Prof. Ellen Elizabeth SEITER
Director, Academy of Film
Chair Professor, Film and Media Studies
PhD. Northwestern University ; MFA Northwestern University ; BA University of California Los Angeles

Area of Interests: 
Platform studies / audience research / cognitive neuroscience / stereotyping / children and media / German film and television

Major Highlights: 
“Letter from the Editor.”  Special Issue on Seriality and Streaming.  Global Storytelling 2(1) 2022.
“New Approaches to Critical Media Literacy: From Google to Brain Studies” in Multidisciplinary Approaches to Media Literacy: Research and Practices 媒介素养的跨学科研究与实践 Edited by: A. Y. Lee. Hong Cong: Communication University of China (CUC) Press, 2017.
“Stereotype” In L. Ouellette, & J. Gray (Eds.), Keywords for media studies. New York University Press, 2017.  
Ellen Seiter, co-author with William J. Seiter, A Creative Artist’s Legal Guide: Copyright, Trademark and Contracts for Film and Digital Media Production  New Havenb:  Yale University Press, 2012.


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Professor of Cinema and Media Studies and Steven K. Nenno Chair of Television Studies, School of Cinematic Arts, University of Southern California, 2003-2022.
Scholar in Residence.  Film Universität Babelsberg – Konrad Wolf, Germany, 2018 Associate, Human Sociality and the Brain Research Group, Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, 2018.
Professor, Department of Communication, University of California, San Diego, 1995-2003
Professor of Telecommunications and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Telecommunications, Indiana University, 1993-95.
Associate Professor of Telecommunications and Film, University of Oregon, Eugene, 1987-1993; Assistant Professor 1981-1987.


Ph.D., Northwestern University, Radio-TV-Film, 1981.

          Dissertation: "The Promise of Melodrama: Recent Women's Films and Soap Operas."
M.F.A., Northwestern University, Radio-TV-Film, 1978.
B.A., University of California at Los Angeles, Anthropology, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1976.


Ellen Seiter, co-author with William J. Seiter, The Creative Artist’s Guide to  Copyright, Trademark and Contracts for Film and Digital Media Production. Yale University Press, 2012. 

Ellen Seiter, The Internet Playground:  Children’s Entertainment, Access and Mis-Education (New York: Peter Lang, 2005)

Ellen Seiter, Television and New Media Audiences (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999).

Ellen Seiter, Sold Separately: Children and Parents in Consumer Culture, (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1993).
Ellen Seiter, et al., Eds.  Remote Control: Television, Audiences and Cultural Power (London and New York: Routledge, 1989; paperback 1991).


Co- Supervisor. “Comparative Cultures of Care: A Converging Interdisciplinary Focus and Application” President’s Grant Education University of Hong Kong (Internal grant). October 2022-April 2025.  HK$5,390,000 ”

Project Objectives:  To develop the comparative knowledge of, and sensitivity to, care and caring from a humanities-centered perspective.

Carnegie Corporation Small-Grants Program and the Social Science Research Council, Academia in the Public Sphere: Islam and Muslims in World Contexts 2009.
Sunnylands Trust at the Annenberg Foundation, “Projecting Culture: Perceptions of Arab and American Films.” Principal Investigator.
MacArthur Foundation, Digital Media and Learning Initiative, 2010-2018.
Price-Weingart Foundation, Normal Heights Kids Newspaper Project, 1999-2005.
Volkswagen Foundation “American Soap Operas and the Cultural Production of Meaning”.
Co-Principal Investigator, 1984-1990.
Fulbright Scholar to University of Tübingen, 1986-87.


Blog, “Quibi Stumbles on Lack of TV Know-How” Forbes magazine on line, 30 June 2020.
Fieldnotes: Ellen Seiter interviewed by Leah Aldridge  Society for Cinema Studies video series with senior scholars 2019
Law and Order: Changing Television “The Brand” Carsey-Wolf Center, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara
Projecting Culture: Perceptions of Arab and American Film  Educational Documentary Executive Producer. Distributed by the Annenberg Public Policy Research Institute.(2006)

