Headshot of Cynthia   Walker

Cynthia Walker,
Ph.D.

Professor of Communication & Media Culture

About Dr. Walker

Dr. Cynthia W. Walker is a professor of Communication and Media Culture at Saint Peter’s University in Jersey City, New Jersey, where she teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses in public relations and marketing, media literacy, gender & communication, film, animation, and broadcast studies, scriptwriting and research writing. Dr. Walker received her Ph.D. in 2001 from The School of Communication and Information (SC&I) at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey. The title of her dissertation was “A Dialogic Approach to Creativity in Mass Communication.” She received her Master of Arts in Media Studies from The New School University, New York City, New York in 1982 and her Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Political Science from Douglass College, New Brunswick, New Jersey in 1975.

As a scholar and researcher in media studies, participatory audiences, and convergence culture, she has published over a dozen book chapters and articles and presented over 50 conference papers, panels and workshops. A fan of the classic The Man From U.N.C.L.E. series, Dr. Walker delivers onscreen commentary in the extras of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. DVD set, available from Warner Home Video. Her book, Work/Text: Investigating The Man From U.N.C.L.E., which proposes a new dialogic model for the relationship between creators and audiences, was published by Hampton Press in the spring of 2013. It is currently available on Amazon.com.

A working journalist for over 45 years, she most recently covered professional regional theater in New Jersey for several regional daily newspapers published by Gannett. Dr. Walker has also long been involved in media literacy efforts in New Jersey, serving as Assistant Director for the Center for Media Studies at Rutgers University, where she designed and piloted curriculum for grades 5-8. She has also written entries for the Encyclopedia of Television and several teacher’s guides for Pocket Books.

“I was in the middle of O’Hare Airport in Chicago, waiting for a flight, when a smartly dressed young woman called out to me by name. Surprised, I realized she was a former student. She was also between flights and briefly, breathlessly, she reminded me that she’d taken an advertising class with me. Now, she was working for a top notch firm. As she ran to catch her flight, she called out to me, “Goodbye and thank you for my life! I always remember that moment. For her, I was the right teacher at the right time in her life. I made a difference. That’s why I teach college. It’s why I chose to come to St. Peter’s University and it’s why I continue to remain here.”

Career & Accomplishments

Degrees

  • Rutgers University, Ph.D.

  • The New School University, New York M.A.

  • Douglass College, B.A.

Accomplishments

  • Consultant for The Man From U.N.C.L.E. feature film, Ember Entertainment Group, Los Angeles, CA (2004-present). Script under option, 2005-2007.

  • Liner notes, Season 2, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. DVD set, released by Time/Warner and distributed by Time/Life, 2007.

  • On screen commentary and marketing consultant, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. DVD set, produced by D*G Entertainment for Time/Warner and distributed by Time/Life. Release: November, 2007.

  • Writer, director and producer, A Place To Call Home, short film on group homes for developmentally disabled citizens, 1983. Publicity consultant, New Jersey Developmental Disabilities Council, Trenton, 1981-1983.

Book

  • Work/Text: Investigating The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Media Ecology series, Hampton Press, Cresskill N.J, 2013 Lance Strate, editor.

Book Chapters and Other Publications

Fifty Years of “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”: How the Ever-Changing Media Sustained and Shaped One of the Oldest Fan Communities in Television, Social Media, and Fan Culture. Alison F. Slade, Amber J., Narro, Dedria Givens-Carroll (eds), Lanham MD: Lexington Press, 2015.

Review: “The Mad Mad Tea Party” Cinema Retro, Online. Posted February 21, 2015

Mr. Bond’s Neighborhood: Domesticating the Superspy for American Television in Michele Brittany, (Ed); James Bond and Popular Culture: Essays on the Influence of the Fictional Superspy, 2014

An interview with Paula Smith, special history issue, Transformative Works and Culture (6), March 15 2011

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.: Ian Fleming’s Other Spy” in R.G. Weiner, B.L. Whitfied and J. Becker (Eds.) James Bond and Popular Culture: The Films Are Not Enough. London:
Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010; (2nd Ed.) 2011

The Future Just Beyond the Coat Hook: Technology, Politics and the Postmodern Sensibility in the Man From U.N.C.L.E. In Lincoln Geraghty (Ed.)  Channeling the future: essays on science fiction and fantasy television, May 2009

Sexy Nerds: Illy a Kuryakin, Mr. Spock, and the Image of the Cerebral Hero in Television Drama In L. Holderman (Ed.) Common Sense: Intelligence as Presented on Popular Television, 2008

Media Literacy, Media Fandom and Participatory Culture. C.W. Walker – Journal of Media Literacy, 2007

