Leigh H. Edwards
LEIGH H. EDWARDS, Professor, Ph.D. in English University of Pennsylvania, M.A. in English University of Pennsylvania, B.A. Duke University. Dr. Edwards specializes in media studies as well as 20th- and 21st-century U.S. literature and popular culture, with particular emphasis on contemporary popular music and television as well as on film and new media. She also studies recent innovations in multi-platform storytelling (coordinated narratives told across multiple media platforms, such as via television, popular music, film, and new media).
Her work on the links between literature and popular music includes a book on Dolly Parton (Indiana University Press, 2018; winner of the Foreword Book of the Year Award) and a book on Johnny Cash (Indiana University Press, 2009; finalist for the Foreword Book of the Year Award). Both books analyze media images and projections of authenticity in the digital era, addressing music, autobiographies, film, new media, and television. Her work about television includes a book on how reality television has popularized key new media trends, The Triumph of Reality TV (Praeger 2013).
Her editorial board memberships include the Journal of Popular Television, The Popular Culture Studies Journal, Pop Culture Universe, and the advisory board for Invisible Culture. She was invited to serve on the Advisory Board of The University of Tulsa Institute for Bob Dylan Studies (2018-), and to be the Volume Advisor for the Contemporary Literary Criticism entry on Johnny Cash (Gale, 2017).
Her teaching interests include: media studies, including television studies, popular music studies, film, new media, and screen studies; U.S. literature and popular culture from the nineteenth century to the present; digital humanities.
- Dolly Parton, Gender, and Country Music (Indiana University Press, 2018).
- Winner, Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award (2017), Gold Medal
- The Triumph of Reality TV: The Revolution in American Television (Praeger, 2013).
- Johnny Cash and the Paradox of American Identity (Indiana University Press, 2009).
- Finalist, Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Award (2009)
Selected Recent ARTICLES
- “Cross-Generational Hacks: Television Comedy and Nostalgia.” The Oxford Handbook of Screen Comedy, ed. Peter C. Kunze and William V. Costanzo (New York: Oxford University Press, 2024).
- “Reality TV Reboots on Streaming Platforms: The Real World, The Challenge, and Marketing MTV Nostalgia.” Television Streaming, ed. Arienne Ferchaud and Jennifer M. Proffitt (Routledge, 2023).
- “Dolly ‘5 to 9’: Manufactured Authenticity, Multi-Platform Storytelling, and Parton’s Star Image.” Celebrity Studies (August 2022): 1-15.
- “Country Music: Rhiannon Giddens and Johnny Cash.” The Bloomsbury Companion to Religion and Popular Music, 2nd edition, ed. Christopher Partridge and Marcus Moberg (Bloomsbury, 2022), 355-364.
- "Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, and Country Music's Projection of Authenticity." The World of Bob Dylan, ed. Sean Latham and Brian Hosmer (Cambridge University Press, 2021), 100-111.
- "Prince and Tom Petty: Pain and Projections of Authenticity in Popular Music." Opioid Aesthetics: Expressive Culture in an Age of Addiction, ed. Travis D. Stimeling (West Virginia University Press, 2020), 64-80.
- "Digital Souths in Interactive Music Videos." Remediating the Region: New Media and the U.S. South, ed. Lisa Hinrichsen, Gina Caison, Stephanie Rountree (Louisiana State University Press, 2021), 193-213.
- "Country Music and Class.” The Oxford Handbook of Country Music, ed. Travis D. Stimeling (Oxford University Press, 2017), 307-326.
- "Reality TV and Region." Small Screen Souths: Interrogating the Televisual Archive, ed. Lisa Hinrichsen, Gina Caison, Stephanie Rountree (Louisiana State University Press, 2017), 184-199.
- "Country Music and Religion." The Bloomsbury Companion to Religion and Popular Music, ed. Christopher Partridge and Marcus Moberg (Bloomsbury, 2017), 269-277.
- "Johnny Cash's 'Ain't No Grave' and Digital Folk Culture." Journal of Popular Music Studies 28.2 (June 2016): 186-203.
- "Contemporary Television Advertising: From Disney to the Kardashians." We Are What We Sell: How Advertising Shapes American Life, ed. Danielle Coombs and Bob Batchelor (Praeger, 2013), 172-184.
- "Multi-Platform Storytelling, Corporate Synergy, and Audience Expression." Global Media Journal 12.20 (Spring 2012).
- "Reality TV." Cult Pop Culture: How the Fringe Became Mainstream, ed. Bob Batchelor (Praeger, 2012), 263-278.
- "Spectacle: Creating Sports Icons in a Media-Saturated World." American History through American Sports, ed. Danielle Coombs and Bob Batchelor (Praeger, 2012), 19-32.
- Foreword Book of the Year Award (2017), Gold Medal for Dolly Parton book.
- University Teaching Award, Florida State University, 2014-2015, 2009-2010, 2003-2004.
- National Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities, 1992-1997.