Johanna Blakley

Media | Entertainment | Fashion


academic experience

• frequent guest lecturer at USC on media, entertainment, technology, cultural diplomacy and globalization
• helped develop the Masters Program in Public Diplomacy at the USC Annenberg School for Communication
• taught classes at the university level for six years, including courses on popular culture, Shakespeare, twentieth-century literature and science fiction at UC Santa Barbara
• won 11 fellowships and scholarships; earned a PhD in English
• currently a fellow in the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities

entertainment industry research & experience

• conducted national surveys with Zogby International on the relationship between entertaiment preferences and political beliefs
•planned and organized over 60 events related to entertainment, including a ground-breaking conference on Fashion & the Ownership of Creativity, a museum exhibition on American propaganda films from the 30s and 40s; a four-part series on “The Power of the Media:” a six-year faculty seminar on “Celebrity, Politics & Public Life;” a large-scale conference on Artists, Technology & the Ownership of Creative Content; and several events on the convergence of politics and entertainment
• performed research for the Vice President of Research & Development and the legal department at Knowledge Adventure, a division of Vivendi-Universal Games
• participated in development of Blaster’s Universe, a CBS cartoon
• developed the character bible and style guide for Blaster software line
• member of the advisory board for Kartemquin Films

multimedia experience

• developed and launched five Web sites for the Norman Lear Center, including
• developed and launched branded Web sites for edutainment products at Vivendi- Universal
• redesigned the Havas Interactive (later Vivendi-Universal Games) Intranet site
• wrote and edited stories, scripts, and educational content for multimedia titles
• member of the Entertainment Computing working group in the International Federation for Information Processing

writing & editing

• guided more than 50 manuscripts through the publication process at the Norman Lear Center, including five books: Television’s Changing Image of American Jews (contributors include Frank Rich and Neal Gabler); Frank Capra and the Image of the Journalist in American Film, by Joe Saltzman; Artists, Technology & the Ownership of Creative Content; Warners’ War: Propaganda, Politics & Pop Culture in Wartime Hollywood, and Ready to Share: Fashion & the Ownership of Creativity.
• performed research and wrote grants for Lear Center projects on American propaganda films; the globalization of entertainment; global media and journalism standards; entertainment education and “edutainment,” and the effects of entertainment on voting habits and attitudes toward government
• served as rapporteur for a six-year USC faculty seminar series on Celebrity, Politics & Public Life
• completed a dissertation and published two academic articles
• edited a literary journal and a university-level poetry anthology; serve as editor and member of the Board of Directors of Les Figues Press
• wrote and edited hundreds of Web-site reviews for a best-selling Barnes & Noble book


• cited in Reuters, New York Times Magazine, The Economist, The Atlantic, Los Angeles Times, Politico, Huffington Post, Los Angeles Magazine, Christian Science Monitor, Business Week, PR Week, El Mundo, The Age, Washington Times, San Diego Union-Tribune, New Jersey Herald, Ventura County Star
• interviewed on Good Morning America, MSNBC and Current TV; the nationally syndicated radio shows To the Point, Planet Money and Marketplace; KPCC’s AirTalk with Larry Mantle, KPFK’s Deadline LA, XM Radio and KABC-TV
• published opinion pieces on Politico, Sydney Morning Herald, PBS’ Need to Know, and Design Observer


BA with Honors in English,  University of Oregon
MA in English, University of Oregon
PhD in English, University of California Santa Barbara


The Norman Lear Center, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California, 1/00-present
Managing Director & Director of Research (7/11-present)
Deputy Director (7/06-7/11)
Assistant Director (1/00-7/06)
Knowledge Adventure, Torrance, CA ; 5/97-1/00
Web Producer / Web Analyst (5/99-1/00)
Digital Archivist / Content Librarian (5/97-5/99)

Blueprint R&D, San Francisco, CA; 2/99 – 5/99
Web consultant

Luckman Interactive, Inc., Los Angeles, CA; 8/96 – 5/97
Web-site reviewer

selected talks

Social Media & the End of Gender, TEDWomen, December 8, 2010 | video

Lessons from Fashion’s Free Culture, TEDxUSC, April 13, 2010 | video

Best of Times: Writing in the Age of the Internet, March 11, 2010 | video

MIT Communication Forum: Popular Culture and Politics, 2009 | video | transcript

Rights/Camera/Action, ACLU Membership Conference, June 8, 2008 (moderator) | video | transcript | press release

Creativity & Copyright: The Surprising Tale of the Fashion Industry, Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities, December 5, 2008 | audio

Ready to Share: Fashion and the Commons, iSummit, the international conference of the Creative Commons, Sapporo, Japan, July 31, 2008 | video | interview | blog

Will Tomorrow’s World Still Need Designers? SXSW, March 9, 2008 | blog

Covering Entertainment in the Digital Age, Western Knight Center for Specialized Journalism, June 5, 2005 | audio | video | slides


multimedia titles

Artists, Technology & the Ownership of Creative Content CD-ROM
Luckman’s World Wide Web Yellow Pages
JumpStart 6th Grade
Grammar for the Real World
French & Spanish for the Real World
Fisher-Price Ready for School
Reading Blaster, Ages 4-6
Reading Blaster Vocabulary
Reading Blaster, Ages 9-12
Captain Kangaroo: Life’s First Lessons

print titles

Norman Lear Center Press, 2001-present (editor)
Warners’ War: Politics, Propaganda, & Pop Culture in Wartime Hollywood, 2004 (contributor & editor)
Luckman’s World Wide Web Yellow Pages, 1997 (contributing editor)
The Best of the Web, 1996 & 1997 Editions (contributing editor)
Between Figures: Sex, Gender and Modernism, 1998 (PhD dissertation)
Thresholds: Viewing Culture, 1996 (contributor)
Lesbian Erotics, New York University Press, 1995 (contributor)
The Poem: An Anthology, 1990 (asst. editor)
The Timberline: A Literature and Arts Journal, 1990 & 1991 editions (asst. poetry editor & fiction editor)


  maryanne murphy wrote @

Fantastic stuff, Ms. Blakley, on the fashion industry and intellectual property. I am both a lawyer and an artist and appreciated your presentation.

Maryanne Z. Murphy, Esq.

  johannablakley wrote @

Thanks! It means a lot to hear that from an artist/lawyer!

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