Selected Articles

“Letter from the Editor.”  Special Issue on Seriality and Streaming.  Global Storytelling 2(1) 2022.
“New Approaches to Critical Media Literacy: From Google to Brain Studies” in Multidisciplinary Approaches to Media Literacy: Research and Practices 媒介素养的跨学科研究与实践 Edited by: A. Y. Lee. Hong Cong: Communication University of China (CUC) Press, 2017.
“Stereotype” In L. Ouellette, & J. Gray (Eds.), Keywords for media studies. New York University Press, 2017.
“On cable, tech gods, and the hidden costs of DIY filmmaking: thoughts on ‘The Woman with the Movie Camera’” JumpCut: A Review of Conteporary Cinema 56 (2011).
“Media Industries Roundtable Discussion” Spectator 31 (2011): 48-54.
“Worth a First, or Second Look” International Journal 1 (2007): 170-173.
“Wrestling with the Web: Latino Kids and World Wrestling Entertainment” in Cablevisions: Television Beyond Broadcasting,  Eds. Sarah Banet-Weiser, Cynthia Chris, and Tony Freitas, NYU Press, 2007.
“Practicing at Home:  Learning from Bourdieu about Digital Literacy” in Unexpected Outcomes and Unintended Consequences, Ed. Tara McPherson (Cambridge: MIT Press,MacArthur Foundation Digital Media Learning Series, 2007).
“Parents and Teachers Negotiating Children’s Knowledge of the War in Iraq” Children and Media in Times of War and Conflict Eds. Dafna Lemish and Maya Götz  (Cresskill, New Jersey: Hampton press 2007).
Ellen Seiter and Mary Jeanne Wilson, “Soap Opera Survival Tactics” in Thinking Outside the Box: A Contemporary Television Genre Reader        (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky), 2005.
Ellen Seiter and Megan Pincus.  “A Protective Silence: U.S. Children and the Iraq War” Televizion  17, 2004.
“The Internet Playground” ” in Toys,Games and Media, Eds. Jeffrey Goldstein, David Buckingham and Gilles Brougere, Lawrence Erlbaum, 2004.
“Children Reporting On-Line: The Cultural Politics of the Computer Lab”  Television and New Media, 5, 2004.
“After Saturday Morning: Diversifying Children’s Television” in The Nickelodeon Book, Ed. Heather Hendershot, New York University press, 2004.
“Television and the Internet” reprinted in New Media and Technoculture, Ed. John Caldwell, Rutgers University Press, 2002;  reprinted in The Wired Homestead  Ed. Joseph Turow, MIT Press, 2003.
“Qualitative Audience Research” reprinted in The Television Studies Reader, Ed. Robert C. Allen and Annette Hill, 2003.
“New Technologies” in The Television Studies Book, Ed. Toby Miller,  London: Routledge, 2002
"Gotta Catch 'Em All Pokemon": Problems in the Study of Children's global Multimedia” Research in Childhood Sociology, Culture and History, Ed. Flemming Mouritzen, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.
“Selling Safety: Ellen Seiter and Susan Davis in conversation,” Framework  41 (Autumn 1999).
“Mighty Morphin' Four Year Olds: Heroes, Gun play and Socialization” in Bang Bang, Shoot Shoot! Essays on Guns and Popular Culture, Eds. Murray Pomerance and John Sakeris  (Needham Heights, MA: Simon and Schuster, 1999 and revised edition 2000).
"Power Rangers at Preschool: Negotiating Media in Child Care Settings" in Children's Media Culture  Ed. Marsha Kinder (Durham: Duke University Press, 1999).
"Mothers Watching Children Watching Television," in The Production of Feminist Cultural Theory  Ed. Beverly Skeggs (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1996).
"Notes on Children as a Television Audience" in The Audience and Its Landscape Eds. James Hay, Larry Grossberg and Ellen Wartella (Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1996)
"Toy-Based Video for Girls: My Little Pony" in In Front of the Children, Eds. Cary Bazalgette and David Buckingham (London: British Film Institute, 1995).
"Semiotics, Structuralism and Television" in Channels of Discourse Reassembled Robert C. Allen (Chapel Hill, Univ. of North Carolina, 1992).
"Toys Are Us: Marketing to Parents and Children," Cultural Studies 6 (2), 1992.
“Black feminism and media criticism: The Women of Brewster Place,” co-author Jacqueline Bobo, Screen 32(3), 1991.  Reprinted in Feminist Television Criticism Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998).
"Making 'Distinctions' in Television Audience Research: Case Study of a Troubling Interview," Cultural Studies, 4 (1), 1990.  Reprinted in Television: The Critical View,fifth edition, Ed. Horace Newcomb (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1995)
"The Bigamist: Feminist Film Noir?"  in The Cinema of Ida Lupino, Ed. Annette Kuhn (Wiltshire, England: Flicks Books, 1995).
"Not all 'soaps' are created equal: towards a crosscultural criticism of television serials," co-author Gabriele Kreutzner, Screen 32(2), 1991.  Reprinted in To Be Continued: Soap Operas Around the World, Ed. Robert C. Allen (New York and London: Routledge, 1994).
"Different Children, Different Dreams: Racial Representation in Children's  Advertising," Journal of Communication Inquiry," 14 (1), 1990.   Reprinted in Gender, Race and Class in Mass Media Studies Eds. Gail Dines and Jean Humez (Beverly Hills, CA.: Sage Publications, 1994).
"The Female Spectator," Camera Obscura, 20-21 (1990), 282-287.
Women Writing Soap Opera: The Careers of Irna Phillips and Jane Crusinberry in Never-Endings Stories in Hans Borchers, Gabriele Kreutzner, Eva-Maria Warth (Eds): Never-Ending Stories: American Soap Operas and the Cultural Production of Meaning.
Seiter, E., Hans Borchers, Gabriele Kreutzner, Eva-MariaWarth, " 'Don't Treat Us Like We're Stupid and Naive': Towards an Ethnography of Soap Opera Viewers." In Remote Control, (London: Routledge), 1989.
"The Viewer, the Villainess and Soap Opera," The CSWS Review, Center for the Study of Women and Society, 1989.
"To Teach and To Sell:" Irna Phillips and Her Sponsors, 1930-1955, Journal of Film and Video, 40 (1), 2, 1989.
"Stereotypes and the Media: A Re-evaluation," Journal of Communication, 36 (2), 1986.
"Feminism and Ideology: The Terms of Women's Stereotypes," Feminist Review, 22, 1986.
"Love Boat and Fantasy Island: TV Utopias," Jump Cut, 32, 1987.
"Women's History, Women's Melodrama: Deutschland, bleiche Mutter," The German Quarterly,  59 (4), 1986.
"Stereotypes and the Media: A Re-evaluation," Journal of Communication, 36 (2), 1986.
"The Political is Personal: Margarethe von Trotta's Marianne and Juliane," The Journal of Film and Video, 37, (2), 1985.  Reprinted in Films for Women, Ed. Charlotte Brunsdon (London: British Film Institute, 1986).
"The Hegemony of Leisure: Aaron Spelling Presents 'Hotel'," in Television in Transition, Eds. Phillip Drummond and Richard Paterson, (London: British Film Institute, 1985).
"Men, Sex and Money in Recent Family Melodramas," The Journal of Film and Video, 35,(1), 1983.  Reprinted in Imitations of Life: A Reader on Melodrama, Marcia Landry, Ed. (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1991.).
"Eco's TV Guide: The Soaps," Tabloid: A Review of Mass culture land Everyday Life, 5, 1982.
"Promise and Contradiction: the Daytime Television Serials," Film Reader, 5, 1982.
"Feminist Film Teaching," co-author Michelle Citron, Jump Cut, 26, 1981. Reprinted in Jump Cut: Hollywood, Politics and Counter-Cinema, ed. Peter Steven, (London:  British Film Institute, 1985).

