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Vanderbilt speaker to discuss influence of Internet and ads on political participation

Jan. 14, 2009, 11:24 AM

Dhavan Shah, a leading national researcher on how political ads and digital media work in tandem to influence politics, will present “Network Nation: How Campaign Ads and the Internet Shape Participation” on Wednesday, Jan. 28, from noon-2 p.m. at the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center at Vanderbilt University.

The lecture is the third in the series “Realities and Representations: The 2008 U.S. Presidential Campaign” co-sponsored by the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities and the Communications Studies Department at Vanderbilt. It is free and open to the public.

Shah is the Louis A. and Mary E. Maier-Bascom Professor and head of graduate studies in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research concerns the social psychology of media influence, especially communication effects on political judgment, public opinion, lifestyle politics and civic participation.

Articles presenting his work appear in leading communication and political science journals, including the Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, Journal of Communication, Journal of Politics and Political Psychology. He has won research grants from the Ford Foundation, the Public Broadcasting Service, the Carnegie Corporation, the Department of Defense and the National Cancer Institute.

The lecture series “Realities and Representations: The 2008 U.S. Presidential Campaign” brings leading scholars and critics to Vanderbilt’s campus to reflect upon the historic nature of the presidential race, as well as to examine the ways in which mass media are shaping the national response to the campaign.

The Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities promotes interdisciplinary research and study in the humanities, social sciences, and, when appropriate, natural sciences. For more information about the Warren Center, visit

Media Contact: Missy Pankake, (615) 322-NEWS