Communication scholar at USC Annenberg

News

Almost Two Years After Pulse, More News On Our Orlando Shooting Research

Not quite a year ago, my friend Nathan Walter and I got the exciting news that our article with Professor Sheila Murphy, "On the Boundaries of Framing Terrorism: Guilt, Victimization, and the 2016 Orlando Shooting" was finally available online ahead of print in Mass Communication and Society. Today, we received further news that the article will be reprinted(!) as a chapter in the volume Media, Terrorism and Society: Perspectives and Trends in the Digital Age, edited by Shahira Fahmy and published by Routledge hopefully in December.

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Imaginaries of Past and Future in Southern Virginia

This post was originally published on the Civic Imagination Project blog here.

This February, I had the great honor of accompanying Professor Henry Jenkins to Virginia, where he gave a lecture on our work surrounding the Civic Imagination at the College of William and Mary (W&M). While there, we also had the great privilege of meeting with graduate students and faculty at W&M doing similar work, and running a Civic Imagination workshop with LGBTQ activists in Richmond.

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Typography Mattered in the 2016 Election? Well, I Think So...

Good news! My newest article, "Citizen Typography and Political Brands in the 2016 US Presidential Election Campaign" is officially forthcoming in the journal Marketing Theory and has been made available online ahead of print. It's a shorter piece than your usual research article, but I took the open format of Marketing Theory's commentary articles to use the case of the 2016 presidential election to introduce and illustrate some theoretical concepts I've been developing elsewhere in my own work on graphic design and in my work with Rachel Moran on networked branding.

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Thomas J BillardComment
No, Not Like That! Or, How (Not) to Measure Transphobia

In case you were unaware, transphobia is a problem. So, logically, researchers have tried to study the antecedents and consequences of transphobia, and to do so have created a number of psychometric scales with which to quantify such prejudice. The problem is, most of these psychometric scales are deeply flawed. In fact, Melanie Morrison and her colleagues recently published a review of these transphobia measures, finding that even the most thoroughly validated measures failed to meet every criteria for psychometric validity. And it's a problem I've come up against in my own work trying to measure media effects on attitudes toward transgender people—without sound measures, it's hard to perform a rigorous study.

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Thomas J BillardComment
A New Chapter with the Civic Paths Team

Today I finally got my copy of this exciting new book, Keywords in Remix Studies, edited by Eduardo Navas, Owen Gallagher, and xtine burrough and published by Routledge. One of the keywords chapters, "Participatory Politics" (ignore the fact that's actually two words, please), was written by Professor Henry Jenkins and I based on a brainstorming discussion in the Civic Paths research group with members Samantha Close, Yomna Elsayed, Michelle Forelle, Rogelio Lopez, and Emilia Yang (and subsequent "hotspot" blog post), which generated the examples Henry and I used to discuss the concept.

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Thomas J BillardComment
It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's a New Book Chapter!

It finally arrived in the mail! Heroes, Heroines, and Everything in Between is a new volume edited by CarrieLynn Reinhard and Christopher Olson, which just so happens to contain a chapter co-written by yours truly. It was a really awesome opportunity for me to (1) write on a subject—transgender comic book characters—that I ordinarily wouldn't and (2) collaborate on a project with someone—my cousin-in-law(!) Brian MacAuley—who I ordinarily wouldn't. A family that researches together, stays together... or something like that.

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Thomas J BillardComment
Lil Duval’s “Joke” Isn’t Funny — It’s a Symptom of a Bigger Problem

This post was originally published on the National Center for Transgender Equality Medium page here.

Last Friday, comedian Lil Duval appeared on “The Breakfast Club,” a radio program on New York’s Power 105.1, during which he “joked” that if he began dating a woman and she later shared with him that she was transgender, he would murder her. Mere days later, in the early hours of Monday morning, 32-year-old TeeTee Dangerfield was fatally shot multiple times outside her apartment in College Park, Georgia, becoming the 15th transgender woman of color (of 16 transgender people overall) to be murdered thus far in 2017.

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Thomas J BillardComment
Almost One Year Later, Our Study on the Pulse Shooting Reminds Us of Media's Importance

I have a somber excitement today. My most recent article with friend and colleague Nathan Walter and Professor Sheila Murphy, "On the Boundaries of Framing Terrorism: Guilt, Victimization, and the 2016 Orlando Shooting" has officially been accepted for publication in Mass Communication and Society and has been made available online ahead of print. The article is part of a special issue on media, terrorism, and society, and it looks at the differential effects of two alternative framings of the Orlando shooting—framing it as a homophobic hate crime versus as an Islamic terror attack—on collective-level emotions and on pro-LGBTQ political action.

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