J.J. Sylvia IV, Ph.D., Theory, Communications Media | Fitchburg State University
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Faculty Directory » J.J. Sylvia IV

Communications Media

Office Hours:

Semester: Fall 2020
Tuesday 9 AM to 10 AM
Wednesday 9 AM to 10 AM
Thursday 9 AM to 10 AM

Schedule an appointment through Google calendar: http://ow.ly/wPYS50BaDLP OR email Dr. Sylvia at jsylvia3@fitchburgstate.edu for other times.

Office Information:

Room Number: Center for Teaching & Learning (Hammond Library, 2nd Floor)
Phone: 978.665.3418
Email: jsylvia3@fitchburgstate.edu
Website: http://www.jjsylvia.com

Courses Taught:

Communications Media

Current Events and Service Learning (HON 1020)
Introduction to Communication and Media Studies (COMM 1105)
Rhetoric in Greece (COMM 4008)
Human Communication (COMM 4200)
Seminar in Communication Theory (COMM 4205)
Media and Society (COMM 4206)
Communications Law and Ethics (COMM 4230)
Communication Ethics (COMM 7005)
Quantitative Research Methods (COMM 9024)
Data and Analytics (COMM 9025)
Capstone for Social Media (COMM 9970)

Game Design

Game Studies Seminar (GAME 4000)


Ph.D., North Carolina State University (Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media)
M.A., The University of Southern Mississippi (Philosophy)
B.A., Mississippi State University (Communication, Philosophy)

Research Interests:

Big Data
Posthuman Media Studies
Media Ethics
Digital Pedagogy

Current Projects:

Dr. Sylvia is collaborating with a team of faculty members and graduate students on a project that explores how people are accessing and assessing the credibilty of news during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using both quantitative and qualitative methods, the team is collecting data about the role that social media plays in shaping the public's understanding of the virus. 

Dr. Sylvia is also working with a number of faculty across campus to develop new Digital Humanities curriculum for Fitchburg State University. They are currently in the process of writing grants in order to fund this development process. Once developed, this curriculum will offer new opportunities for undergraduate students to work on digital research projects both in the classroom and in the wider community. 

Additionally, he has also been researching and writing about the history of the social media platform LiveJournal, with a particular emphasis on the decline of the platform in the U.S. as its popularity increased in Russia. He is developing several journal articles about this topic, including one that assess the role LiveJournal played in the rise of Russian disinformation tactics. 

Representative Publications:

Journal Articles

Articles: Sylvia IV, J.J. (2020). "The Biopolitics of Social Distancing." In Social Media + Society 2k Special Issue. Vol. 6, Issue 3. 

Sylvia IV, J.J. (2018). “Code/Art Approaches to Data Visualization.” In Levenberg, L. et al (Eds.), Handbook of Methods in Digital Humanities.

Sylvia IV, J.J. (2019). “From Archaeology to Genealogy: Adding Politics and Processes of  Subjectivation.” communication +1, 7(2), Article 3. doi: 10.7275/a3dm-3770

Sylvia IV, J.J. and Andrejevic, M. (2016). "The Future of Critique: Mark Andrejevic on Power/Knowledge and the Big Data-Driven Decline of Symbolic Efficiency." International Journal of Communication, 10, pp. 3230-3240.


Sylvia IV, J.J. and Kyle Moody. (2019). "False Narratives: An Analysis of Internet Research Agency's Facebook Advertising Campaign." In Chiluwa, Innocent and Sergei Samoilenko (Eds.), Deception Fake News, and Misinformation Online. 

Sylvia IV, J.J. (2019). “p5.js in the Media Studies Classroom.” In Sarachan, J. (Ed.), Coding & Pedagogy digital collection.

Sylvia IV, J.J. (2016). "Little Brother: How Big Data Necessitates an Ethical Shift from Privacy to Power." In Booth, P. & Davisson, A. (Eds.), Controversies in Digital Ethics (pp. 13-28). Bloomsbury.

Professional Affiliations:

ICA - International Communication Association
NCA - National Communication Association
SOPHIA - Society of Philosophers in America