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Research Overview

The Communication Department at UC San Diego brings together research scholarship broadly rooted in the social sciences and humanities with media production and community engagement.

Known for our theoretically grounded, interdisciplinary approach to the study of communication, the department is home to faculty and graduate students trained in sociology, psychology, education, communications research, anthropology, history, media and cultural studies, film studies, performance studies, disability studies, science and technology studies, information studies, urban studies, human-computer interaction, feminist theory, and critical legal and policy studies. We draw on these fields to illuminate processes of mediation and how they manifest socially, materially, and politically in scholarship that is historical, transnational, and anchored in a commitment to social justice.

This rich mix of intellectual traditions, scholarly orientations, and often hybrid methodological approaches is reflected in the nationally and internationally recognized research of faculty and graduate students, a sampling of which falls within the following areas:

  • Community-Based Pedagogy, Media Production, and Organizing
  • Critical Geography, Ecologies, and Urbanization
  • Critical Justice, Law, and Communication
  • Critical Media Production and Community-Based Practices
  • Cultural Studies of Media and Popular Culture
  • Culture and Politics of Digital Labor
  • Culture and Politics of Design, Material Culture, and the Built Environment
  • Disability, Access, and Health
  • Globalization, Migration, and Labor
  • Journalism, Political Communication, and Comparative Media Systems
  • Media and Biomedical Knowledge Production
  • Mediational Theories of Mind and of Learning
  • Political Economy of Media and the Culture Industries
  • Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
  • Science and Technology Studies
  • Social, Cultural, and Political Aspects of Data Science, Automation, and AI

For a more complete picture of the interdisciplinary interests, scholarship and expertise of department members, we invite you to visit the webpages of our individual faculty listed in the navigation as well as the webpages of department affiliated research groups and programs.