historical self-understanding than anything published before or since. According to Elihu Katz and Paul Lazarsfeld's ...

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Daniel Czitrom, James W. Carey, and the Chicago School Critical Studies in Media Communication


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