Johanna Blakley, PhD, is the managing director and director of research 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, celebrity culture, fashion, digital media and intellectual property law. She has two talks on TED.com: Social Media & the End of Gender and Lessons from Fashion’s Free Culture, which have logged over a half million views on TED and YouTube. She speaks frequently in the U.S. and abroad about her research and her work has been cited in Reuters, New York Times Magazine, The Economist, The Atlantic, the Los Angeles Times, Politico, Huffington Post, Business Week and PR Week. She has appeared on Good Morning America, MSNBC and Current TV, and on several radio programs, including Planet Money and Marketplace.
Watch Presentations & Talks By Johanna Blakley
Blakley has 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. Much of her work addresses the intersection between entertainment and politics, including two nationwide polls on the relationship between political ideology and entertainment preferences. 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. Blakley developed course materials on cultural diplomacy for the Masters in Public Diplomacy at Annenberg, and she lectures frequently at USC. She is currently co-directing a university-wide research initiative on Creativity & Collaboration in the Academy.
Blakley oversees all the digital research initiatives at the Lear Center, including the development of research databases, video archives, an online video remixing platform, enhanced Google Earth files, 3D modeling simulations and a research center in Second Life.
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 TEDxUSC, the first TEDx event in the world, and Kartemquin Films, one of the longest-running documentary companies in the country; she’s on the board of directors for Les Figues Press, a venue for literary experimentation; and she’s a Fellow at the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities. View Johanna’s Website here.