Brenton J. Malin
Associate Professor of Communication
Director of Graduate Studies
Affiliate Faculty, Cultural Studies
PhD, University of Iowa
1109L Cathedral of Learning
Brent Malin studies media history, theory, and criticism with concentrations in cultural studies, critical theory, intellectual history, technology studies, and the rhetoric of inquiry. His research covers a range of contemporary and historical topics in order to understand the myriad ways in which people's identities are constituted by and through the media. Malin's first book, American Masculinity under Clinton: Popular Media and the Nineties Crisis of Masculinity, explores conceptions of masculinity offered by a wide range of sources from the 1990's and early 21st century. Drawing together analyses of such popular culture examples as Friends, Titanic, and The Sopranos, and such political sources as Bill Clinton's presidential campaign, The Starr Report, and the debates surrounding September 11th, Malin illustrates how a rhetoric of masculine crisis has been used to support a range of economic, political, and cultural aims. His second book, Feeling Mediated: A History of Communication Technology and Emotion (forthcoming from NYU Press), investigates how changes in communication technology change how people think about emotion. Focusing primarily on the early 20th century U.S. and exploring such diverse technologies as radio and the psycho-galvanometer, this book demonstrates how a set of assumptions about emotion came to dominate popular and academic thinking about the media as well as how these assumptions continue to shape our understanding of communication. Outside of these two books, Malin's research has explored a variety of other historical and contemporary issues, from the media research of early 20th century psychologist Carl Seashore to the notions of masculinity depicted on the police drama The Shield, and from 19th century court cases regarding the telegraph to arguments about the democratic possibilities of the Internet. Malin has taught graduate and undergraduate courses at the University of Iowa, St. Olaf College, Allegheny College, and San Francisco State University.
- Mass Communication Process
- Television and Society
- Media Criticism
- Media and Cultural Theory
- The Media Ecology Tradiation
- Foundations of American Media Theory
Malin, B. (forthcoming). Policing the crisis of masculinity: Media and masculinity at the dawn of the new century. In C. Carter, L. Steiner, and L. McLaughlin (Ed.s), Routledge Companion to Media and Gender. London, UK: Routledge.
Malin, B. (forthcoming). Media, messages, and emotions. In S. Matt and P. Stearns (Ed.s), Doing Emotions History. Urbana-Champagne, IL: University of Illinois Press.
Malin, B. (2011). Failed transmissions and broken hearts: The telegraph, communications law, and the emotional responsibility of new technologies. Media History, 17(4), 331-344.
Malin, B. (2011). Electrifying speeches: Emotional control and the technological aesthetic of the voice in the early 20th century US. Journal of Social History, 45(1), 1-19.
Malin, B. (2011). Not just your average beauty: Carl Seashore and the history of communication research in the US. Communication Theory, 21(3), 299-316.
Malin, B. (2011). A very popular blog: The Internet and the possibilities of publicity. New Media & Society, 13(2), 187-202.
Malin, B. (2010). Viral manhood: Niche marketing, hardboiled detectives, and the economics of masculinity. Media, Culture & Society, 32(3), 373-389.
Malin, B. (2009). Mediating emotion: Technology, social science, and emotion in the Payne Fund Motion Picture Studies. Technology & Culture, 50(2), 366-390 (2010 winner of the Walter Benjamin Award for Outstanding Article in the field of Media Ecology from the Media Ecology Association).
Malin, B. (2007). Looking white and middle-class: Stereoscopic imagery and technology in the early 20th century United States. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 93(4), 403-424.
Malin, B. (2005). American masculinity under Clinton: Popular media and the Nineties “crisis of masculinity.” New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc. (part of the book series “Popular Culture and Everyday Life” edited by Toby Miller)
Malin, B. (2004). Gender, culture, power: Three theoretical views. In M. Rose Williams and P. Backlund (Ed.s), Readings in gender communication (pp. 65-75). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing.
Malin, B. (2003). Drive by programming: Niche marketing to the channel surfer on TNT, MTV, and CNN. Explorations in media ecology, 2(2), 101-115.
Malin, B. (2003). Memorializing white masculinity: The late 1990s "crisis of masculinity" and the "subversive performance" of Man on the Moon. Journal of Communication Inquiry, 27(3), 239-255 (reprinted in Whitehead, S. [Ed.]. . Men and masculinities: Critical concepts in sociology. London: Routledge).
Malin, B. (2001). Communication with feeling: Emotion, publicness, and embodiment. Quarterly Journal of Speech 87(2), 216-235.