Position Type
Faculty
Service
- Present
Specialization
Media and Cultural Theory; Queer Theory
Biography

Hollis Griffin is Associate Professor at Denison University, where he teaches and researches television, new media, and cultural politics, particularly as they intersect with questions of sexual identity and desire. He was previously a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Colby College. His book, Feeling Normal: Sexuality and Media Criticism in the Digital Age (Indiana, 2017), was named an Outstanding Academic Title for 2017 by Choice, the publication of the American Library Association. He is Associate Editor for the journal Communication, Culture, and Critique and has served on the editorial boards of Film Criticism and Queer Studies in Media & Popular Culture. Griffin is also on the Board of Directors for the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, where he serves as Secretary.

Degree(s)
Cornell University, B.S.; University of Texas at Austin, M.A.; Northwestern University Ph.D.

Learning & Teaching

Courses
  • COMM 126, Media Structures
  • COMM 234, Media Theory
  • COMM 229, Mediating Gender and Sexuality (also WMST 229, QS 236)
  • COMM 239, Mediating Race and Ethnicity (also BLST 239)
  • COMM 307, Media Historiography
  • COMM 421, Sexual Politics
  • QS 227, Queer Theory
  • QS 400, Senior Seminar in Queer Studies
  • W101, Freshman Writing Seminar: Writing about Reality Television
Academic Positions
  • Associate Professor, Denison University, 2017-Present
  • Assistant Professor, Denison University, 2012-2017
  • A. W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Colby College, 2010-2012

Research

My research focuses on the history and theory of television and new media; of particular interest are questions related to sexuality and gender as well as issues germane to cities and urban centers.
Details

My first book is built around two main themes: 1) the fantasies of freedom and belonging perpetuated television and new media produced by and for sexual minorities, and 2) the relationship between technologies of the past and those of the present. Methodologically, I examine these issues using textual analysis, archival research on sexual minority communities in U.S. cities, and analysis of media industry production and distribution practices. I do that in order to historicize the media marketplace for sexual minority consumers in the processes of urbanization and connect industry practices and narrative strategies used in digital media content to the burgeoning literature on affect and emotion.

In writing that book, I was interested in the relationship between urban centers and queer media. In what I am working on now, I focus on these two issues separately. In my second book, I use archival research of government documents and thematic analysis of television programming to examine the medium’s role in the gentrification of New York City. Gentrification involves the reconfiguring of urban environments in favor of economic development for the benefit of affluent residents, a process that occurs at the expense of poor residents, local businesses, and minority communities. In this project, I examine television’s role in making New York City “safe” for business development and affluent white residents. The management of racial, ethnic, and class divisions is gentrification’s central concern. I argue that New York City and State governments and other public institutions used television to help do that. The book marks a shift in focus toward television as a formal instrument of governance.

While my second book focuses on television and urban space, my interest in sexuality, television, and new media continues to be a main research focus. I am currently editing an anthology that gathers a diversity of perspectives on sexual minorities and television. I am also working on shorter-form scholarship related to social media and political culture, namely the role of internet memes in queer activism and social media as a forum for commemorating lives lost to AIDS. While my second book focuses on television and urban space, my interest in sexuality, television, and new media continues to be a main research focus. I am currently editing an anthology that gathers a diversity of perspectives on sexual minorities and television, tentatively titled Television Studies in Queer Times.

Works

Publications

Books

  • Feeling Normal: Sexuality and Media Criticism in the Digital Age. (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2017).
  • Securing the Big Apple: Television and the Gentrification of New York City, 1975-2001. Manuscript in progress.
  • Television Studies in Queer Times (ed.) Manuscript in progress.

