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David Gracon Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Note: For the fall 2017 and spring/summer 2018 semesters I will be a Fulbright Scholar (on sabbatical) teaching media studies at Precarpathian National University in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine.  I will return to EIU for the fall 2018 semester.  My email is still active should you need to reach me during this time.

My research and teaching interests include critical cultural studies (film studies, media literacy, documentary analysis, alternative media, visual communication, media/music based subcultures, DIY cultural production),
the political economy of communication and digital video, documentary (including expanded/experimental 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 (  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 1997-2017.”  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 also 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). 

For more detailed information download my CV from this page.

Areas of Expertise

  • Communication


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.

Research Interests

The political economy of media, critical cultural studies, alternative media, media subcultures, DIY/radical media, new media, visual studies, documentary video, experimental media and digital video production.

Link to Walls of Sound — A Look Inside the House of Records trailer:

Contact Information

Phone: 217-581-2016 (messages)

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