John L. Sullivan 

Professor, Media & Communication
johnsullivan@muhlenberg.edu 
Walson 204

Background

B.A., Pomona College
M.A., Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

Sullivan’s research explores the links between media industries and systems of social and economic power. More specifically, he focuses on the constructions of audiences within media organizations, the implementation of U.S. media policies, and on the political economy of online cultural production. He has recently begun a long-term study of podcasting production in the United States, focusing on the processes of formalization and monetization of amateur and semi-professional (or “Pro-Am”) labor within this arena. Sullivan is the author of Media Audiences (Sage, 2012), an undergraduate text which explores the theoretical landscape of audience studies in the field of media and communication. He has published research on a wide variety of other topics, including the U.S. distribution of British science fiction series Doctor Who, the development of a social movement around free, open source (F/OSS) software, and issues of artificial scarcity in digital softwareSullivan teaches a range of courses, including Media Industries, Audience Analysis, Free Culture, The Politics of Media Reform, 20th Century Media, and required courses such as Media and Society and Media, Theory and Methods.