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Elizabeth  Bird

Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird


Office: SOC 156A



Ph.D., Anthropology, University of Strathclyde (U.K.)
M.A., Journalism & Mass Communications, University of Iowa
M.A., Folk Life Studies, University of Leeds (U.K.)
B.A., Anthropology, University of Durham (U.K.)


USF undergraduate and graduate classes include Research Methods, Cultural Anthropology, Folklore, Legal and Ethical Issues, Visual Anthropology, and Anthropology, Media and Culture.


For many years, my research focused on practices around the media in everyday life, with particular interests in the role of news and journalism in framing cultural issues, and the relationship of media texts and audience practices. More recently, I have been primarily working on issues of cultural heritage. In particular, I have worked since 2010 in Asaba, Nigeria, on a collaborative project that uses videotaped oral histories and survivor testimonies to document a little-known massacre of civilians that happened in 1967 during the Nigerian civil war. We plan to reclaim the history of the event, and use this both to explore the working of collective memory and to assist the community in developing public memorialization. My co-author and I are writing a book, after receiving funding from the American Council of Learned Societies. For more information about the project, visit For a video that draws on our interviews and other sources, and tells the story of the massacre, visit:

I am currently collaborating with the Sulphur Springs Museum and Heritage Center on a Museums on Main Street project, funded by the Florida Humanities Council and the Smithsonian.