The Gun as Star and the U.N.C.L.E. Special In M. Pomerance & J. Sakeris (Eds.), Bang, Bang, Shoot, Shoot! Essays on Guns and Popular Culture, 1999

Encyclopedia of Television.  Edited by Horace Newcomb, Chicago, IL: Fitzroy Dearborn, 1997, 2004 (2nd ed.) Entries on spy shows, Edward Woodward, and “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”

The Teacher’s Guide to Media- Related Books. NY: Pocket Books, 1995

The Teacher’s Guide to Bless the Beasts and Children. NY: Pocket Books, 1994

The Teacher’s Guide to Star Trek. NY: Pocket Books, 1994

Presentations

The Jesuit University Examen, 
C. W. Walker, Communication Conference of American Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU), Loyola Marymount, Los Angeles CA,  July 24-27, 2019

Teaching Media Literacy in the Age of Fake News
C. W. Walker, Communication Conference of American Jesuit Colleges and Universities, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO, July 18-21, 2018,

Imaginative Educational Strategies for The TV Game: Paying attention to how Television works.
C. W. Walker, Global Education Conference, University of Riverside, CA, May 17, 2018,

Media Ecology: Exploring a Sense of Place, Participatory Culture and the Media Classroom
C. W. Walker, The 22nd Annual New Jersey Communication Association (NJCA) Conference, Brookdale Community College, Lincroft, NJ, April 14, 2018,

Fake News in the Classroom & the Street:  A Roundtable with Dr. Cynthia W. Walker,
C. W. Walker, Hudson Community College, Jersey City, NJ, September 26, 2017

A Dialogic Approach in the Age of Convergence and Participatory Culture, on the Anniversary Panel, The View from 1997: Models, Movies and Convergence, at the 21st Annual New Jersey Communication Association (NJCA) conference, Georgian Court College, Lakewood, NJ, March 25, 2017

Graduate Stud0ents’ Presentations of their Capstone Projects I, panel at the 21st Annual New Jersey Communication Association (NJCA) conference
Georgian Court College, Lakewood, NJ, March 25, 2017,

The TV Game,  presentation on a panel on experiential learning, at the Hawaii International Conference on Arts & Humanities,
Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, Honolulu,  January 8-11, 2017

Communicating with Alumni at Saint Peter’s University, presentation at the Communication Conference of American Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU)
Loyola University New Orleans, LA, July 13-16, 2016

Chairs Roundtable: Preparing Professionals in Communication Across New Jersey, panel at The 20th Annual New Jersey Communication Association (NJCA) Conference
Caldwell College, Caldwell, NJ, April 9, 2016

Challenges Facing Graduate Communication, panel at the 20th Annual New Jersey Communication Association (NJCA) Conference
Caldwell College, Caldwell, NJ, April 9, 2016

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.: The Creature Feature Affair. Creature Features Store and Art GalleryBurbank, CA, August 14-15, 2015.

How the Rise of Social Media Sustained and Shaped One of the Oldest Fan Communities, presentation at the Communication Conference of American Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU)Boston College, Boston, MA, July 22-25, 2015

Saint Peter’s as Laboratory: Tackling Strategic Communication Challenges in a Small Private University, panel at the 19th Annual New Jersey Communication Association (NJCA) Conference, Technology and Change,Saint Peter’s University, Jersey City, NJ,  April 22, 2015

Issues in Strategic Communication: Returning Veterans, career preparation for minority women, sports and entertainment audiences, panel at the 19th Annual New Jersey Communication Association (NJCA) Conference,Technology and Change, at Saint Peter’s University, Jersey City, NJ,April 22, 2015

The Inhabitable Texts of Liberty Science Center and Walt Disney World: Employing Experiential Learning as a Bridge Between Theory and Practice, panel at the 19th Annual New Jersey Communication Association (NJCA) Conference,Technology and Change, at Saint Peter’s University, Jersey City, NJ, April 22, 2015.

Chairs Roundtable: Departments as Change Agents, panel at the 19th Annual New Jersey Communication Association (NJCA) Conference, Technology and Change, April 22, 2015, at Saint Peter’s University, Jersey City, NJ.

Work/Text: Investigating the Man from U.N.C.L.E., presentation at the Communication Conference of American Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU), Fairfield University, Connecticut, July 16-19, 2014

Capstones, Internships and Senior Experiences, panel at The 18th Annual New Jersey Communication Association (NJCA) Conference, Connecting Classrooms to Communication Careers, April 12, 2014 at Kean University, Union, NJ.

Chairs Roundtable: Preparing Professionals in Communication Across New Jersey, panel at The 18th Annual New Jersey Communication Association (NJCA) Conference, Connecting Classrooms to Communication Careers, April 12, 2014 at Kean University, Union, NJ.

