Joseph Erba is an assistant professor of strategic communication in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. His research agenda focuses on how media representations of minority groups influence audiences’ perceptions of members of these groups, as well as how to counter the effects of such representations. For Joseph, “doing research” usually means developing counter-stereotypical messages and testing them with various audience members. He became interested in that area upon realizing how much influence media representations can have on audiences, especially if audiences do not have meaningful face-to-face interactions with members of minority groups, and therefore rely on media representations (consciously or unconsciously) to form their impressions of these groups.
Prior to joining KU in 2014, Joseph taught at American University in Washington D.C. He obtained his doctoral degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his master’s degree from KU (Joseph calls himself a Jayhawk with tar heels). It is during his studies at KU that Joseph caught the research bug. He strongly believes that introducing students early to the research process enhances their critical-thinking skills as well as their academic experiences. If you are interested in any research topic pertaining to media, Joseph would be more than happy to work with you or put you in touch with someone who can assist you with your project.
"My first year in college, I did not know what to expect. I vividly remember a professor saying that we should be as involved academically as socially. I really enjoyed the intellectual and social freedom college offers, and tried to take advantage of every opportunity to broaden my worldview by getting to know students from a different background than mine and attending various events. I realized that taking classes only represents a small part of the overall college experience and that learning about a particular topic is not as important as learning how to think, which occurs as much in the classroom as outside of it."