Dr. Michael DwyerDr. Michael D. Dwyer

Assistant Professor of Communications

Michael D. Dwyer is Assistant Professor of Communications, specializing in film, cultural studies, popular culture and new media. He has taught courses in media studies, film, composition, popular music, representations of race/gender/class in popular culture, and critical theory.

Professor Dwyer's scholarly research to date has focused on the phenomenon of nostalgia in popular media. He is currently at work on a manuscript entitled Back to the Fifties which interrogates Reagan-Era popular culture's peculiar interest in the 1950s, and the ways in which history, memory, and media intersect in audiences' emotional responses to film, music, and television. He also has published essays on DIY youth cultures, the video art of Sadie Benning, riot grrrl, and the politics of participatory fandom.

Outside the classroom Professor Dwyer has interests in American soccer, DIY music and culture, theater, pub trivia, neighborhood bakeries, bad karaoke, and old movie theaters. A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., Dwyer is also one of the founders of Rust Belt Rising, a web site centering on music and culture of the rust belt.


  • B.A. English, University of Miami 2002
  • M.A. Literary and Cultural Studies, Carnegie Mellon University, 2003
  • Ph.D. English, Syracuse University, 2010

Courses Taught at Arcadia

  • Introduction to Media Studies
  • Writing and Communications
  • Media Studies

Recent Presentations

  • "The Same Old Songs? Inventing Oldies in 1980s Cinema." Society of Cinema and Media Studies. March 8-12, 2011. New Orleans, LA.
  • "Back in Time: Pastiching the Fifties." Society of Cinema and Media Studies. Tokyo, Japan. May 21-24, 2009. (Conference rescheduled to March 2010, Los Angeles, CA.)
  • "Back to the Fifties: Ronald Reagan and Marty McFly." Popular Culture Association/ American Culture Association. San Francisco, CA. March 18-22, 2008.
  • Panel Respondent. "Embodying Difference/ Representing Identity." Regional LGBT/Queer Studies Conference. Syracuse University, November 3, 2007.
  • "Alfred Hitchcock and a Cultural Geography of Greenwich Village." Albany-Syracuse Americanist Exchange. Albany, NY, April 13, 2007.
  • "It Was Something: The DIY Body Politics of Kathleen Hanna and Sadie Benning." Midwest Modern Language Association, Chicago IL. November 10-12, 2006.
  • "Radical Cheerleading and the Aesthetics of Political Demonstration after Seattle." University of Albany Graduate Conference in the Humanities. Albany, NY. April 22-23, 2006.
  • "It Takes the Village: The Urban Space Outside Hitchcock's Rear Window." SW/TX Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association. Albuquerque, NM. Feb 8-11, 2006.

Recent Publications

  • "Fixing the Fifties in the Reagan Era." The 1980s: A Transitional Decade. Duncan Campbell and Kimberly R. Moffitt, eds. Latham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield / Lexington Books. 2010 (Forthcoming).
  • "It Was Something: Kathleen Hanna, Sadie Benning, and the Limits of Grrrl-hood." Singing for Themselves: Essays on Women in Popular Music. Patricia Spence Rudden, ed. Newcastle-upon-Tyne (UK): Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007.

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