Profile

Rodger Streitmatter

Professor
School of Communication

  • Additional Positions at AU

    Affiliate Faculty, History Department
  • Rodger Streitmatter is a full-time professor of Journalism. A cultural historian, he is a leader in exploring how the media have helped to shape the way Americans think and act. The most recent of his eight books is Outlaw Marriages ~ The Hidden Histories of Fifteen Extraordinary Same-Sex Couples. Streitmatter’s other books include From 'Perverts' to 'Fab Five' ~ The Media's Changing Depiction of Gay Men and Lesbians and Mightier than the Sword: How the News Media Have Shaped American History. Streitmatter also has a reputation as one of American University’s most popular classroom teachers.
  • Degrees

    BA Journalism, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale; MA English, Radford University; PhD U.S. History, American University
  • OFFICE

  • SOC - School of Communication
  • McKinley - 202
  • sabbatical
  • CONTACT INFO

  • (202) 885-2057
  • Send email Profile UserID
  • FOR THE MEDIA

  • To request an interview for a
    news story, call AU Communications
    at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

Partnerships & Affiliations

  • The Newseum

    Consultant

  • Journalism History (academic journal)

    Corresponding Editor

  • American Journalism (academic journal)

    Guest Editor

  • Association for Education in Journalism & Mass Communication

    Member

Teaching

  • Spring 2014

    • HNRS-302 Honors Collqm in Social Sc: Media and the American Mind
    • Description

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Research Interests

Rodger Streitmatter is a cultural historian who documents how the media have helped to shape American society. The most recent of his seven books—From ‘Perverts’ to ‘Fab Five’—looks at the impact of the media’s depiction of gay men and lesbians, with individual chapters focusing on, for example, the TV shows Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, the film Brokeback Mountain, and the news coverage of same-sex marriage. Streitmatter’s earlier books include Mightier than the Sword, which looks at how mainstream journalism helped bring about events such as the Civil Rights Movement and the fall of Richard Nixon’s presidency, and Voices of Revolution, which documents the role of the advocacy press on such phenomena as women’s rights and the birth control movement.

Honors, Awards, and Fellowships

       
  • American University Scholar/Teacher of the Year, 1995
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  • Top Faculty Research Award, History Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, for paper titled “Defying the Ku Klux Klan: Three 1920s Newspapers Challenge the Most Powerful Nativist Movement in American History”
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  • Outstanding Journalism History Research Award, American Journalism Historians Association, for paper titled “AIDS and the Gay Press: Uncovering or Covering Up?” 
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  • J. William Snorgrass Minorities Research Award, American Journalism Historians Association, for paper titled “AIDS and the Gay Press: Uncovering or Covering Up?” 
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  • J. William Snorgrass Minorities Research Award, American Journalism Historians Association, for paper titled “Maria W. Stewart: Firebrand of the Abolition Movement”
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  • First Place, Bill of Rights Bicentennial Research Competition, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Commission on the Status of Women, for paper titled “African American Women Journalists: Breaking the Double Barriers of Race and Gender”
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  • Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars National Media Studies Essay Competition, second place, for “Front Page from the White House: A Quantitative Study of Presidential News Coverage from Teddy Roosevelt through Ronald Reagan”
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  • Outstanding Journalism History Research Award, American Journalism Historians Association, for paper titled “Theodore Roosevelt: Public Relations Pioneer”

Selected Publications

       
  • From ‘Perverts’ to ‘Fab Five’ ~ The Media’s Changing Depiction of Gay Men & Lesbians
  •    
  • Mightier than the Sword: How the News Media Have Shaped American History
  •    
  • Sex Sells! ~ The Media’s Journey from Repression to Obsession
  •    
  • Voices of Revolution: The Dissident Press in America
  •    
  • Empty Without You: The Intimate Letters of Eleanor Roosevelt & Lorena Hickok
  •    
  • Unspeakable: The Rise of the Gay & Lesbian Press in America
  •    
  • Raising Her Voice: African American Women Journalists Who Changed History

Grants and Sponsored Research

       
  • Senior Fulbright Professorship to Shanghai International Studies University in China
  •    
  • Senior Fulbright Professorship to Moscow State University in Russia

AU Expert

Area of Expertise: Media depictions of gay men and lesbians, history of alternative media, sex and the media, gay and lesbian journalism, correspondence between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok, impact of the news media on U.S. history, journalism history, African American women journalists

Additional Information: A journalist and cultural historian, Rodger Streitmatter is a leader in exploring how the media have helped to shape American culture.The most recent of his seven books —From ‘Perverts’ to ‘Fab Five’: The Media’s Changing Depictions of Gay Men and Lesbians—looks at how the news media, television, and popular films have depicted gay people during recent decades. Chapters in the book focus on topics such as Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Will & Grace, and Brokeback Mountain. Several of Streitmatter’s earlier books have also focused on the media’s impact on American culture. Voices of Revolution: The Dissident Press in America documents the role of the advocacy press on such phenomena as gay rights and women’s liberation, and Mightier than the Sword: How the News Media Have Shaped American History looks at how mainstream journalism helped bring about the civil rights movement and the fall of Richard Nixon’s presidency. Streitmatter brings his cutting-edge scholarship into the classroom, creating a dynamic teaching style in courses such as Media and the American Mind.

Media Relations
To request an interview please call AU Media Relations at 202-885-5950 or submit an interview request form.

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