Each year, the University of Iowa School of Journalism & Mass Communication invites a number of visitors to campus to speak with our graduate students through our two visiting scholar programs.

The Li Chen Distinguished Lecture and McGranahan Lecture series are dedicated to bringing renowned scholars in the field of journalism and mass communication to the university. The Seminar Scholar series welcomes a diverse group of early career faculty and leading scholars to share their research and professional experiences with our graduate students.

McGranahan Lecturers

Jelani Cobb
2023 McGranahan Lecturer
Columbia Journalism School
Jelani Cobb is Ira A. Lipman Professor of Journalism and Dean of the Columbia Journalism School. He has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 2015 writing on race, history, justice, politics, and democracy. He received a Peabody Award for his 2020 PBS Frontline film Whose Vote Counts? and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Commentary in 2018. Learn more about Dr. Cobb.

Don Heider
2022 McGranahan Lecturer
Santa Clara University
Don Heider is the chief executive of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics as well as the John Courtney Murry, S.J. University Professor of Social Ethics at Santa Clara University. Heider began his career as a TV journalist and received five Emmy awards for this work. He is the author or editor of seven books including a A Practical Guide to Digital Journalism Ethics and Ethics for a Digital Age, Volumes 1 and 2. 
Learn more about Dr. Heider.

S. Craig Watkins
2021 McGranahan Lecturer
University of Texas School of Journalism and Media
S. Craig Watkins is the Ernest M. Sharpe Centennial Professor in the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. He is also the founding director of the Institute for Media Innovation, a new hub for research and design located in the Moody College of Communication. Prof. Watkins' work centers on Black and Latinx youth cultures and the media, particularly innovative uses of media technologies. He is the author of five books and numerous refereed articles on these topics. He was a 2009 Fellow at Stanford University's Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and his work has been supported by grants from the Ford Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation. 
Learn more about Dr. Watkins.

Barbie Zelizer
2020 McGranahan Lecturer
Raymond Williams Professor of Communication, Associate Dean for Research and Director of the Center for Media at Risk, University of Pennsylvania
Barbie Zelizer is a former journalist known for her work on journalism, culture, memory and images. She has authored/edited fourteen books and over 150 articles/essays. Coeditor of Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism, she is past President of the International Communication Association.
Learn more about Dr. Zelizer.

Michael Schudson
2019 McGranahan Lecturer
Columbia Journalism School
Michael Schudson has taught at the University of Chicago, the University of California, San Diego and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He is the author of seven books and co-editor of three others. He is the recipient of a number of honors; has been a Guggenheim fellow, a resident fellow and a MacArthur Foundation "genius" fellow.
Learn more about Dr. Schudson.

Sarah Banet-Weiser
2018 McGranahan Lecturer
London School of Economics and Political Science's Media and Communication
Sarah Banet-Weiser is a successful academic and author. She is a professor and current Head of the London School of Economics and Political Science's Media and Communication Department.
Learn more about Dr. Banet-Weiser.

Janice Radway 
2017 McGranahan Lecturer
Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences
Radway is widely known for her scholarship on readers, reading, books, and the history of middlebrow culture.
Learn more about Dr. Radway.

Li Chen Distinguished Lecturer

Sarah J. Jackson
2020 Li Chen Distinguished Lecture
Presidential Associate Professor, Co-Director, Media, Inequality & Change Center, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania
Sarah J. Jackson is a scholar known for her work regarding marginalized publics and how they use and are represented by media and technology. She has authored two books, Black Celebrity, Racial Politics, and the Press and Hashtag Activism: Networks of Race and Gender Justice. Jackson is an associate editor at Communication Theory, the Conversation & Commentary editor at Women's Studies in Communication, and serves on the editorial board of Communication Theory. Learn more about Dr. Jackson.

Seminar Scholars

2023 Visitors

Shaunak Sastry
“The Strategic (Mis)uses of Community in Public Health: A Critical Interrogation”
Associate Professor, University of Cincinnati

Daniela Dimitrova
“Global Journalism: A Media Systems Approach”
Professor, Iowa State University

2022 Visitors

Alexis Romero Walker
"Equity in Media Education: Unlearning and Relearning for a More Inclusive Media Industry"
Assistant Professor, Manhattanville College

Dimitra Dimitrakopoulou
"'It's Okay to Have Questions': A Framework for Empathetic Messaging to Address Parental Concerns of COVID-19 Vaccination"
Assistant Professor, MIT Media Lab and the University of Zurich, Switzerland

Saif Shahin
"Connective Action meets Cultural Hybridity in Black Lives Matter"
Assistant Professor, Tilburg University, Netherlands

Anita Varma
"Solidarity in Action: An Ethical Reporting Approach for Representing Marginalized Communities"
Assistant Professor, University of Texas at Austin

2021 Visitors

Kim Fox
"A Curriculum for Blackness: Podcasts as Discursive Cultural Guides, 2010-2020"
Professor of Practice, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, The American University in Cairo

Manfred Kofi Antwi Asuman
"Participatory Communications as a Tool for Women Empowerment: A Case Study of Five Community Radio Stations in Northern Ghana "
Ph.D. Candidate, Media and Communication, Nelson Mandela University, South Africa

Ayleen Cabas-Mijares
"Mediating Undocuqueer: Mediated Activism and News Coverage of the Movement that Changed Immigration Advocacy"
Assistant Professor, Journalism and Media Studies, Marquette University

Nikki Usher
"News for the Rich, White, and Blue: How Place and Power Distort American Journalism
Associate Professor, College of Media, University of Illinois

Magdalena Saldaña
"Uncivil Much? Hate Speech and Incivility in User-Generated Comments Addressing Marginalized Groups”
Assistant Professor, School of Communications, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile

2020 Visitors

Lisa Ortiz
"#yonomequito Beyond Migration: Neoliberal prescriptions of not giving up"
Provost Postdoctoral Faculty Fellow at the University of Iowa

Diana Leon-Boys
"Latinidad in the digital age: Disney's flexible and non-existent Latina princess"
Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, University of South Florida

Kevin D. Thomas
"Research, teaching, and service: Bridging the divide and pursuing wholeness"
Assistant Professor, Diederich College of Communication, Marquette University

Naya Jones
"Research, teaching, and service: Bridging the divide and pursuing wholeness"
Assistant Professor, Global and Community Health, University of California Santa Cruz

2019 Visitors

Mohamed El Marzouki
“Politics and commerce in Arab creator culture"
Assistant Professor of Communication, Department of Humanities, Illinois Institute of Technology

Stephanie Edgerly
“News exposure in an age of media choice.”
Associate Professor, Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications, Northwestern University

Monique L. R. Luisi
“The good, the bad, and the trending: Media messages about health and how they affect us."
Assistant Professor, Missouri School of Journalism, University of Missouri 

Meredith Broussard
Associate Professor, Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute of New York University

Mack Hagood
Robert H. and Nancy J. Blayney Associate Professor, Comparative Media Studies at Miami University, Ohio

Lindsay Palmer
Associate Professor, School of Journalism and Mass Communication at UW-Madison

2018 Visitors

Andrea Guzman
“What is human-machine communication? The changing role of technology in communication research."
Assistant Professor, Department of Communication at Northern Illinois University

Andy King
"Improving visual behavior research in communication science: An overview, review, and recommendations for using eye-tracking methods."
Assistant Professor, Greenlee School Journalism/Communication