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Shepperd, Josh

Assistant Professor


Research Areas research areas


research overview

  • Josh Shepperd works on the political and intellectual history of media and media industries. Josh designs and directs applied policy and public humanities projects for the Library of Congress NRPB and RSS, which includes a high degree of collaboration with museums, archives, and higher education institutions across grantwriting, digital humanities, and curatorial programs. Josh recently published an academic book on the 'origin story' of US public media, and is currently working on an update to the 'official' history of NPR and PBS for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and its trade journal Current. His public-facing work with the Library of Congress has been featured by the Washington Post, NPR, C-Span, The Atlantic, Vox, Time, The Hill, Library of Congress, and CBS Radio.


  • History of Radio, Television, Film, US Public Broadcasting, and Social Media; Mass Media and Copyright Policy; Media Industries; Sound and Audio Industries and Culture


selected publications


courses taught

  • MDST 2002 - Media and Communication History
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2021 / Fall 2021 / Fall 2022 / Spring 2023 / Summer 2023 / Fall 2023 / Spring 2024
    Examines the historical development of communication forms, tools, technologies and institutions (orality, writing, printing, photography, film, radio, television, computers, internet); their influence on culture (forms of expression and social relationships); and their impact on social and individual experience. Applies knowledge of communication history to contemporary social issues and problems in media and society, domestically and internationally.
  • MDST 3001 - Media Research
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2020 / Spring 2021 / Spring 2024
    Introduces theoretical approaches and practices used to analyze the content, structure, influence and contexts of media. Explores factors shaping media, including: politics, economics, technology, cultural traditions. Studies concepts, theoretical approaches and research methods of media criticism, and adopts and adapts these frameworks in analyses of mediated communication.
  • MDST 3791 - Media and the Public
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2023
    Provides an overview of how publishing in print and electronic forms has been tied closely to democratic ideals for centuries. Explores how the idea of the public is central to the theory and practice of media politics, and how the contested concepts of "the public sphere" and "public opinion" have long been linked to debates about the proper relationship between media and democratic citizenship.
  • MDST 4931 - Internship
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2021 / Fall 2021 / Spring 2022 / Summer 2022 / Fall 2022 / Fall 2023 / Spring 2024
  • MDST 6051 - Media Theories
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2023
    Studies theories and perspectives of mass and networked communication and explores the role of media in society.
  • MDST 6551 - Media and Communication Policy
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2022
    Surveys historical and contemporary developments in media and communications policy, emphasizing social and cultural dimensions.
  • MDST 7011 - Proseminar in Media Communication Theory 1
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2020 / Fall 2021
    Introduces the principal concepts, literature, and theoretical and paradigmatic perspectives of media studies and mass communication and their ties and contributions to parallel domains in the social sciences and humanities. Formerly MDST 7011.


International Activities