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 David  Gracon Ph.D.

David Gracon Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Office: 1240 - Coleman Hall
Phone: 217-581-2016 (messages)
Fax: 217-581-5718
Email: dgracon@eiu.edu

David Gracon Ph.D.'s Vita

My research and teaching interests include the political economy of communication (in particular, the music industry), critical cultural studies (film studies, media literacy, documentary analysis, alternative media, visual communication, media/music based subcultures, DIY cultural production), digital video, documentary (including "expanded" documentary) and experimental media production.  I am dedicated to the integration of critical studies, interdisciplinary knowledge and creative media production.


I completed my Ph.D. in “Communication and Society” at the University of Oregon in the fall of 2010. I finished my first feature length documentary video titled: Walls of Sound: A Look Inside The House of Records (63 min, 2012, Microcosm Publishing).  The video is a collection of oral histories regarding the House of Records, an independent record store based in Eugene, Oregon (http://houseofrecords.wordpress.com/).  I took this film on a tour of the Pacific Northwest in October, 2012.   I am currently working on a DVD retrospective program "Amateur Versus Professional — Experimental Film and Video works 1997-2015.”  I recently completed the Ordinary Video Series, a 2013-2016 collection of short observational documentaries exploring the intersection of nature, media and socially constructed spaces shot entirely on my Smartphone.  My film and video works have been screened widely at venues such as the Chicago Underground Film Festival, Seattle Underground Film Festival, New Art Film Festival (Champaign) and the Centro Mexicano para la Música y Artes Sonoras (Mexican Centre for Music and Sonic Art; CMMAS by its initials in Spanish) and many others. I have also been a participant of the Robert Flaherty Documentary Film Seminar (Colgate University) and the Oberhausen Film Seminar (Oberhausen, Germany) and run/program film/media/art events at Hallways Microcinema in Champaign, Illinois.  In September 2016, I programmed the films of Tony Conrad for the Basilica Soundscape in Hudson, NY. 
I have international teaching experience.  I was a participant of the JET Program (Japanese Exchange and Teaching) and taught English in China, Poland and Lithuania via Bridges for Education, a non-profit organization based in Buffalo, NY.  I was also a volunteer builder in Rabinal, Guatemala with Habitat for Humanity during the summer of 2014.

I’m a native of Buffalo, NY and have been invested in post-punk, indie, experimental music scenes, zine communities and college radio; as well as activist orientated experimental film, video and documentary communities and collectives since the mid 90’s.


I was the recipient of the 2011-2012 Michael R. Hoadley Instructional Technology Award (for the innovative use of technology in the classroom). 

I’m the departmental honors coordinator for Communication Studies.  Please visit my office hours if you would like to learn more about the departmental honors program. 

For more detailed information download my CV from this page.

Spring 2017 Office Hours: Tuesday/Thursday 12:30-2 pm and 3:30-5 pm (or by appointment).

Current Syllabi

Frequently Taught Courses

Undergraduate: CMN 2575 Field Production, CMN 4500 Documentary Production, CMN 3500 New Media Practices, CMN 4770 Television Criticism, CMN 4030 Alternative Media, CMN 3570 History of Documentary Film, CMN 3570 History of Alternative Media, FLM 3759 History of Cinema.

Graduate: CMN 5160 Seminar in Mass Media: "Media, Commodity and Spectacle", CMN 5610 Media Criticism, CMN 5160 Seminar in Mass Media: "Alternative Media," CMN 5030 Methods of Critical Inquiry.


Ph.D, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon.  Communication and Society.  The School of Journalism and Communication.  September 2010. Dissertation Title: Exiled Records and Over-the-Counter-Culture — A Cultural Political Economic Analysis of the Independent Record Store 

M.A, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York (SUNY).  Humanities (the merging of Media Studies (experimental media/documentary video) and Sociology (Critical theory).  September 2001. Thesis Title: Imperial Tourism: Documentary Video (29 min) and a discursive component: A Critical Discussion of Subjectivity, Representation and Experimental Ethnography

B.A, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York (SUNY).  Double major in Sociology and Media Studies (Documentary video/experimental media).  May 1999.

Professional Organizations

Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS)
American Culture Association/Popular Culture Association (ACA/PCA)
Union for Democratic Communication (UDC)
Allied Media Conference
Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center
WEFT Community Radio (Champaign)
The Art Theater Coop (Champaign)
Squeaky Wheel, Buffalo Media Resources


Political Economy of Media, Critical Cultural Studies, Alternative Media, Media Based Subcultures, DIY/Radical Media, The Music Industry, New Media, Visual Studies, Documentary Video and Experimental Film and Video.

Link to Walls of Sound — A Look Inside the House of Records trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3L_YoaQLoZk

Selected Publications

Gracon, D. (2017). Through Being Cool: The Political Economy of iTunes in Randy Nichol’s and Gabriela Martinez’s (Eds.) in Profit, Power, and Paucity: Janet Wasko and the Political Economy of Communication, press TBA (In Press)

Perini, J. & Gracon, D.(2013)  Tough Stuff from the Buff in Miriam Paeslack's (Ed.) Ineffably Urban: Imaging Buffalo, Ashgate Publishing. 

Gracon, D. (2009) The Independent Record Store as a Site of Cultural Resistance and Anti-McDonaldization — A Case Study of The House of Records in Robert C. Sickels (Ed.) The Business of Entertainment: Popular Music, Volume 2. Praeger Publishers. 

Selected Conference Presentations

Smartphone Video, Experimental Documentary and the Ordinary Video Series.  What is Media Conference?  University of Oregon.  Portland, Oregon.  April 2016.

Amateur Versus Professional: Experimental and Documentary Film and Video Works by David Gracon 1997-2015National American Culture Association/Popular Culture Association, Seattle, Washington.  March 2016.                


Punk Space: The Influence of Punk and the DIY Spirit of Hallways MicrocinemaNational American Culture Association/Popular Culture Association, New Orleans, Louisiana.  April 2015 .  

See my CV for a complete listing of conference presentations.



1. Walls of Sound — A Look Inside the House of Records Fall 2012 Pacific Northwest Film Tour:



EIU 360: http://www.eiu.edu/eiu360/story.php?id=57038

2. Co-Curator of the Tuff Stuff From the Buff Film and Video Bicycle Tour:


3. Social Docs! Screening Series:


4. Cut and Paste Zine Symposium:


5. Le Tigre Screening and Presentation:



6. Alternative Media Fieldtrip:


7. Co-Curator of the Champaign-Urbana Independent Media Center Film Festival:


8. Promoter of the Found Footage Festival:


9. Student Documentary Screening:




































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