Media coverage of terrorism, mass shootings, gun violence, and public crises

As a cultural and critical scholar, DeFoster has always been interested by the way that mass media exert tremendous power on public discourse and popular culture – and how audiences make meaning and find their own place in shifting power structures of a society through the media products they consume. 

Most of the courses she teaches at the Hubbard School are strongly rooted in this critical focus – courses on popular culture, visual communication, and the psychology and cultural influence of advertising. As the current Head of the Cultural and Critical Studies division at AEJMC, she also works to advance rigorous cultural and critical scholarship for communication scholars across the world.

Her work is both historical and interdisciplinary, characterized by mixed methods and focused on parsing the ways that media representation frames public narratives and public policy around large-scale societal problems such as gun violence, terror, addiction, moral panics and public health crises. 

Discover more about Ruth DeFoster's research.