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Joel Penney

Assistant Professor, School of Communication and Media

Morehead Hall 103
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 School of Communication and Media, specializing in new media, critical/cultural studies, and political communication and theory. His research focuses on the uses of participatory and digital media for social and political advocacy as well as the construction of collective identities. Dr. Penney is currently working on a book project that explores how citizens participate in political marketing campaigns in the digital age.

Twitter: @professorpenney

Recent Publications:

(2015) “Responding to Offending Images in the Digital Age: Censorious and Satirical Discourses in LGBT Media Activism,” Communication, Culture, and Critique 8(2), 217-234.

(2015) “Social Media and Symbolic Action: Exploring Participation in the Red Equal Sign Profile Picture Campaign,” Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 20(1), 52-66.

(2014) “Motivations for Participating in Viral Politics: A Qualitative Case Study of Twitter Users and the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election,” Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, published online before print, May 6, 2014,

(2014) “(Re)Tweeting in the Service of Protest: Digital Composition and Circulation in the Occupy Wall Street Movement,” co-authored with Caroline Dadas. New Media & Society 16 (1), 74-90.

(2013) “Eminently Visible: The Role of T-Shirts in Gay and Lesbian Public Advocacy and Community Building,” Popular Communication: The International Journal of Media and Culture 11 (4), 289-302.

(2012). “Visible Identities, Visual Rhetoric: The Self-Labeled Body as a Popular Medium for Political Persuasion” International Journal of Communication 6, 2318-2336.


Areas of specialization:
digital media, social media, critical/cultural studies, political communication, social movements and advocacy, LGBT media representation, qualitative methods

Office Hours


2:30 pm - 4:30 pm