Professional Activity

Guest Editor, with Suzanne Scott. Special Issue of Global Storytelling on Seriality and Streaming.
Jury Member, American Film Institute, Best Ten Television Programs, F2020, 2018’ 2015, 2013.
Society for Cinema and Media Studies Award for Career Achievement in Pedagogy, 2017.
Jury Member and Keynote Speaker , Golden Panda Short Film Festival, 2017.
Keynote Speaker,  Anime Expo, Los Angeles, 2016.
Advisor, Digital Kids Project, Macarthur Foundation, 2005-2016.
Awarded San Diego Board of Education Community Service Award 2004; Normal Heights Community Association Outstanding Community Service Award 2001; 2002; 2003; 2004.
Conference Organizer, “Media and Communication in the New Global Economy: A conference in honor of Professor Herbert Schiller,  October 2-3 1999, funded by the UCSD Chancellor’s Associates.
Conference Coordinator, 1998 Society for Cinema Studies, special focus "Media on the Border.”
Executive Council, Society for Cinema and Media Studies,  1997-9.
Founding Board Member, Console-ing Passions: Television, Video, Feminism, 1995-1999.
Awarded Spirit of Service Award, Lane County Relief Nursery, 1988,1989.


Founding Co-Editor, International Journal of Learning and Media, MIT Press, 2010-2012.

The MacArthur Report Series in Digital Media and Learning are commissioned white papers focusing on concepts and topic areas key to the understanding of digital media and learning. The series is published by the Digital Media and Learning Research Hub and by MIT Press and edited by Ellen Seiter. Recent titles below:

Antero Garcia Et Al. Teaching In The Connected Learning Classroom
Lissa Soep: Participatory Politics
Sheryl Grant What Counts As Learning
Becca Kinskey: We Used To Wait: Music Videos And Creative Literacy
Co-Editor, International Journal of Learning and Media, MIT Press, 2010-2012.
Co-Editor (with Mimi Ito), Book Series: Technologies of the Imagination, University of Michigan Press, 2008-2012; Culture and Communication book series, Rutgers University Press, 1997-2003.
Editorial Board member: Global Storytelling Girlhood Studies, Media Industry, Television and New Media, International Journal of Communication, European Journal of Cultural Studies, Journal of Children and Media, Cultural Studies; Feminist Media Studies, New Media and Society, Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, and Ethnography.

Professional Consulting

External Reviewer: London School of Economics; Indiana University; Georgetown University; University of Michigan; University of Minnesota; New York University; George Washington University, University of California, Berkeley, MIT School of Humanities.
Bayerischer Rundfunk (Bavarian Television, Munich) Institute for the Study of Children and Television.
Mattel Corporation, Project Platypus.
Interval Research Corporation, Forum speaker.
Sega of America:  Parents Advisory Council.
Microsoft Corporation, Kids Network Advisory Council.


Prof. John T. Caldwell,  UCLA
Prof. Charlotte Brunsdon, Warwick University, UK
Prof. Eric Hoyt, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Prof. Yuezhi Zhao, Simon Frasier University and Communications University of China