My name is Judith E. Rosenbaum and I am an Associate Professor of Media Studies and Chair of the Department of Communication and Journalism at the University of Maine. I received my PhD from the Radboud University Nijmegen in The Netherlands.
Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Maine, I worked as an Associate Professor of Mass Communication at Albany State University in Albany, Georgia. At Albany State University, I served as Faculty Senate President as well as Chair of the Institutional Review Board.
I have taught both undergraduate and graduate students, and have taught courses on the theoretical foundations of mass communication, digital media, research methods, strategic communication, race, gender and the media, as well as several production courses. My research interests include media selection and enjoyment, meaning making in social media, and health and media usage.
My latest book, “Twitter, the public sphere, and the chaos of online deliberation”, co-edited with Gwen Bouvier, is now available from Palgrave McMillan. This books presents eleven case studies which examine the different ways in which people utilize Twitter to discuss politics, providing new insights in the platform’s ability to facilitate the kinds of interactions vital to democracy. The eleven chapters present work by a variety of scholars who rely on quantitative, qualitative, and critical/cultural methodologies to examine the nature of debate and communication on Twitter.
I am very excited to announce that “Constructing digital cultures: Tweets, trends, race, and gender”, published by Lexington books is available now. Constructing Digital Cultures examines how user-generated narratives on Twitter renegotiate dominant ideas about gender and race. Using an in-depth, qualitative examination of individual tweets, the different kinds of dialogue that characterize the platform, and various ways in which people connect, Constructing Digital Cultures provides insight into the nature of digital culture produced on Twitter and the platform’s potential as a virtual public sphere. This volume investigates arenas of discussion often seen on Twitter—from entertainment and popular culture to politics, social justice issues, and advertising—and looks into how members of ethnic minority groups use and relate to the platform.
In March 2023, I gave the keynote for the annual conference of the Connecticut Association for Adult and Continuing Education in Groton, CT. The keynote, entitled “community-building and dialogue on social media: Examining democracy in the 21st century,” addressed the threat and opportunities presented by social media platforms. More information about the keynote and the conference can be found here.
In January 2023, I was a guest on an episode of Maine Calling. In this episode, we talked about how to find common ground in polarized times. The episode can be found here.
In October 2022, the French student publication L’ecornifleur, published a piece on people’s reasons for sharing spoilers, featuring various spoiler experts including Benjamin Johnson and myself.
In March 2022, I was one of the keynote speakers at #SpoilTheConference, a multi-day conference on spoilers and entertainment media organized by the University of Zurich. My keynote, “Spoilers and the narrative experience: Lessons from Ten Years of Empirical Research” focused on what we know (and don’t know) about how spoilers impact the narrative experience ten years after social scientists first started looking into spoilers.
In February 2022, Jessica Brandt (policy director at the Brookings Institution) and I spoke to WERU Community Radio about how Facebook and Democracy coexist. You can list to the conversation here.
In March 2022, I spoke to the Connecticut Association of Adult and Continuing Education about the intersection between democracy, dialogue, and civility in an era where most of our conversations take place through social media platforms.
In May 2021, I was asked to give a guest lecture to the Penobscot Valley Senior College on the role social media play in today’s democracy.
On January 11, 2021, I was a guest on Maine Calling, Maine Public Radio’s talk show, to discuss the polarization that characterizes the United States, and what we can do to remediate this. You can listen to the episode here.
In November 2020, the ZDF interviewed me for a segment on cancel culture. The item (in German), was uploaded to their YouTube channel. You can view it here.
In the past few months, the spoiler research carried out by Benjamin Johnson and myself has been featured in a number of publications. In August 2019, our research was featured on two local TV stations in Maine. You can find the stories here. In May 2019, Thrive featured our work in a story on spoiler stress and television enjoyment. In April, Allison Eden from Michigan State University spoke about our work into horror fans and spoilers on an episode of The Frank Beckman Show. In that same month, I also spoke to MTV about the impact spoilers can have on enjoyment, while Forbes published a three-part series featuring findings my work with Benjamin Johnson as well as the work I have been doing with Morgan Ellithorpe from MSU and Sarah Brookes from SUNY Geneseo. You can find the three separate parts here, here, and here.