Graduate Students

Farah Britto, Vivian Gornik, John Pendygraft, Lawrence Shaw, Jodie Sweezey

Current Courses

RefCourseSecCourse TitleCRDayTimeLocation
81834ANG 6971003Thesis: Master's

TBA 100
81873ANG 7910002Directed Research

TBA 100
81653ANG 7980002Dissertation: Doctoral

TBA 100

Recent Publications

  • Bird, S.E. and F. Ottanelli, ed. (2015). The Performance of Memory as Transitional Justice. Cambridge UK/Mortsel Belgium: Intersentia
  • Bird, S.E. (2015). “Rebuilding memory in an age of new media: The Case of the Asaba Massacre.” In Memory on Trial: Media, Citizenship and Social Justice, ed. A.H. Hansen, O. Hemer, and T. Tufte, Zurich, Switzerland: Lit-Verlag, 85-99.
  • Bird, S.E. and F. Ottanelli (2015). “Breaking four decades of silence: The challenges of reconstructing collective memory in post-civil war Nigeria.” In Bird and Ottanelli, The performance of memory. Cambridge UK/Mortsel Belgium: Intersentia, 135-152.
  • Bird, S.E. and F. Ottanelli (2014). “The Asaba massacre and the Nigerian Civil War: Reclaiming hidden history,” Journal of Genocide Research, special issue on Nigerian Civil War, Vol. 16, issues 2-3, 379-399.
  • Bird, S.E. et al. (2014). Participations: Dialogues on the Participatory Promise of Contemporary Culture and Politics. International Journal of Communication 8, Forum, 1216 - 1242.
  • Bird, S.E. and F.Ottanelli (2011). The history and legacy of the Asaba, Nigeria, massacres. African Studies Review, 54 (3), 1-26.
  • Bird, S.E. (2011). Are we all produsers now? Convergence culture and the media audience. Cultural Studies, special issue on Convergence Culture, 25 (4-5) 502-516.
  • Bird, S.E. (2011). Reclaiming Asaba: Old media, New media and the construction of memory. In On Media Memory: Collective Memory in a New Media Age, ed. M. Neiger, O. Meyers, & E. Zandberg. London: McMillan Palgrave, 88-103
  • Bird, S. E. (2011). From convergence to irrelevance: Supermarket tabloids in the post-9/11 world. In B. Zelizer and S. Allen (eds). Journalism after September 11. London: Routledge. (2nd Edition); 191-211
  • Bird, S.E. (2011). Seeking the audience for news: Response, news talk, and everyday practices. In V. Nightingale, ed. Handbook of Audience Studies. New York: Blackwell, 489-508
  • Bird, S.E. (2011). Surviving through engagement: The faculty responsibility to defend liberal education. In B. Zelizer, ed. Making the University Matter. New York: Routledge, 64-72.
  • Bird, S.E. ed. (2010). The Anthropology of News and Journalism: Global perspectives. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
  • Bird, S.E. (2010). Mediated practices and the interpretation of culture. In Theorising Media and Practice, Postill, J. & Braeuchler, B. (eds). Oxford: Berghahn, scheduled 2010.
  • Bird, S.E. (2010). Beyond audience response: News practices in everyday life. In S. Allan, ed. Routledge Companion to News and Journalism Studies. London: Routledge, 417-427.
  • Bird, S.E. (2010). The anthropology of news and journalism: Why now? In S.E. Bird, ed. The Anthropology of News and Journalism: Global perspectives. Indiana University Press, expected publication 2009.
  • Bird, S. E. (2009). Tabloid. In Encyclopedia of Journalism, ed. C.H. Sterling. New York: Sage.
  • Bird, S.E. (2009). The future of journalism in the digital environment. Journalism: Theory, Practice, and Criticism, 10:3, 293-95
  • Bird, S.E. (2009). True believers and atheists need not apply: Faith and mainstream television drama. In Small Screen, Big Picture: Television and Lived Religion, ed. D. Winston Baylor University Press, 17-41.
  • Bird, S.E. (2009). Tabloidization: What is it, and does it really matter? In The Changing Faces of Journalism:Tabloidization,Technology and Truthiness, ed. B. Zelizer, 40-50.
  • Bird, S.E. (2008). Seeking the historical audience: Interdisciplinary lessons in the recovery of media practices. In Explorations in Communication and History, ed. B. Zelizer. New York: Routledge, 90-106.
  • Bird, S. E. and R.W. Dardenne (2008). News as myth and storytelling: Lessons and challenges. In K. Wahl-Jorgenson & T. Hanisch, eds. Handbook of Journalism, 205-217.
  • Bird, S.E. (2008). The burden of history: Representations of American Indian women in popular media. In Marion Myers, ed., Women in Popular Culture: Representation and the Media, 185-210.
  • Bird, S. E. (2008). Tabloidization. In International Encyclopedia of Communication, ed. Wolfgang Donsbach, Blackwell, 4947-4952.
  • McBride, L.B. and S.E. Bird (2007). From smart fan to backyard wrestler: Ritual, performance, and pain. In Fandom: Identities and communities in a mediated world, ed. C. Sandvoss, L. Harrington, & J. Gray, New York University Press, 165-168. For pdf, click here
  • Bird, S. E. (2007). Using visual methods in anthropological research. In Michael Angrosino, ed. Doing Cultural Anthropology: Projects for Ethnographic Data Collection. (2nd Ed.). Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press, 129-38. For pdf, click here
  • Bird, S.E., J.P. Ambiee, and B.J. Kuzin (2006). Action research in a visual anthropology class: Lessons, frustrations, and achievements. In Pedagogies of Practice, ed. N. Hofman and H. Rosing, Anker Publishing, 111-133. For pdf, click here
  • Bird, S.E. and Godwin, J. (2006). Film in the Undergraduate Anthropology Classroom: Applying Audience Response Research in Pedagogical Practice. Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 37:3, 285-299. For pdf, click here
  • Salkowe, R., Tobin, G.A. and S.E. Bird (2006). Calamity, catastrophe and horror: Representation of natural disaster, 1885-2005. Papers of Applied Geography Conferences, 29, 196-205.
  • Bird, S.E. The Journalist as Ethnographer? (2005). How anthropology can enrich journalistic practice. In Media Anthropology, ed. E.Rothenbuhler and M.Coman. Sage, 301-308. For pdf, click here
  • Gayles, J. and S.E. Bird (2005) Anthropology at the movies: Jerry Maguire as 'expeditionary discourse'. In American Visual Cultures, ed. David Holloway and John Beck. London: Continuum.
  • Bird, S.E. (2005). CJ's Revenge: A case study of news as cultural narrative. In Media Anthropology, ed. Eric Rothenbuhler and Mihai Coman. Sage, 220-228.
  • Bird, S.E. (2003) The Audience in Everyday Life: Living in a Media World. New York: Routledge. (Winner of Best Book Award, International Communication Association, 2004).