Melissa Zimdars

Academic Title

  • Assistant Professor, Communication and Media

Administrative Support

  • Television and New Media
  • Critical/Cultural Studies
  • Media Industries
  • Global Media
  • Journalism & Fake News

I am a critical media studies scholar who analyzes the influences, overlaps and connections between television programs, media industries, communication policies, technologies, audiences and culture. I also analyze “fake news” and other forms of digital mis/disinformation.

  • Ph.D. Communication Studies University of Iowa
  • M.A. Media Studies University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
  • B.A. Journalism and Political Science University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
  • Television and New Media
  • Critical/Cultural Studies
  • Media Industries
  • Global Media
  • Journalism & Fake News
  • (COM 2401) Introduction to Media
  • (COM 3312W) Television Criticism
  • (COM 3350) Media Industries and Organizations
  • (COM 4326) New Media and Digital Communication
  • (COM 4450) Global Media

Zimdars, Melissa and Kembrew McLeod, “Fake News Understanding Media and Misinformation in the Digital Age,” MIT Press, Forthcoming.

Zimdars, Melissa, “Watching Our Weights: The Consequences and Contradictions of Televising Fatness in the “Obesity Epidemic,” Rutgers University Press, February 2019.

Zimdars, Melissa, “TLC: Food, Fatness and Spectacular Relatability,” in The New Television Industries: A Guide to Changing Channels, edited by Derek Johnson. New York: Routledge, 2018.

Zimdars, Melissa, “Having It Both Ways: ‘Two and a Half Men,’ ‘Entourage’ and the Televising of Juvenile Postfeminist Masculinity,” Feminist Media Studies, April 4, 2017 (online first).

Zimdars, Melissa, “Inactive Duty: Weight-Loss Television, Military Fatness and Disciplinary Discrepancy,” Television and New Media 18, no. 3 (2017): 218-234.

Zimdars, Melissa, “Fat Acceptance TV? Rethinking Reality Television with TLC’s ‘Big Sexy’ and the ‘Carnivalesque,’” Popular Communication: The International Journal of Media and Culture 13, no. 3 (2015): 232-246.

  • Fellowship, Marion Jasper Whiting Foundation, 2017.
  • Ramona Tomlin Mattson Fellowship, University of Iowa, 2015.
  • Ballard and Seashore Fellowship, University of Iowa, 2014.
  • Top student paper, Mass Communication Division, National Communication Association, 2014.
  • Top student paper, Global Fusion: A Global Media and Communication Conference, 2012.