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Department of Communication and Media

Melissa “Mish” Zimdars

Assistant Professor of Communication

Communication and Media

Dr. Zimdars is a critical media studies scholar who analyzes the influences, overlaps, and connections between television programs, media industries, communication policies, audiences, and culture. 

When she’s not researching and teaching, Dr. Zimdars uses her textual and discourse analysis skills to work on, a project that navigates fake and otherwise misleading “news” websites.


  • Ph.D. University of Iowa
  • M.A. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • B.A. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 


  • Radio Production
  • Introduction to Mass Communication
  • Media Industries
  • Feminist Media Studies
  • Television Criticism
  • New Media and Digital Communication 
  • Global Media (Intensive Study Abroad) 

Professional Experience

Before joining the Department of Communication and Media, Dr. Zimdars was an instructor and teaching assistant at the University of Iowa in the Department of Communication Studies. While at the University of Iowa, Dr. Zimdars also had a radio show on KRUI 89.7 FM, served on the board of directors for Student Broadcasters Inc., and wrote a television column and other pieces for the alternative bi-weekly, Little Village


Dr. Zimdars is the author of the book Watching Our Weights: The Consequences and Contradictions of Televising Fatness in the “Obesity Epidemic” (Rutgers University Press, forthcoming) and is currently working on a co-edited anthology of essays entitled Fake News: Mis/Disinformation in the Digital Age (under review at MIT Press). Her work has appeared in Television and New Media, Popular Communication: The International Journal of Media and Culture, Feminist Media Studies, and Flow.