Joel N Penney

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Assistant Professor, School of Communication and Media

Speech Building 032
973 655-4261
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B.S.:Northwestern University
M.A.:University of Pennsylvania
Ph.D.:University of Pennsylvania
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Dr. Joel Penney is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies, specializing in new media, cultural studies, visual communication, critical race and sexuality studies, consumer culture, and political communication and theory. His research focuses on the uses of participatory and digital media forms for social and political advocacy as well as for the construction of collective identities. Dr. Penney has published essays in journals such as Communication, Culture, and Critique and Popular Music and Society, and has contributed chapters to the books Joystick Soldiers: The Politics of Play in Military Video Games and Queer Identities/Political Realities. He is currently working on a book project based on his dissertation that explores how citizens participate in political marketing campaigns in the digital age.

Research Projects

Red Equal Sign Campaign Interview Study

Note: The following info is for people who are interested in participating in my study about the red equal sign campaign on Facebook. If you have been contacted about the study via Facebook, please read for more details: In this study, I'm interested in people's experiences of changing their Facebook profile pictures to a red equal sign to support same-sex marriage. My goal is to better understand the meanings and motivations behind this use of Facebook. I also seek to learn how it relates to other political activities, online and offline. While participating in this study, I'll ask you a series of questions about participating in the red equal sign campaign on Facebook. I'll also ask about your views regarding this use of Facebook and about your political activities more generally. The interview will take about fifteen to twenty minutes. It will audio-recorded. I will keep the recording confidentially on my office computer so that it can be transcribed. I will not share it with anyone else. After a period of four years, I will erase the recording. The transcript will not contain your name or any identifying information. I will give you a different name to protect your identity. I will not link your name to any papers or presentations. I will keep who you are confidential according to the law. The risks of participating in this study are no greater than those in ordinary life. The questions will not involve anything about your personal life. They will just involve your activities on Facebook and your political activities more generally. There are no direct benefits to participating in this study. However, your participation may benefit others by contributing new knowledge about how social media is used for political purposes. You do not have to be in this study. You are a volunteer! It is okay if you want to stop at any time and not be in the study. You do not have to answer any questions you do not want to answer. Nothing will happen to you. If you have any questions about this study, or if you would like to volunteer to be interviewed, please contact me using the email address posted above.