Faculty Highlight: June Deery
June Deery works in media studies and is particularly interested in contemporary television and its interface with the internet. She writes on commercialization, on politics, and on gender and class. For some time, she has been investigating cultural understandings of fact, fiction and reality and is now exploring their status in multiplatform environments.
In Consuming Reality: The Commercialization of Factual Entertainment (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) Deery demonstrates how reality television monetizes and consumes reality through its branding of content and propagation of capitalist narratives. Among other things, she examines the professionalization of individual identities and social relationships, the development of television as a social and interactive medium, and the commodification of viewers and TV participants. The book offers two “conversations” on reality TV: an “internal discussion” about how reality TV has affected the business of television entertainment (experimenting with lower production costs, articulating with new media, branding content), and an “external discussion” about how reality TV is affecting our culture. Her most recent book, (Reality TV, Polity, 2014) provides an overview of the impact of reality television since its inception and the contribution it has made to discussions of gender, class, race, celebrity, audience agency, and consumer identity. The book also continues to explore cultural understandings of factuality and realism.
Examples of her recently published work include: “Commercialization” in The Companion to Reality Television (Wiley-Blackwell Press) ; “Interior Design: Commodifying Self and Place in ‘Extreme Makeover,’ ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,’ and ‘The Swan’ ” in The Great American Makeover: Television, History and Nation (Palgrave Macmillan); “Reality TV as Advertainment” in Popular Communication; “Trading Faces: the Makeover Show as Prime-time Infomercial” in Feminist Media Studies; and "TV.Com: Participatory Viewing on the Web” in the Journal of Popular Culture.
Deery has received awards for best journal article, best conference paper, and for teaching. In 2010, she was the recipient of Rensselaer’s Trustee’s Outstanding Teacher Award and before that the School of the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Teaching Award (2009).