Paul Messaris

Lev Kuleshov Professor of Communication


Paul Messaris (A.B., Princeton University; M.A., Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania) is Lev Kuleshov Professor of Communication. Messaris teaches and does research in the area of visual communication. His publications have dealt with viewers' interpretations of images (Visual 'Literacy': Image, Mind, and Reality, winner of the National Communication Association's Diamond Anniversary Book Award in 1996); viewers' responses to the formal devices of advertising and other types of visual persuasion or manipulation (Visual Persuasion: The Use of Images in Advertising, 1998); and ways in which the media have been affected by the advent of computers (Digital Media: Transformations in Human Communication, in press, co-edited with Lee Humphreys). In 2001, Messaris was the recipient of the Annenberg Undergraduate Communication Society's Best Teacher Award. In addition to working with communication and cinema studies majors, he serves on the executive committee of the Digital Media Design major, an interdisciplinary program devoted to advanced computer media, and involving the Schools of Engineering, Fine Arts, and Annenberg. At Annenberg he has supervised the development of the Visual Communication Laboratory for undergraduates, devoted to exploring the relationship between feature-film production and scholarly studies of movies.

Research Interests

Studies of viewers' reactions to movies, visual media, and digital media.