Academic Title

Professor, Communication and Media.

Research Interests
  • Binge Watching
  • Humor in Media
  • Media Representation
  • Media Studies
  • New-Media Trends
  • Qualitative Research
Research Summary

My research interests revolve around media, culture and power. Many of my earlier publications analyze media representations of marginalized groups, particularly concerning intersections of race/ethnicity, gender and class. More recently, my research program has emphasized a qualitative approach to understanding new-media engagement patterns. Using focus-group, interview and survey methods, I have explored media marathoning practices, TV spoiler attitudes and podcast listening gratifications. My 2015 book, “Media Marathoning: Immersions in Morality,” argues that the media marathoning process (my alternative label for “binge-watching”) invites us to place ourselves into story worlds and negotiate the nuances of morality. Recent publications have analyzed TV critics’ practices surrounding spoilers and viewers’ attitudes toward spoilers (co-authored with Noelle McElrath-Hart). My works in progress include analysis of interviewees’ media marathoning experiences while ill, as well as qualitative and quantitative studies about podcast listeners’ gratifications (conducted with colleagues Jacob Turner and Andrew Tollison, with help from students Sarah Seero and Kenney Tran).

  • Ph.D., Communication, University of Texas, Austin
  • M.A., Communication, Pennsylvania State University
  • B.A., Communication and Sociology, Wake Forest University
Areas of Expertise
  • Binge Watching
  • Humor in Media
  • Media Marathoning
  • New Media
  • Racial Representation
Recent Publications

Perks, L. G. (accepted, 2018). “Media marathoning and health coping.” Communication Studies. doi: 10.1080/10510974.2018.1519837.

Perks, L. G. & Turner, J. S. (accepted, 2018). “Podcasts and productivity: A qualitative Uses and Gratifications study.” Mass Communication and Society.

Mandeville, D., Perks, L. G., Benes, S. S. & Poloskey, L. (accepted, 2017). “The Mindset and Intellectual Development Scale (MINDS): Metacognitive assessment for undergraduate students.” International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.

Perks, L. G. and McElrath-Hart, N. (2017). “Television Spoilers Recast as Narrative Teasers.” Qualitative Research Reports in Communication.

Perks, L. G. and McElrath-Hart, N. (2016). “The Television Spoiler Nuisance Rationale.” International Journal of Communication, 10, 5580-5597.

Perks, L. G. and McElrath-Hart, N. (2016). “Spoiler Definitions and Behaviors in the Post-Network Era.” Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies.

Perks, L. G. (2015). Media Marathoning: Immersions in Morality.” Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Perks, L. G. (2015). “Cultivating Community Through Academic Blogging.” Journal of Contemporary Rhetoric (special issue on rhetorical autoethnography) 5(1/2), 37-41.

Perks, L. G. and Johnson, K. A. (November 2014). “Electile Dysfunction: The Burlesque Binds of the Sarah Palin MILF Frame.” Feminist Media Studies, 14(5), 775-790.

Perks, L. G. and Gatchet, A. D. (2013). Equipment for Living in an Ordered Home: Disciplinary Homologies in ‘Supernanny’ and ‘Dog Whisperer.’” The Journal of Popular Culture, 46(4), 811-830.

Perks, L. G. (2012). “Sox and Stripes: Baseball’s Ironic American Dreams.” Communication Quarterly, 60(4), 445-464. Lead article.

Perks, L. G. (2012). “Three Satiric Television Decoding Positions.” Communication Studies, 63(3), 290-308.

Perks, L. G. (2012). “The Ancient Roots of Humor Theory.” HUMOR: The International Journal of Humor Research, 25(2), 119-132. Lead article.

Perks, L. G. (2010). “Polysemic Scaffolding: Explicating Discursive Clashes in ‘Chappelle’s Show.” Communication, Culture and Critique, 3(2), 270-289.

Honors and Awards
  • Top paper panel selection, Kenneth Burke Division, Eastern States Communication Association, 2018
  • Top paper panel selection, Communication Theory Division, Eastern States Communication Association, 2017.
  • Top paper, Rhetorical and Communication Theory Division, National Communication Association, 2007.
  • Doctoral Honors Seminar Participant, National Communication Association, 2007.
  • Top Three Student Paper, Mass Communication Division, National Communication Association, 2005.
  • Top Four Student Paper, Media Studies Division, Western States Communication Association, 2004.