Dr. Jay Hamilton

Department Head, Entertainment and Media Studies; Professor; Jim Kennedy New Media Professor, Entertainment & Media Studies

About: Dr. Hamilton teaches cultural, critical, and historical approaches to media studies. His research addresses alternative media and democratic communication.

View Curriculum Vitae


Ph.D., Mass Communication, University of Iowa
M.A., Communication, University of Washington
B.A., English/Communication, University of Washington

Research Interests and Activities

Dr. Hamilton’s research focuses on the history, theory and practice of alternative media and democratic communication. A central goal of his project is, first, to develop a historicizing critique not only of specific practices of democratic communications but also of their conceptualizations and forms. Second, but equally importantly, the project seeks to recontextualize, retheorize, and thus reconstitute the possibilities of democratic communications in the current era of digital media, globalization, and perpetual political, economic, and ecological crises. Dr. Hamilton’s books include “Democratic Communications: Formations, Projects, Possibilities” (Lexington Books, 2008; paperback edition 2009); “Alternative Journalism” (Sage, 2009), which is co-written with Chris Atton (Napier University, Edinburgh, Scotland); and “Explorations in Critical Studies of Advertising” (Routledge, 2017), co-edited with Robert Bodle, and Ezequiel Korin. He continues to publish research in leading journals such as Media, Culture, and Society, Critical Studies in Mass Communication, and Media History, and present his work at a variety of major academic conferences.

A New Take on Digital Advertising Jay Hamilton

Abstract: Digital advertising has catalyzed sea changes in the structure and practice of advertising globally, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. This article suggests that such changes have outstripped the existing ability to understand and explain these changes adequately. In response, this article seeks to enlarge an understanding of digital advertising, […]

Read More
Explorations in Critical Studies of Advertising Jay Hamilton

Abstract: This volume provides a thoughtful and wide-ranging exploration of approaches to the critical study of advertising. Current and impending practices of advertising have in many ways exceeded the grasp of traditional modes of critique, due at least in part to their being formulated in very different historical conditions. To begin to address this lag, […]

Read More
Hybrid News Practices Jay Hamilton

Abstract: Because “mainstream” and “alternative” journalism are treated too often in discussions of digital journalism as separate spheres, comparatively less has been written about the insufficiency of positing separate spheres, despite the theoretical and empirical necessity of doing so. This chapter critiques separate spheres and theorizes hybrid news practices, in which features heretofore allocated into “mainstream” […]

Read More
Dilemmas of ‘Media’ Jay Hamilton

Abstract: Despite its seeming stability and obviousness, the term “media” deserves critical scrutiny. To critique “media,” this paper historicizes the use of “media” by focusing on the case of alternative/activist media, which presents the dilemmas of “media” in particularly high relief. As posed by “media,” the key criteria for distinguishing the alternative from the mainstream […]

Read More

Teaching Specialties

Dr. Hamilton teaches cultural, critical and historical approaches to media studies. He holds an appointment to the Graduate Faculty. Dr. Hamilton has taught First-Year Seminars and in the Grady@Oxford study abroad program. A research paper written by an undergraduate student he mentored in the Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities program won the prestigious national Alfred E. Seaman Award from the Advertising Education Foundation. Additional awards earned by former students include major international professional awards (such as an AKQA Future Lion at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity) and scholarly awards (Dissertation of the Year from three major scholarly organizations.) In 2014 he was appointed a Josiah Meigs Distinguished Professor, the University’s most prestigious teaching honor to recognize superior teaching at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Hamilton is also the recipient in 2003, 2009 and 2013 of the Grady College Roland Page Outstanding Faculty Award, which honors excellence in teaching at the graduate level.


Prior to joining the Grady College, Dr. Hamilton taught at the State University of New York College at Geneseo, the College of Notre Dame of Maryland and at the University of Iowa. In addition, he has worked as a copywriter for Corporate Communications at Microsoft Corp., and as a training coordinator at the law firm of Piper & Marbury L.L.P.

Hamilton, Jay
In the News

Making sense of fake news

read more

"Misleading political ad in Georgia makes ‘boogeyman’ of a surprising media target" via Columbia Journalism Review

read more