School of Communication
Additional Positions at AUCo-Director, Center for Social Media
Affiliate Professor, School of International Service
Affiliate Professor, History Department
- Patricia Aufderheide is a full-time professor of Communication Studies in the School of Communication at American University in Washington, D.C., and co-director with Matthew Nisbet of the Center for Social Media. Her books include Reclaiming Fair Use: How to Put Balance Back in Copyright (University of Chicago), with Peter Jaszi; Documentary: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford), The Daily Planet (University of Minnesota Press), and Communications Policy in the Public Interest (Guilford Press). She has been a Fulbright and John Simon Guggenheim fellow and has served as a juror at the Sundance Film Festival. Aufderheide has received numerous journalism and scholarly awards, includinga Woman of Vision award from Women in Film and Video (DC) in 2010, a career achievement award in 2008 from the International Digital Media and Arts Association and the Scholarship and Preservation Award in 2006 from the International Documentary Association.
DegreesBA History (summa cum laude), University of Minnesota; MA History, University of Minnesota; PhD History, University of Minnesota
Languages Spoken:Portuguese, Spanish
- DOWNLOAD FULL BIO (PDF)
Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities
- Copyright and Fair Use www.centerforsocialmedia.org/fairuse. I explore the link between creativity and copyright practice, and work with creative communities to expand access to fair use.
- Public Media 2.0. What will tomorrow’s media for public life and democratic culture look like, and how will it be nurtured and maintained?
- The Evolving Documentary: How is social documentary adapting and expanding with new digital Opportunities?
Grants and Sponsored Research
- Ford Foundation, 2005-2010: The Future of Public Media
- Hewlett Foundation, 2009: Fair Use and Open Courseware
- John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, 2007-2009: Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education
- John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, 2004-2007: Best Practices in Fair Use for Documentary Filmmakers
- Rockefeller Foundation: 2004-2007: Best Practices in Fair Use for Documentary Filmmakers
- Surdna Foundation: 2006-2007: Making Your Media Matter
Honors, Awards, and Fellowships
- International Digital Media and Arts Association Career Achievement Award 2008
- International Documentary Association Career Achievement Award 2006
- Annual Spry Lecture on Public Broadcasting, Vancouver and Montreal, Canada, November 14-16, 2006
- Scholar-Teacher of the Year, 2004-2005
- Research and writing for Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Council on Foundations, World Resources Institute
- National Wildlife Federation, Kartemquin Films
- Testimony on Smithsonian-Showtime controversy, U.S. House of Representatives, June 2006
- Testimony on AT&T-Comcast Cable Franchise transfer, District of Columbia city council, November 13, 2000
- Testimony on Prime-Comcast Cable Franchise transfer, Montgomery County Council public hearing, April 25, 2000
- Testimony on Maryland State Assembly Senate Bill 505, Internet Consumers’ Bill of Rights, March 7, 2000
- Testimony on Prime-Comcast Cable Franchise transfer, Montgomery County Executive public hearing, February 15, 2000
- TV Comunitária: a experiencia de CODAL [An experiment in community low-power TV], Audiencia publica [public hearing], Brazilian Federal Senate, April 26, 1996
- Documentary: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press: New York, 2007
- The Daily Planet: A Critic on the Capitalist Culture Beat. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2000
- Communications Policy and the Public Interest: The Telecommunications Act of 1996. New York: Guilford Press, Jan. 1999. www.guilford.com
- “’You See the World of the Other and You Look at Your Own’: The Evolution of the Video in the Villages Project,” Journal of Film and Video, 2008
- “Iraq in Fragments: Review,” Visual Anthropology, 21:91-93, 2008
- With Peter Jaszi and Renee Hobbs, “Media literacy educators need clarity about copyright and fair use,” The Journal of Media Literacy, 54:2-3, Winter 2007 (appeared April 2008), 41-44
- “How Documentary Filmmakers Overcame their Fear of Quoting and Learned to Employ Fair Use: a Tale of Scholarship in Action,” in International Journal of Communication, Winter 2007
- “Your Country, My Country: How Films about the Iraq War Construct Publics,” Framework, 48:2, 2007
- Webcast, Educause, January 2009
- Interview, CINE, July 2008
- Executive Producer, Fair Use for Media Literacy, Center for Social Media video created by Maura Ugarte and Genna Duberstein, 2008
- Executive Producer, “Is This What Public Media Looks Like?” 3-video series for Beyond Broadcast conference, 2008
- Executive Producer, Fair Use Free Speech, Center for Social Media video created by Brigid Maher and Maura Ugarte, 2006
- Executive producer, Stories Untold, Center for Social Media video created by Brigid Maher, 2004
- Visiting Lecturer, Virginia Tech University, January, 2009
- Distinguished Lecture, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, December, 2008
- Keynote speaker, International Digital Media and Arts Association, November 2008
- Annual Spry Lecture on Public Broadcasting, Vancouver and Montreal, Canada, November, 2006
Area of Expertise: Copyright and creativity, arts journalism, media criticism, mass media, U.S. and international telecommunication policy and the public interest, international and independent films, independent and grassroots video, documentary film and video, public television, children and television, press ethics, Telecommunications Act of 1996, social benefits of telecommunication innovations, access and equity on the Internet and other information networks
Additional Information: Patricia Aufderheide specializes in the social impact of mass media and communication policies. She is director of AU’s Center for Social Media, which analyzes and showcases media for social justice, civil society, and democracy. She co-authored, with Peter Jaszi, Reclaiming Fair Use: How to Put Balance Back in Copyright (University of Chicago Press, 2011), and authored Documentary Film: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2007); The Daily Planet: A Critic on the Capitalist Culture Beat (University of Minnesota Press, 2000); and Communications Policy in the Public Interest (Guilford Press, 1999). With Peter Jaszi in the Washington College of Law, she has coordinated since 2004 the Fair Use and Free Speech Project, a project to expand access to the copyright doctrine of fair use. Focusing on independent and international work, Aufderheide is an award-winning film and video critic who has been a juror for the Sundance Film Festival. She has also served on the film advisory board of the National Gallery of Art, and on the board of directors of the Independent Television Service, an organization that produces television programming for underserved audiences. Aufderheide is on the board of directors of Kartemquin Films, a leading independent social documentary production company. She is a member of the editorial boards of numerous publications, including Communication and Law and Policy, and the newspaper In These Times. She has received several life-achievement awards, including in 2010 from Women in Film and Video (D.C.); in 2008 from the International Digital Media and Arts Association, and in 2006 from the International Documentary Association. Her current projects focus on social documentary and intellectual property.
To request an interview please call AU Media Relations at 202-885-5950 or submit an interview request form.
AU News and Achievements
MFA Student Develops Self-Sustaining Non-Profit Organization
Sylvia Johnson, SOC/MA, is a freelance filmmaker and Fulbright scholar whose thesis film has grown into ...
Academics, 'Copyfighters' Embrace New Best Practices Code for Fair Use
The Center for Social Media's latest publication on Fair Use is generating buzz....
Report Exposes Need for Documentary Filmmaking Standards
Center for Social Media research finds documentary filmmakers grapple with ethics challenges, yet craft ...
Cannon-Brown Adds Outstanding Teaching Award to Accomplishments
“I accept the award on behalf of the amazing students who make me, and AU, look good,” she says. “I ...
Why Is American University Becoming the Center for New Journalism?
Glaser cites a student body interested in social justice and change, and AU SOC’s Washington location ...
Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Libraries Released
Center for Social Media, Washington College of Law collaborate with Association of Research Libraries ...