Jeremy Packer

Associate Professor of Communication

North Carolina State University


Jeremy Packer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication. He is also a faculty member in the Science, Technology, and Society program and the Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media Ph.D. program. He currently teaches undergraduate courses in critical media analysis and cultural studies, though he has also taught courses in surveillance, cinema, and media history. His graduate courses cover such topics as cultural studies, communications theory, critical and interpretive research methods, politics of the digital, technology, and the work of Michel Foucault. Dr. Packer is active in graduate advising and co-authoring research with Ph.D. students.

Dr. Packer's research areas are cultural studies and communications technologies. More specifically, he has considered the interrelationships of communications and transportation technologies and the political implications that arise from their use and governance. He is especially interested in the automation of military communications, surveillance, and enemy detection, most recently in the U.S. drone program. He is working on Foucauldian genealogies of police media, the U.S. Signal Corps, the computational religious conversion methods created by Ramon Llull, and the U.S.'s first anti-nuclear defense program SAGE. He has published on these and other topics in Cultural Studies, Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, The Communication Review, and a number of collected volumes. He serves as the Book Review Editor for the journal Communication Review and serves on the Editorial Boards of Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies and Communication Inquiry. He is the author or editor of the following books.

Communication Matters: Materialist Approaches to Media, Mobility, and Networks (Routledge, 2012) is a collected volume co-edited with Steve Wiley that assembles the work of over twenty leading scholars in the fields of Communication, Rhetoric, and English to focus on the materiality of communication. Building on the work of materialist theorists such as Gilles Deleuze, Michel Foucault, Friedrich Kittler, and Henri Lefebvre, the essays examine the materiality of discourse itself and the constitutive force of communication in the production of the real.

Secret Agents: Popular Icons Beyond James Bond (Peter Lang, 2009) is a collected volume that attempts to update the seminal work by Tony Bennett and Janet Woollacott, Bond and Beyond (Palgrave, 1987), by investigating new popular culture iterations of the secret agent as they proliferate across film and other media.

Mobility Without Mayhem: Cars, Safety and Citizenship (Duke University Press, 2008) provides a cultural history spanning the 1950s to the present of how automotive conduct was reorganized by safety concerns having to do with women drivers, motorcyclists, hitchhikers, African American drivers (DWB), truckers, road ragers, and most recently car bombers. These mass-mediated safety crises, it is argued, have provided justification for surveillance and control technologies and tactics that are reorienting people's mobility and their understanding of fear. 2009 Book of the Year for the Critical and Cultural Studies Division of the National Communication Association.

"Jeremy Packer has scoured the byways of American history and media to bring back this telling account of how mobility is governed. Along the way, he deepens our understanding of how a culture of individualism, risk, and competitiveness is in fact organized and controlled—by inculcating self-discipline in the name of safety. Freedom is constrained by security, self-expression by surveillance; the American Dream fizzles out in 'road rage.' What does this tell us about contemporary America?"—John Hartley

Thinking With James Carey: Essays on Communications, Transportation, History (Peter Lang, 2006), co-edited with Craig Robertson, investigates the ongoing application and extension of the work of the late James Carey. The book includes eight original essays by communications scholars and historians as well as two interviews with James Carey conducted in 2004 by Lawrence Grossberg.

"For those of us fortunate enough to have known James Carey, who died in 2006, this book provides a wonderful ongoing conversation about topics close to the center of his thinking. For those who did not know him, the book proves a wonderful complement to his own essays and gives a hint to the reasons so many treated him with enthusiasm as well as a bit of frustration."--Paul A. Soukup

Foucault, Cultural Studies, and Governmentality (SUNY Press, 2003), co-edited with Jack Bratich and Cameron McCarthy, assesses Michel Foucault's work on governmentality and applies it to cultural studies in general and the U.S. context in particular.

"It provides an impressive array of discourse, ethical/technical, and   institutional foci for assessing the positive contribution that governmentality promises for cultural studies. In so doing, the chapters, some stronger than others, provide important clues as to how the field of culture might be reconceptualized once objects undergo a process of "governmentalization." In other words, when the book thinks of culture as a set of "reflections, techniques, and practices to regulate conduct," the questions asked and the methods for doing cultural studies change. As such, this volume's most significant contribution is to challenge the taken-for-granted assumptions about cultural studies by reimagining culture as a field, object, and instrument for regulating conduct."- Ronald Greene and David Breshears

Jeremy Packer

North Carolina State University

106 Winston Hall

Raleigh, NC  27695

Research and teaching