Writing

Both oral history and visual communication theorize how and why research should be disseminated to both an academic audience as well as the larger public via traditional and nontraditional means. This concept resonates with me, and it is a key part of my identity as a scholar.

I’m the solo author of one book and am the co-editor of four publications. I also have written numerous book chapters and journal articles.

For a complete listing of my publications, see my CV. Or find me on Medium.

CV
Monograph

Pin Up! The Subculture

Negotiating Agency, Representation, and Sexuality With Vintage Style

New York, Peter Lang, 2020.

Dangerous. Sexy. All-American—or rather All-World—Girl. Pin Up! The Subculture is the first book to explore the contemporary international subculture of pin up, women (and men) who embrace vintage style, but not vintage values.

This lavishly illustrated book includes interviews with more than fifty international pin ups and helps readers to understand how they use social media and personal interactions to navigate thorny issues such as racism, sexism, homophobia, sizeism, and other difficult topics. Ryan demonstrates how even within subcultures, identity is far from homogeneous. Pin ups use the safety of their shared subcultural values to advocate for social and political change.

A fascinating combination of cultural history, media studies, and oral history, Pin Up! The Subculture is the story about how a subculture is subverting and reviving an historic aesthetic for the twenty-first century.

Edited Collections

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Interactive Documentary: Decolonizing Practice-Based Research

Co-editors: David Staton and Tammy Matthews. New York and London, Routledge, under contract.

The authors included here highlight how emerging digital technologies, collaborative approaches to storytelling, and conceptualizations of practice as research facilitate a deeper engagement with the humanistic inquiry at the center of documentary storytelling while at the same time providing agency and voice to groups typically excluded from positions of authority within documentary (in specific) and practice based research (as a whole).

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Friends, Lovers, Co-Workers and Community: Everything I Know About Relationships I Learned from Television

Co-editors: Noah Jerome Springer, Deborah A. Macey, and Mary Erickson. New York, Lexington Books, 2016.

Friends, Lovers, Co-Workers, and Community analyzes how television narratives form the first decade of the twenty-first century are powerful socializing agents which both define and limit the types of acceptable interpersonal relationships between co-workers, friends, romantic partners, family members, communities, and nations. This book is written by a diverse group of scholars who used a variety of methodological and theoretical approaches to interrogate the ways through which television molds our vision of ourselves as individuals, ourselves as in relationships with others, and ourselves as a part of the world. Part of the Lexington Studies in Communication and Storytelling series.

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How Television Shapes our Worldview: Media Representations of Social Trends and Change

Co-editors: Deborah A. Macey and Noah Jerome Springer. New York, Lexington Books, 2014.

Over the last half of the twentieth century, television has become the predominant medium through which the public accesses information about the world. Through the news, situation comedies, police dramas, and commercials, we learn about the world around us, and our role within it. These genres, narratives, and cultural forms are not simply entertainment, but powerful socializing agents that show the world as we might never see it in real life. 

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Television and the Self: Knowledge, Identity, and Media Representation

Co-editor: Deborah A. Macey. New York, Lexington Books, 2013.

Sitting prominently at the hearth of our homes, television serves as a voice of our modern time. Given our media-saturated society and television’s prominent voice and place in the home, it is likely we learn about our society and selves through these stories. These narratives are not simply entertainment, but powerful socializing agents that shape and reflect the world and our role in it. This edited collection’s rich and diverse research demonstrates how television plays an important role in negotiating self, and goes far beyond the treacly “very special” episodes found in family sit-coms in the 1980s. Instead, the authors show how television reflects our reality and helps us to sort out what it means to be a twenty-first-century man or woman.