Leah ShaferAssociate Professor of Media and Society

Joined faculty in 2008

A.B., Cornell University
M.A., Cornell University
Ph.D., Cornell University

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Contact Information

DemarestPhone (315) 781-3951

Scholarly Interest

Television History, Advertising, Visual Culture, Digital Media, Film Aesthetics and Analysis, Interactive Documentary, Digital Humanities, Media Literacy & Pedagogy

Teaching Experience

Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Associate Professor, Media and Society Program (2017-present)
Assistant Professor, Media and Society Program (2011-2017)
Visiting Assistant Professor, Media and Society Program (2008-2011)

Bard College
Campus Coordinator, Bard Prison Initiative (2009-2011)
Instructor, Bard Prison Initiative (2009)

Ithaca College
Instructor, Department of Cinema, Photography, and Media Arts (2007-2009)


Television, Advertising, New Media, Media Literacy & Pedagogy

Courses Taught

Intro to Media and Society, History of US Television, American Cinema, The Video Essay, Cultures of Advertising, Media and Theory, Senior Seminar


“Early Pharmaceutical Commercials and Medicalized Consumers” (with co-author Rebecca Burditt) in Routledge Handbook of Medicine and Media (2022)

“Sticks/Figures” experimental dance video, Editor (2021)

“Brand Name Vision: Props in the Family Films of John Hughes” in ReFocus: The Films of John Hughes, Edinburgh UP (2021)

“Immediacy, Hypermediacy and the College Campus: Using Augmented Reality for Social Critique” (with co-author Iskandar Zulkarnain) in Feminist Interventions in Digital Pedagogy, Routledge (2018) 

 “The Office: broadcast television in the digital era” in The 25 Sitcoms that Changed Television: From I Love Lucy to Modern Family, ABC-CLIO (2016)

“Cat Videos and the Superflat Cinema of Attractions” Film Criticism (volume 40, Issue 2, July 2016)

“Using Digital Tools for Collaborative Discovery: Assurances and Ambivalences” Flow: A Critical Forum on Television and Media Culture (2015)

“Progressive’s Flo: Convergence Brand” Teaching Media Quarterly, Volume 3, Issue 4 (2016)

Digital Humanities and Media Studies Crossovers co-edited issue of Cinema Journal Teaching Dossier (2016)

 “ ‘Tik Tok on the Clock but the Party Don’t Stop No:’ Parodic Military Dance Videos on YouTube” The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to the War Film (2016)

“Declaration of Sentiments Wesleyan Chapel” (experimental documentary) Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival “Habitats as Iterations” exhibition (2015)

“Delcaration of Sentiments” (experimental documentary) Seneca Falls Dialogues Journal (2015)

“Declaration of Sentiments” (experimental documentary) Permanent Collection, National Women’s Rights Historical Park (2015)

“Sentiments and Usurpations” (experimental documentary) installation, Gould Hotel, Seneca Falls, NY (2014)

 “Curation and the Video Essay” Cinema Journal Teaching Dossier (2013)

“I Can Haz an Internet Aesthetic? LOLcats and the Digital Marketplace” Proceedings of the 2012 Northeast Popular Culture Association Conference (2013)

 “Extreme Searching: Multi-Modal Media Research” (with co-author Lisa Patti) Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy (2012)

Co-creator, We, Landscape (multi-channel digital video) Points of View exhibition, Houghton House Gallery Hobart and William Smith Colleges (2011)

“The Trouble With Your Refreshment System” In Media Res (2011)


Society for Cinema and Media Studies 
National Association for Media Literacy Education


My courses are designed to unsettle students’ notions of the status quo and to provide and provoke resistant and oppositional readings of popular culture and mass media texts. Though there are, of course, variations between the classes, for the most part I design the courses so there is an overarching focus on the analysis of primary documents within their historical context and an emphasis on creative production projects.

I am currently co-editing a book called: Fifty Years of Women Media Makers: from New Hollywood to YouTube.

My scholarship appears in Film CriticismFlow: A Critical Forum on Television and Media CultureTeaching Media QuarterlyJournal of Interactive Technology and PedagogyCinema Journal, and In Media Res. I have published chapters in several anthologies including The 25 Sitcoms that Changed Television: From I Love Lucy to Modern FamilyWriting About MediaFeminist Interventions in Digital Pedagogy, and the Routledge Medical Media Handbook. 

I am also a producer and filmmaker. I create experimental documentaries and video essays and collaborate with artists to edit and produce video art.


Filming at the Wesleyan Chapel, Seneca Falls.

Huffington Post Live! Appearance