The Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication is proud to present CARGC Paper 7, “Thoughts on a Critical Theory of Rural Communication,” by Christopher Ali, the inaugural external faculty Fellow at CARGC in 2017.
In this paper, Ali draws on critical scholarship in media and communication studies, political economy, critical geography, phenomenology, and mobility studies to point the way forward for a critical theory of rural communication, arguing that understanding the rural is essential to understanding the dynamics of our globalized and networked world.
In his introduction, CARGC Director and Anthony Shadid Professor of Communication, Marwan M. Kraidy notes, “the elements of a critical theory of the rural presented here underscore how complex such a space is, shaped by market forces, policy initiatives, technological development, demographic shifts, and community identities.” He continues, “Passionately argued and thoroughly theorized, ‘Thoughts on A Critical Theory of Rural Communication’ promises to be a major contribution to global communication studies.”
Dr. Christopher Ali is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Media Studies at the University of Virginia and was a 2017 Fellow at the Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication. He also received his Ph.D. from the Annenberg School in 2013. His research focuses on communication policy and regulation, localism, local news/local journalism, and critical theory. His first book, Media Localism: The Policies of Place (University of Illinois Press, 2017) addresses the difficulties of defining and regulating local media in the 21st century in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada and the implications these difficulties have for the long-term viability of local news.
While at CARGC, Ali worked on a new book project, Farm Fresh Spectrum: Rural Interventions in Communication Policy, which will investigate the roles of farming communities in shaping communication policy. He is also a Fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University finishing a project on the state of small market newspapers in the United States called Local News in a Digital World: Small Market Newspapers in an Era of Digital Disruption.