Scandal in a Digital Age (Palgrave Macmillan) 

This is a multi-author volume that I edited with Gina M. Chen of University of Texas at Austin. Order it here through the publisher, or get it on Amazon

This book, published in 2016, explores the way today’s interconnected and digitized world marked by social media, over-sharing, and blurred lines between public and private spheres shapes the nature and fallout of scandal in a frenzied media environment. Today’s digitized world has erased the former distinction between the public and private self in the social sphere. Scandal in a Digital Age marries scholarly research on scandal with journalistic critique to explore how our Internet culture driven by (over)sharing and viral, visual content impacts the occurrence of scandal and its rapid spread online through retweets and reposts. No longer are examples of scandalous behavior “merely” reported in the news. Today, news consumers can see the visual evidence of salacious behavior whether through an illicit tweet or video with a simple click. And we can’t help but click.     Stay tuned for its official release and launch!


Sex Scandals, Gender and Power in Contemporary American Politics (Praeger) 

Sex scandals.jpg

This book is a first-of-its-kind examination about the gender gap in political sex scandals, and was published in 2017.  I snapped the photo - right - from a post card at a candy shop in Gloucester, Mass. in 2015. What better way to conceptualize scandal, gender and history?

This book examines the American institution of the political sex scandal in order to explore how scandals turn politics into a spectator sport, contribute to the mistrust of government, cause citizens to question politicians’ competence, and diminish politicians’ ability to do good for the people who elected them. Media coverage of political sex scandals commonly devolves into frenzied sleaze fests that hold hostage the attention of the American public and play into gendered narratives. My analysis demonstrates that scandals are a representation of society’s broader gender dynamics, conveying subtle messages about power and morality. Political sex scandals involve public officials elected to do the people’s work: in this context, the most seemingly private behavior can have wide-ranging public consequences.