Dr. Jay Hamilton

Department Head; 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.

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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.

Drone Journalism as Visual Aggregation: Toward a Critical History Jay Hamilton

Hamilton, Jay. “Drone Journalism as Visual Aggregation: Toward a Critical History.” Media and Communication 8(3), 2020. https://www.cogitatiopress.com/mediaandcommunication/article/view/3117/3117 Abstract: The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs—commonly referred to as drones) in journalism has emerged only recently, and has grown significantly. This article explores what makes drone imagery as an instance of what scholars of visual culture […]

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Jay Hamilton organized and led a panel titled “Mass Communication and Transnational Resistance: Independent Media Centers 20 Years On” Jay Hamilton

Jay Hamilton organized and led a panel titled “Mass Communication and Transnational Resistance: Independent Media Centers 20 Years On” at the Union for Democratic Communications international conference in Oakland. The panelists addressed the chequered legacy of IMCs, their growth and decline, their form and practice of online/online-assisted social activism since their emergence in Seattle 1999 during the […]

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Narrativizing Climate Change Through Popular Culture Jay Hamilton

Vincent, Theodore*, and Jay Hamilton. (Forthcoming.) “Narrativizing Climate Change Through Popular Culture.”  The Peace Review. Abstract: This article attempts to explain lack of action taken to address climate change. It locates part of the problem in the difficulty of concretely grasping something as amorphous, complex and expansive as climate change. It argues that how climate […]

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Boundary Production in Practice: Amateurs, Professionals, and Amateur Journalism in the 19th-Century United States. Jay Hamilton

Abstract: This paper investigates boundaries between professional from the amateur by investigating amateur journalism of the late 19th-Century United States. Amateur journalists wrote, typeset and printed journals of essays, commentary, word puzzles and stories, which were circulated primarily among themselves in subcultural networks of reciprocity. A broad cultural analysis characterizes how debates about social changes […]

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Retheorizing Critical Media Literacy Jay Hamilton

ABSTRACT:  This paper addresses how theories of communication constitute the pedagogy of critical media literacy. An essentialist view of communication indebted to the philosophy of John Locke relies on a pluralist social theory in which individuals are seen as self-sufficient and aligned against what is seen as a coercive society. In this view, communication is […]

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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

EMST faculty give recommendations for shows, movies, games

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Making sense of fake news

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

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