Assistant Professor Josh Shepperd (University of Wisconsin-Madison) is a media historian who researches the parallels between critical media theory and critical intervention in media practice. His manuscript Shadow of the New Deal: The Victory of Public Broadcasting (University of Illinois Press) argues that U.S. public media originated as a grassroots coalition to increase equal access to education through technology during the 1930s. Shadow details how New Deal media producers, government agencies, and political economists organized an alternative mass media system under dominant commercial and legislative discourses. In 2022 Josh will complete an update to the official “History of U.S. Public Broadcasting” with Dr. Allison Perlman (University of California-Irvine) for Current and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).
As Sound Fellow of the Library of Congress National Recording Preservation Board (NRPB), Josh has worked on numerous grant, collaborative and preservation initiatives. He is currently director and convener of the “Sound Submissions Project,” a digital humanities and curatorial program of the Library of Congress Recorded Sound division that will launch in 2022. Between 2015 and 2021, Josh designed and directed the LOC’s Radio Preservation Task Force (RPTF), a cross-sector public humanities project consisting of research, outreach, grant writing, big data, conference, and educational divisions, as well as dozens of public and federal partnerships. Josh sits on multiple digital preservation advisory boards and is serving on the program committee for the 2022 Organization of American Historians (OAH) conference. He’s published in Critical Studies in Media Communication, Communication Theory, The Moving Image, New Review of Film and Television, and Resonance: The Journal for Sound and Culture. His research has been supported by the Library of Congress, Mellon Foundation, Rockefeller Archive and LBJ Presidential Library