Subversive Images: Real Beauty, Frozen Princesses and the Witches of Oz at The History of Media, Gender and Sexuality, 7th Annual Media and History Conference, Saint Peter’s University, Jersey City, NJ, April 3, 2014.

The Tangram Puzzle Exercise, for panel on Experiential Exercises for Four Levels of Communication. At the Western States Communication Association (WSCA) 85th Annual Convention. Anaheim, CA February 14-18.

Gee I’m Just a Hairdresser, presentation as part of a panel, Working Moms Contributing to our Communities, for the Women’s Caucus at the 98th annual convention of the National Communication Association (NCA), Orlando, FL, November 15-18, 2012.

Forty-five years of The Man from U.N.C.L.E.: How the Ever-changing Media Sustained and Shapes a Special Interest Grouppresentation as part of a panel, Communities in Transition: Voices and Identities changing through New Media at the 103rd annual convention of the Eastern Communication Association (ECA), Cambridge MA, April 26-29, 2012.

They Didn’t See It Coming, presentation as part of a panel, Back to you Bill and Steve: Reporting from the Shoulder of the Information Highway, at And That’s the Way It Is… Technology and News, Fifth Annual Media and History Conference, April 12, 2012, Saint Peter’s College, Jersey City, NJ.

From Letter Columns to Social Networks: How New Media Shaped and Changed the Fandom Community, presentation as part of a panel, Not Like It Used to Be: New Technologies, New Relationships and New Strategies for the New Media Environment, at 15th annual New Jersey Communication Association (NJCA) conference, Bergen Community College, Paramus NJ, March 19, 2011.

The Fans Did What? Introducing Students to Participatory Culture in session on Teaching Communication in the New Media Environment, NCA 96th Annual Convention, in San Francisco, CA, Nov. 14-17, 2010

Guys and Dolls: Class and Gender Differences in the Press, panel at Whose Truth? Reporting about Diverse Cultures, Third Annual Media and History Conference, April 15, 2010, Saint Peter’s College, Jersey City, NJ.

The Role of the Communication Major at a Liberal Arts College: A Small Private Liberal Arts College Perspective, panel, 14th Annual Conference of New Jersey Communication Association (NJCA), April 10, 2010, at College of St. Elizabeth, Morristown, NJ.

Where Do We Go From Here? Guiding Students to an Online Journalism Career, panel, 14th Annual Conference of New Jersey Communication Association (NJCA),at College of St. Elizabeth, Morristown, NJ, April 10, 2010

Fandom 101: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know, But Didn’t Know Who To Ask. Workshop at The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE), Detroit, MI, July 31-Aug 4, 2009.

Media Education and the Future of Journalism. Panel, Media Conversations VI 2009: An International Conference of Youth, Media, and Education. Held at Pratt Institute, Manhattan Campus, The Players Club, and Fordham University, Lincoln Center Campus, NYC.Organized with support from the Institute of General Semantics, Media Ecology Association (MEA) and The Players Club, June 4-6, 2009.

Images of the Journalist: Hero or Hack? Panel at Images in and of The Press, Second Annual Media and History Conference, April 2, 2009, St. Peter’s College, Jersey City, NJ.

Remix, Rewrite, and Converge: Navigating Fan Communities and Participatory Culture. Presented as part of a panel, Gathering together: Social Life on the Net, at The 13th Annual New Jersey Communication Association (NJCA) Conference, March 28, 2009 at Kean University, Union, NJ .

Unlikely Allies: How Producers and Audiences Are Collaborating to Create Innovative Forms of Popular Culture. Presented as part of a panel called, “unCONVENTIONal Connections in a Culture of Convergence” at the 94th Annual Conference of The National Communication Association, November 22, 2008, in San Diego, CA.

Transformative Culture: The Evolving Relationship between Fan Audiences and Media Producers. Presented at the 12th Annual Conference of New Jersey Communication Association (NJCA),at Marymount College in Manhattan, March 22, 2008.

Managing Competing Worldviews: Creating a Support System for Scholar/Mothers in the Communication Field. Presented at the 93rd Annual National Communication Association (NCA)Convention, Chicago, IL, November 15-18, 2007.

Let’s Write A Movie! Teaching Language Arts Skills Through Scriptwriting. Presented at National Media Education Conference (NMEC),in St. Louis, MI, June 24, 2007.

Great Ideas for Teaching Students (G.I.F.T.S.): The Television Game. Presented at the 11th Annual Conference of the New Jersey Communication Association (NJCA), Kean University, March 24, 2007.

