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College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Media, Film & Journalism Studies

Two professors chat at the 2019 Colorado Migrahack

Faculty & Staff

Erika Polson, PhD

Erika PolsonOffice Location: Media, Film & Journalism Studies Building, Room 129

Phone: 303-871-3831


About: Erika Polson is the Director of the MA program in International and Intercultural Communication, and is the Director of Internships for all students in the department of Media, Film and Journalism Studies. After working for many years as a PR and marketing communications professional in Boston, Dr. Polson pursued her Ph.D. in Mass Communication with a focus on global media at The Pennsylvania State University. She then taught in the Communication department at Saint Louis University's Madrid campus from 2009 to 2011, and joined the DU faculty in 2011.

Dr. Polson's research focuses broadly and critically on socio-cultural change in relation to globalization, and specifically on globalizing middle classes and media as intersecting sites for analyzing such changes. She is the author of Privileged Mobilities: Geo-Social Media, Professional Migration, and a New Global Middle Class (Peter Lang, 2016), which explores how migrating professionals use new media to create local territory in global cities, based on ethnographic research of online and offline digital media practices by expatriates in Paris, Singapore and Bangalore. Her work appears in publications such as New Media and Society; Media, Culture, and Society; International Journal of Communication; European Journal of Cultural Studies; and Communication, Culture & Critique.

Dr. Polson teaches professional, theory, and globally oriented courses in the department, at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Office Hours, Spring Quarter 2020: Please email Dr. Polson at with questions or to set up a phone meeting. 

Selected Classes: 

  • MFJS 2400: Strategic Communication Planning
  • MFJS 3420: Strategic Communication Seminar
  • MFJS 3440: Multicultural Campaigns
  • MFJS 3980/4980: Internship in MFJS
  • MFJS 4070: Seminar in Public Relations
  • MFJS 4650: Global Media & Communication


  • PhD, Pennsylvania State University
  • MA, Emerson College
  • BA, Oregon State University

Select Publications


  • Polson, E. (2016). Privileged mobilities: Professional migration, Geo-social media, and a new global middle class. New York, NY: Peter Lang.
  • Polson, E.; Schofield Clark, L. & Gajjala, R. (Eds.) (2020). Routledge Companion to Media & Class, London, UK: Routledge.

Journal Articles: 

  • Polson, E. (Forthcoming in 2021). "From the Tag to the #Hashtag: Street art, Instagram,and Gentrification." Space & Culture [Special Issue: Gentrification and the right to the geomedia city, edited by Maren Hartmann & André Jansson]
  • Norum, R. & Polson, E. (Forthcoming in 2021). "Placemaking Experiences in a New Economy." Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies [Special Issue: Digital Placemaking, edited by Germaine Halegoua and Erika Polson].
  • Polson, E. (2016). "Negotiating independent mobility: Single female expats in Bangalore." European Journal of Cultural Studies, 19(5): 450-464.
  • Polson, E. & Whiteside, E. (2016). "Getting in the Game: A Rising India and the Question of Global Sport." International Journal of Communication, 10(2016): 3085–3105.
  • Polson, E. (2015). "A Gateway to the Global City: Mobile Place-making Practices by Expats." New Media & Society, 17(4): 629-645.
  • Polson, E. & Whiteside, E. (2014). "Passing to India: A Critical Look at American Football's Expansion." Media, Culture & Society, 36(5): 661-678.
  • Polson, E. (2011). "Belonging to the Network Society: Social Media and the Production of a New Global Middle Class." Communication, Culture & Critique, 4(2): 144-163.
  • Polson, E. & Kahle, S. (2010). "Limits of National Discourse on a Transnational Phenomenon: Britain, Immigration, and the 'Body' Politic." International Communication Gazette, 72(3): 251-268.

Book Chapters:

  • Polson, E. (2020). Online Media and the Aspirational Class 'Mobility' of Digital Nomads. In Polson, E.; Schofield Clark, L. & Gajjala, R. (Eds), Routledge Companion to Media & Class, London, UK: Routledge.
  • Polson, E.; Schofield Clark, L. & Gajjala, R. (2020). Media and Class in the 21st Century. In Polson, E.; Schofield Clark, L. & Gajjala, R. (Eds), Routledge Companion to Media & Class, London, UK: Routledge.
  • Polson, E. (2018). 'Doing' Local: Place-Based Travel Apps and the Globally Networked Self. In Papacharissi, Z. (Ed.), A Networked Self: Platforms, Stories, Connections. London, UK: Routledge.
  • Polson, E. (2019) Information SuperCalle: The Social Internet of Havana's WiFi Streets. In Wilken, R.; Goggin, G. & Horst, H. (Eds.), Location Technologies in International Context, London, UK: Routledge.

Find out more about Dr. Polson from the MFJS Newsletter:

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