Peer-Reviewed Publications

  • “The Politics of Sexuality in Mediated Cities,” The Routledge Companion to Urban Media and Communication. Zlatan Krajna and Deborah Stevenson, Eds. New York: Routledge, 2019. 456-465.
  • “Queer Television,” Cinema and Media Studies. New York: Oxford University Press, Oxford Bibliographies: 2018.
  • “Queer Media Studies.” Feminist Media Histories 4.2 (Spring 2018): 167-172.
  • “Evaluating Television: Affect as a Critical Optic.” Cinema Journal 57.1 (Fall 2017): 71-93.
  • “Manufacturing Massness: Aesthetic Form and Industry Practice in the Reality Television Contest.” The Companion to Reality Television. Laurie Ouellette, Ed. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2014. 155-170
  • “Hair Metal Redux: Gendering Nostalgia and Revising History on VH1.” Journal of Popular Film & Television. 42.2 (June 2014): 71-80.
  • “Songs from Nowhere.” Quarterly Review of Film and Video. 31.6 (June 2014): 531-541.
  • “Never, Sometimes, Always: The Multiple Temporalities of ‘Post-Race’ Discourse in Convergence Television Narrative.” Popular Communication 9.4 (November 2011): 235-250.
  • “Your Favorite Stars, Live on Our Screens: Media Culture, Queer Publics, and Commercial Space.” Velvet Light Trap 62.2 (Fall 2008): 15-28.
  • “Queerness, the Quality Audience, and Comedy Central’s Reno 911!” Television and New Media 9.5 (September 2008): 355-370.
  • “Skin to Skin: Bareback Community, Pornography, Subjectivity.” Film and Sexual Politics. Kylo Hart, Ed. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2006. 230-244.
  • “Soap Slash.” Spectator 25.2 (Spring 2005): 23-34.

    Reprinted in Spectatorship: Shifting Theories of Gender, Sexuality, and Media. Roxanne Samer and William Whittington, Ed. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2017. 147-162.

Edited Journal Issues

  • “New Voices in Film and Media Studies.” “In Focus,” in Cinema Journal 52.4 (Summer 2013): 121-161. Also “Lassoing a Unicorn” in that issue: 141-146.

Select Online Publications

  • “Biden Memes and ‘Pussy Grabs Back’: Gendered Anger After the Election,” FLOW: A Critical Forum on Television and Media Culture. December 19, 2016.
  • “Drag Queens in Kevlar, or the Right to Bear Arms in Queer Public Space, Mediapolis: A Journal of Cities and Culture 4.1 September 7, 2016.
  • “Johnny Weir, Vladimir Putin, and the Sexual Politics of the Sochi Olympics.” FLOW: A Critical Forum on Television and Media Culture. April 7, 2014.
  • “Love Hurts: Intimacy in the Age of Pervasive Computing.” FLOW: A Critical Forum on Television and Media Culture. November 18, 2013.
  • “Your Mom is So Fat, or Talking Politics on the Internet.” FLOW: A Critical Forum on Television and Media Culture. February 10, 2013.
  • “La Petite Mort: Toddlers & Tiaras and Economic Decline” FLOW: A Critical Forum on Television and Media Culture. September 1, 2011.
  • “Sarah, Scarlett, and Norma Rae, or Unions are as American as Apple Pie!” FLOW: A Critical Forum on Television and Media Culture. July 21, 2011. Lead article.
  • “Debbie Downer Has a Facebook Problem: Regulating Affect on Social Media Networks.” FLOW: A Critical Forum on Television and Media Culture. June 10, 2011.

Book Reviews

  • Review of Celebrity: A History of Fame, Susan J. Douglas and Andrea McDonnell (New York: NYU Press, 2019) in Choice, Volume 57, Issue 4.
  • Review of Appified: Culture in the Age of Apps, Jeremy Wade Morris and Sarah Murray, eds. (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2018) in Choice, Volume 56, Issue 11.
  • Review of The Selfie Generation: How Our Self Images are Changing Our Notions of Privacy, Consent, and Culture, Alicia Eler (New York: Skyhorse Publishing, 2017). Los Angeles Review of Books. January 26, 2018.
  • Review of Gay TV & Straight America, Ron Becker (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2006). JumpCut 50. http://www.ejumpcut.org/archive/jc50.2008/gayTV/index.html
  • Review of Reconstructing Dixie: Race, Gender, and Nostalgia in the Imagined South, Tara McPherson. (Durham: Duke University Press, 2003). Velvet Light Trap 55.1 (Spring 2005): 68-70.

Service

Professional Service (includes Denison Service)
  • Secretary & Member of the Board of Directors, Society for Cinema and Media Studies
  • Associate Editor, Communication, Culture, & Critique
  • Editorial Board, Film Criticism
  • Editorial Board, Queer Studies in Media & Popular Culture
  • Writing Committee
  • General Education Competency Committee
  • Academic Integrity Board
  • Advisor, Outlook
  • Advisor, Lambda Pi Eta

Other

Grants & Funding
  • A.W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • Good Fellowship
Honors & Awards
  • Outstanding Academic Title for 2017, Choice magazine
  • Dissertation Award, Society for Cinema and Media Studies
  • Top Paper Award, LGBT Studies, National Communication Association

Mentions