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The Ghost Reader: Recovering Women’s Contributions to Media Studies

New book The Ghost Reader offers a fresh perspective on the intellectual history of the field of media studies.

The reasons we may not know about these women include discrimination against women in academic employment, the diversion of women into the advertising industry or into research centres as assistants, as well as racism, anti-communism and their lasting legacies.
Dr Elen D. Hristova,  Lecturer in Film and Media, Bangor University

“The women we present in this book were often prevented from gaining tenure-track academic employment, all the while conducting their own important research and supporting their husbands’ academic careers. University nepotism clauses meant that only one could be employed at the university department; and that one was most often the husband. For example, in the case of Helen Merrell Lynd, her significant contribution to Middletown: A Study in American Culture (1929) was appropriated when her husband wanted to submit the book as his sole-authored doctoral dissertation.

“Women of colour, who experienced further marginalisation and exclusion from the academy published their criticism and journalism in newspapers. In the case of Trinidad and Tobago-born Claudia Jones, after being deported from the US in 1955 for her Communist Party membership, she came to London. She was an important figure in the UK Caribbean community and in 1958 started the West Indian Gazette, and later founded the Notting Hill Carnival. She is buried in Highgate Cemetery in London; to the left of Karl Marx.

“The Ghost Reader invites its readers, as well as students using the book in their classes, to build on the intellectual legacies of these women. And to continue the feminist historical recovery efforts that are sweeping across wide range of academic disciplines from computational biology to media studies!”

The Ghost Reader is published by Goldsmiths Press and distributed by MIT Press. For more information visit:

Edited by Elena D. Hristova, Aimee-Marie Dorsten, Carol A. Stabile


Hadil Abuhmaid, Miche Dreiling, Diana Kamin, Marianne Kinkel, Tiffany Kinney, Elana Levine, Malia Mulligan, Morning Glory Ritchie, Gretchen Soderlund, Shelley Stamp, Laura Strait, Rafiza Varão,

Dr Elena D. Hristova tells us a little more about 'The Ghost Reader'

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