Employing Media Literacy to Teach Social and Civic Responsibility in the Undergraduate Classroom, Presented at the 11th Annual Conference of the New Jersey Communication Association (NJCA), Kean University, March 24, 2007.

Sexy Nerds: Illya Kuryakin, Mr. Spock, and the Image of the Cerebral Hero in TV Drama. Presented at the 92nd Annual National Communication Association (NCA) Convention, San Antonio, TX, November 16-19, 2006.

Media Fandom: Redefining a ‘Sense of Place’ at the Seventh Annual Convention of the Media Ecology Association. Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, June 8-11, 2006.

Shadow of the Doubt: Hitchcock’s Modern American Vampire at the Mid-Atlantic Popular/American Culture Association’s 16th Annual Conference, New Brunswick, NJ, November 3-7, 2005.

Superheroes, Toys and Celebrities: Exploring Values through Media Images that Matter in Children’s Lives. Presented at the National Media Conference (NMEC), San Francisco, CA, June 25-28, 2005.

Building Program Quality: Changing Kids Lives, Central Region Character Education, at the Conference sponsored by Raritan Valley Community College in collaboration with The New Jersey Center for Character Education and The Somerset County Superintendent’s’ Office, May, 17, 2004.

A Dialogic Approach to Mass Communication. Chosen one of the top three papers, Theory and Methodology Interest Group, the 95th Annual Eastern Communication Association (ECA) Conference, April 22-24, 2004, Boston, Massachusetts. Expanding the Definition of Literacy: Bringing Media Literacy into the Classroom. Norman Felton Media Literacy Lecture, Center for Media Studies, School of Information, Communication and Library Studies (SCILS), March 10, 2004, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey.

To Inform, To Persuade, To Entertain: Using Media’s Creative Strategies to Teach Reading and Writing. Presented at the Center for Effective School Practices (CESP) Spring Forum. Busch Student Center, Rutgers University, Piscataway, New Jersey, May 19, 2004,

Understanding the Construction of Meaning in Media. Presented at the National Media Education Conference, Alliance for a Media Literate America (AMLA), Baltimore, Maryland, June 28-July 1, 2003

The Man From U.N.C.L.E.: Ian Fleming’s Other Spy. Presented at The Cultural Politics of Ian Fleming and 007 conference, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, May 29-June 1, 2003.

Work/Text: A New Approach to Mass Communication. Presented at the 85th Annual National Communication Association (NCA) Convention, Chicago, Illinois, November 4-7, 1999

The Gun as Star and the “U.N.C.L.E. Special.” Presented at Bang Bang, Shoot Shoot: Film, Television and Guns Conference, Ryerson Polytechnic University, Toronto, Canada,
May 16-17, 1998 (featured speakers: Leslie Fielder, George Gerbner and Ellen Seiter.)

Taking the Popular Seriously: Toward an Aesthetic of the Collaborative. Presented at the 2nd Annual Conference of the New Jersey Communication Association (NJCA), Montclair State University, March 21, 1998.

A Dialogic Approach to Creativity in Mass Communication. Presented at the 1st Annual Conference of the New Jersey Communication Association (NJCA), Montclair State University, April 26, 1997.

Coming in from the Cold: Gender, the Internet and Man From U.N.C.L.E. Fandom. Presented at the 5th Annual Console-ing Passions: Television, Video and Feminism,
University of Wisconsin-Madison, April 25-28, 1996

Related Activities

Consultant for The Man From U.N.C.L.E. feature film, Ember Entertainment Group, Los Angeles, CA (2004-present). Script under option, 2005-2007. On screen commentary, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. DVD set, produced by D*G Entertainment for Time/Warner and distributed by Time/Life. Release: November, 2007.

Liner notes, Season 2, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. DVD set, released by Time/Warner and distributed by Time/Life, 2007.

Writer, director and producer, A Place To Call Home, short film on group homes for developmentally disabled citizens. Publicity consultant, New Jersey Developmental Disabilities Council, Trenton, 1981-1983.

Instructional seminars for amateur writers at MediaWest Con, held annually in Lansing, Michigan, 1990-2016.

Moderator, Media Panel for the Jersey Arts Marketers Media Roundtable, at the Morris Museum & Bickford Theatre, June 14, 2010

Participated in Summer, 2007 online symposium between male and female academics who study media fandom posted on the weblog of noted media scholar, Henry Jenkins. Her two part conversation with Derek Kompare, asst. professor of Cinema-Television in the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University

Curriculum Design and Teaching, Media Literacy component of The Gender Project, a Project -Based Learning project for grades 7-8 at the Great Brunswick Charter School, in collaboration with George Lucas Educational Foundation and Buck Institute for Education, New Brunswick, NJ, Spring, 2005

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