Meet the Dean

Dean James Shanahan (Laura Pence | The Media School)
Dean James Shanahan (Laura Pence | The Media School)

Dean James Shanahan

James Shanahan is the founding dean of the IU Media School and brings to the position a deep understanding of the demands of preparing students for 21st century media careers.

“IU has the components for an integrated media curriculum that will make it possible for students to examine media from humanistic, professional, social science and technical perspectives,” Shanahan said. “We have the potential to unlock many voices throughout the university. Our job is to find and tune those voices, allowing for greater freedom of expression, more diversity of expression and more meaningful messages that contribute to the common good.”

Prior to his appointment in December 2014, Shanahan was professor and associate dean of the College of Communication at Boston University. Before that, Shanahan was chair of the Department of Communication and director of graduate programs at Fairfield University. He spent more than a decade as a professor in the Department of Communication at Cornell University and was an assistant professor at Boston University College of Communication. He received his Ph.D. in communication from University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

His research interests focus on cultural indicators, cultivation theory, media effects and public opinion, as well as communication in relation to science and the environment. He is author of numerous articles and book chapters on media effects, and is co-author of Television and its Viewers, Nature Stories and Democracy Tango.

He has served as the editor of the journal Mass Communication and Society. He is an editorial board member of Environmental Communication: A Journal of Nature and Culture; the International Journal of Communication; and the Journal of Communication.


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