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David Gracon Ph.D.

Associate Professor

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


I completed my Ph.D. in “Communication and Society” at the University of Oregon in the fall of 2010. I completed 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 and I’m currently screening it at film festivals, community art spaces and libraries.   I am currently organizing a mid-west tour with my retrospective program "Amateur Versus Professional — Experimental Film and Video works 1997-2015.”  I'm also working on the "Ordinary Video Series," a series of short observational documentaries exploring the intersection of nature, media and socially constructed spaces shot on my iPhone.  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). 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 events at Hallways Microcinema in Champaign, Illinois.
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, consult my professional webpage: and my CV.

Summer 2016 "Office" Hours (May 16-June 15): Tuesday 9-11 am via Skype or Mobile Phone (or by appointment).

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

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:

Contact Information

Phone: 217-581-2016 (messages)

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