Associate Dean and Herman B Wells Endowed Professor (Class of 1950)
Research and Creative Interests
- Gender and Media
- Cultural Studies
- South Asia
- Qualitative Research
Radhika Parameswaran is Associate Dean and Herman B Wells Endowed Professor (Class of 1950) in the Media School and affiliate faculty in the Cultural Studies, India Studies, and Gender Studies programs at Indiana University, Bloomington. She served as Director of the Journalism department in the Media School from 2015 to 2019.
Her research areas span feminist media and cultural studies, globalization and media, postcolonial media studies, South Asia, and qualitative research methods. Her major publications include a Wiley-Blackwell edited encyclopedic volume on global audience studies, two monographs in Journalism & Communication Monographs, and numerous book chapters and articles in leading journals in media and communication studies (five reprinted as book chapters). She served as editor of Communication, Culture and Critique, a journal of the International Communication Association (ICA), from 2014 to 2016. Her past and current service on journal editorial boards includes Journal of Communication, Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, Women’s Studies in Communication, Asian Journal of Communication, Critical Studies in Media Communication, Communication Monographs, Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, and the Journal of Communication Inquiry.
I remember arriving in the United States as an M.A. student from India more than two decades ago and enrolling in my first seminar course at Texas Christian University with Jackie Beyers, the leading scholar in feminist media studies. I can still today recall vividly the thrill of wrestling with the concerns of critical humanities ethnographic research in her inspiration course. Although I could not understand fully the impact of Jackie’s seminar on my life at the time, I can see now with hindsight that I had stumbled upon my research anchor and intellectual community.
Framed by post-colonial and globalization theory and feminist cultural studies, the seeds for my dissertation research at the University of Iowa on young Indian women’s appetite for British romance novels were actually sown in that very first course. To this day, I feel privileged to work on topic’s that matter greatly to me, as a woman, as an immigrant, and a bicultural citizen of America.
My feminist media scholarship allows me to rise above the gratification of individual empowerment to try to understand the vast historical distance I have traveled from my paternal grandmother, incredibly smart and strong, but not allowed to get a formal education or work outside the home, and she had 11 children. Thanks to progressive thinkers and doers and collective global, social movements, I have inherited opportunities that were simply unknown to my brilliant grandmother.
Following from this, my research interest has centered on a set of key concerns. How do the media represent the changes in India’s status from a third-world nation to a rising power? Where do media representations of beauty, femininity and women’s progress fit into the larger trajectory of India’s economic transition? More recently, I’ve also become interested in the Indian diaspora in America. I am now working on a project near and dear to my heart, tracking the growing number of Indians in journalism. My research and teaching are inseparable companions.
I teach courses on media globalization, gender, research methods, theory and pedagogy, where I get to share all kinds of exciting work in these areas and hopefully motivate my own students to find their fulfilling paths, like my own professor, Jackie Beyers, did for me.
She is the recipient of seven top conference paper awards (five from AEJMC, one from NCA and one from ICA) and the ICA’s Teresa Award for outstanding feminist scholarship. She was a visiting research professor at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania; Faculty-in-Residence at University of Colorado, Boulder; invited expert at the NCA Doctoral Honors Seminar; and a research expert twice for junior faculty workshops at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She was inducted into her alma mater, University of Iowa’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication Hall of Fame, in 2021.
She has given invited research talks at:
- Temple University
- University of Kentucky
- University of Cincinnati
- University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
- University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Rochester Institute of technology
- Trinity University, San Antonio
- University of Iowa, Iowa City
- University of Georgia, Athens
- University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
- Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
- Ohio University, Athens, Ohio
- University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
- DePauw University, Greencastle, Ind.
- University of Texas, Austin
- Rutgers University, New Jersey
- University of Wisconsin, Madison
- Sophia Somani Polytechnic College, Mumbai
- Osmania University, Hyderabad