Montclair State University Assistant Professors Joel Penney and Caroline Dadas Published in New Media & Society

Article looks at the role of Twitter and social media on Occupy Wall Street

Release Date: March 27, 2013

Montclair State University’s School of Communication and Media (SCM) today announced that an article written by Joel Penney, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of New Media at the SCM, and Caroline Dadas, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of English at the University, has been published in New Media & Society, a top-ranked, peer-reviewed, international journal that publishes key research from communication, media and cultural studies.

The article – titled “(Re)Tweeting in the service of protest: Digital composition and circulation in the Occupy Wall Street movement” – analyzes how Twitter and social media affected the organization and participation of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

“We are thrilled that all of Joel and Caroline’s hard work has been recognized by one of the top scholarly journals in the communications industry,” said Merrill Brown, Director of Montclair State University’s School of Communication and Media. “The SCM has always considered Joel to be a key thought leader in the category of new media, and this news solidifies our stance.”

Based on 17 in-depth interviews with people involved with the Occupy Wall Street movement, Dr. Penney and Dr. Dadas’ article presents a typology of how Twitter is used in the service of a protest. The Occupy Wall Street case study demonstrates how the rapid digital circulation of texts allows protestors to quickly build a geographically dispersed and networked “counterpublic” that can articulate a critique of power outside of the parameters of mainstream media. The article posits whether dependence on this platform not only leaves protestors vulnerable to restrictions on their ability to communicate, but also causes them to experience unwanted surveillance from potentially hostile authorities.

In addition to this published case study, Dr. Penney conducts research on the uses of participatory and digital media forms for social and political advocacy as well as for the construction of collective identities. He has also been recently published in The International Journal of Communication and Popular Music & Society.



Suzanne Bronski
Director of Media Relations
(973) 655-4334
(917) 292-9554 (cell)

Meaghan Morin
Communications Assistant
(973) 655-4333