"I teach media studies and production, from a background in cultural studies, critical theory, and alternative media. I want students to develop informed and critical views of media, and to develop their abilities to express themselves meaningfully and creatively."
ProfessorCommunication and Media Studies
Daniel Marcus is Professor of Communication and Media Studies within the Center for Art and Media at Goucher College. He teaches courses in media and politics, television studies, and documentary film and video, as well as courses in video production and screenwriting. He received a doctorate in Media and Cultural Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, after working in alternative media production with groups such as Paper Tiger Television and Deep Dish TV. He has also taught as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia. Marcus’s research is currently focused on media coverage of politics and economics, and on documentary and video activism. He has served as chair of Communication and Media Studies and of the college Curriculum Committee, and is currently Director of the Center for Art and Media. He has also served on the consulting panel on documentary for the national Peabody Awards.
Research, Scholarship, Creative Work in Progress
I am currently working on a book project on how American media have covered political and economic issues in an age of economic inequality, looking at non-fiction sources, political speech, and popular culture.
I co-edited Contemporary Documentary, an anthology that surveys important developments in documentary film and video in recent decades. The book was described as "Essential" to the field by the American Library Association.
In Happy Days and Wonder Years, I looked at cultural and political nostalgia from the 1970s through the 1990s, and how senses of the American past portrayed in popular culture informed political movements and debates.
ed., with Selmin Kara, Contemporary Documentary. London and New York: Routledge, 2016.
Happy Days and Wonder Years: The Fifties and the Sixties in Contemporary Cultural Politics. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2004.
ed., ROAR! The Paper Tiger Television Guide to Media Activism. New York and Columbus: Paper Tiger Television and the Wexner Center for the Arts, 1991.
Recent Contributions to Books and Journals
with Oliver Vodeb, “Capitalism’s Addictions: Design and the Displacement of Intimacy,” in Oliver Vodeb, ed., Radical Intimacies. Bristol: Intellect Books, forthcoming
with Sam Burch, Lisa Gye, Kristy-Lee Horswood, and Oliver Vodeb, “Coming to the Fire: Collaboration Across Cultures in Media Activism,” in Christopher Robe´ and Stephen Charbonneau, eds., InsUrgent Media from the Front: A Global Media Activism Reader. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2020
“Primary Methods: Non-Fiction,” in Michael Kackman and Mary Celeste Kearney, eds., The Craft of Criticism: Critical Media Studies in Practice. New York: Routledge, 2018.
“Documentary Treatments and Cultural Hierarchies: The 2008 Financial Crash in American Documentaries,” in Constantin Parvulescu, ed., Global Finance on Screen: from Wall Street to Side Street. London: Routledge, 2018.
“Documentary and Video Activism,” in Daniel Marcus and Selmin Kara, eds., Contemporary Documentary. London and New York: Routledge, 2016.
“Debt in the American Economy: Busted Bubbles and Booming Inequality,” in Oliver Vodeb, Nikola Janovic, and Rok Klememncic, eds., Indebted to Intervene: Critical issues in debt, communication and art. Ljubljana and Brisbane: Memefest and Queensland College of Art, 2014.
“From Participatory Video to Reality Television,” in Laurie Ouellette, ed., A Companion to Reality Television. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2014.
“The Wonder Years: Nostalgia,” in Jason Mittell and Ethan Thompson, eds., How to Watch Television. New York: New York University Press, 2013.
“Review Essay: The Critique of Conservative Media,” Cinema Journal 51:4, Summer 2012.
External Awards, Honors, Grants
Conference Papers & Panel Participation
Recent Conference Presentations and Participation
“Shark Tank: Heroic Entrepreneurship in the American Economy,” Cultural Studies Association (USA) Annual Conference, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA, 2019 (also Chair of panel)
"Mark Cuban as Political Celebrity," Fan Studies Network N.A. Conference, Chicago, IL, 2018.
"Raymond Williams' Marxism and Literature," Workshop on Classic Texts, Annual Conference of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, Toronto, CA, 2018.
Invited Participant, Workshop on Radio Pedagogy, Radio Preservation Task Force Conference, Library of Congress, Washington, DC, 2017.
“The 2008 Crash, Documentary, and Contemporary Cultural Hierarchies,” Annual Conference of the Cultural Studies Association, Washington, DC, 2017.
“’To Call It a ‘Zoo’ Would Be Unkind to Animals’: How Cable Television Came to Miami,” Annual Conference of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, Chicago, IL, 2017 (also Chair of panel).
“Grizzly Man: Performative Selves Among the Species,” Visible Evidence XXIII: International Conference on Documentary Film and Media, Bozeman, MT, 2016.
“Excess and Access in Recent Films of Finance,” Annual Conference of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, Atlanta, GA, 2016.
Invited Participant and Respondent, Workshop on Radio Pedagogy, Radio Preservation Task Force Conference, Library of Congress, Washington, DC, 2016.
Co-leader and Participant, Workshop on Aboriginal Rights and Communication Campaigns, Memefest/Swinburne Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Australia, 2014.
“Television and Media in Contemporary Political Dialogue,” Radical Intimacies: Dialogue in Our Times Symposium, Memefest/Swinburne Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Australia, 2014.
“Political Television and Perceptions of American Politics,” The FLOW Conference, University of Texas, 2014.
“The Criticism of Non-Fiction Media,” The Craft of Criticism Conference, Notre Dame University, 2014.
“Three Scenes from the Car Culture: Documentary and the Economically Abject,” Annual Conference of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, Seattle, WA, 2014.
Co-Chair, “Documentary, Data, and Contagious Archives,” Annual Conference of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, Seattle, WA, 2014.
“How to Use Aesthetic Judgment without Becoming Judgmental, Maybe,” The FLOW Conference, University of Texas, 2012.
“From Participatory Video to Reality Television,” Annual Conference of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, Boston, MA, 2012.
Participant, “The Undergraduate TV Paper,” public seminar and panel, Annual Conference of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, Boston, MA, 2012.
"Tactics: Talking Television in a Pandemic," Aca-Media podcast, December 6, 2020.
"The 2020 Election: The Whirlwind Before Us," public webinar for the Phi Beta Kappa Society of Greater Baltimore, Spetember 24, 2020.
Academic or Professional Associations
Cultural Studies Association (U.S.)
Radio History Preservation Task Force, Library of Congress
Society for Cinema and Media Studies
Other Professional or Scholarly Activity
I have helped to choose television documentaries eligible to get Peabody Awards for excellence. I am also a member of the Editorial Panel for Memefest: International Festival of Radical Communication.
I was Co-Coordinating Editor of The Velvet Light Trap: A Critical Journal on Film, Television, and New Media, 1997-99, and later a member of its Editorial Advisory Board. I have been a peer reviewer and reader for Cinema Journal, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, New Review of Film and Television Studies, Popular Communication, Blackwell Publishers, Oxford University Press, and other publishers.