Johanna Blakley

Media | Entertainment | Fashion


johannablakley120Johanna Blakley, PhD, is the managing director at the Norman Lear Center, a research and public policy institute that explores the convergence of entertainment, commerce and society. Based at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, Blakley performs research on a wide variety of topics, including global entertainment, cultural diplomacy, entertainment education, celebrity culture, fashion, digital media and intellectual property law. She has two talks on Social Media & the End of Gender and Lessons from Fashion’s Free Culture. She speaks frequently in the U.S. and abroad about her research and her work has been cited by Reuters, the New York Times, The Economist, the Washington PostThe Atlantic, the Los Angeles Times, Politico, Huffington Post, RAND, ForbesBusiness Week, PR Week and GOOD. She has appeared on Good Morning America, MSNBC, Al Jazeera and Current TV, and on several radio programs, including On the Media, Planet Money, Marketplace and the TED Radio Hour.

Blakley is co-Principal Investigator, with Marty Kaplan, on the Media Impact Project (MIP), a hub for collecting, developing and sharing approaches for measuring the impact of media, primarily funded by the Gates Foundation. MIP seeks to better understand the role that media plays in changing knowledge, attitudes and behavior among individuals and communities, large and small, around the world. MIP currently works with the US State Department on three cultural exchange programs: American Film Showcase, Global Media Makers and the Middle East Media Initiative.

Much of her work addresses the intersection between entertainment and politics, including two nationwide polls on the relationship between political ideology and entertainment preferences, and she co-authored a report on the Primetime War on Drugs & Terror. With funding from the Pop Culture Collaborative, Blakley is currently analyzing the impact of narrative ingredients of scripted TV shows on viewers.

Blakley is a regular contributor to the Lear Center Blog, and she has guided more than forty manuscripts through the publication process at the Lear Center, including Warners’ War: Propaganda, Politics & Pop Culture in Wartime Hollywood. She has also overseen two major research initiatives about the impact of intellectual property rights on innovation and creativity – Ready to Share: Fashion & the Ownership of Creativity and Artists, Technology & the Ownership of Creative Content. At USC, she co-directed a university-wide research initiative on Creativity & Collaboration in the Academy; she developed course materials on cultural diplomacy for the new Masters in Public Diplomacy program at Annenberg, and she taught masters courses on transmedia storytelling.

She received a PhD in English from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she taught courses on popular culture and twentieth-century literature. Blakley has held a variety of positions within the high-tech industry, including Web producer and digital archivist at Vivendi-Universal Games. She is on the advisory board of Women@Paley at the Paley Center for Media and FEM inc., a technology venture. She has served as an advisor to the Aspen InstituteActive Voice, the  Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities and TEDxUSC, the first TEDx event in the world. She’s on the editorial board of the International Journal of Gender, Science and Technology and she’s a founding member of the board of directors for Les Figues Press, a venue for literary experimentation.

You can contact me via email:


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  Eric wrote @

Johanna: we have been using PSYCHOGRAPHICS in our Architecture, Landscapes, Urban Designs, and Civic Arts for nearly three decades. Creating places that celebrates the diversity of peoples aspirations has made our projects vivid meeting places around the world. Whether we call these groups tribes, urban villagers, gangs, or even Vonnegut’s ‘karass’, they all honour the yearning in our lives. Hopes, dreams, fears, prejudices, bigotries, aspirations, hauntings, intellectual curiosities, and quests: these are the stuff of great civic places too. When you ignite the possibilities in people’s hearts, they respond with ‘loyalty’ … they return again and again because they feel creative and can explore their richest desires. (And while people will spend a little to ‘sustain’ their lives … they will spend a fortune to ‘change’ their lives). Our art: the design of waterfronts, retail / leisure centres, parks & gardens, mixed-use landmarks, residential villages, resorts, and even cities … all of these rely upon honouring how people want to improve their lives. Our first exploration is discovering the ‘communities of inquiry’ that make our cities ‘marketplaces of ideas’. The wider the embrace the more CIVIC the place. The sustenance of a city’s greatness rests in its capacity to accommodate the widest variety of aspirations of her citizens, residents, and guests. The word ‘tolerance’ is an inadequate word for our 21st century: ’empowerment’ serves our art much better … adding both ‘intention’ & ‘momentum’ to the search for a better world. Your description of Social Networks engaging people independently of the trappings of appearance — and powered by the character of aspiration is what has always made our lives enriched. All revolutions begin with a whisper … and in that whisper (now digital) we can convey our dreams to a world of intimate strangers. Architecture is a new diplomacy: and through design, we can create the stages, meeting places, & exchanges of our lives.

  Dominan mujeres la esfera virtual | Agenda Hyperbólica wrote @

[…] sociales virtuales en tiempo de exposición a ellas y en publicaciones, reveló Johanna Blakley subdirectora del Norman Lear Center de la Escuela Annenberg de […]

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[…] algunes de les àrees que s’exploraran en la conferència que comptarà amb la participació de Johanna Blakley (Norman Lear Center), Emily White i Lisa Lite (Layer), Ken Nealson (Departament de Geobiologia de […]

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[…] intellettuale avrebbe bisogno di una rinfrescata. Nella sua Ted conversation, la ricercatrice Johanna Blakley fa presente che nel mondo della moda il concetto di copyright è molto labile. Qualunque stilista […]

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  Http://Planetred.Unl.Edu wrote @

Hi! I’ve been reading your site for some time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Atascocita Tx! Just wanted to mention keep up the great work!

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