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Stephen Vaughn joined the UW-Madison faculty in 1981. He has an affiliated appointment with the Department of History. Vaughn’s research and teaching interests include the history and social impact of new media, history of journalism, censorship, propaganda, modern entertainment and American culture, the uses and misuses of history, and U. S. intellectual and political history.
Vaughn’s current research includes two projects. One involves finishing a book on cinema and censorship in the early 20th century that will be a companion volume to Freedom and Entertainment, and will examine how the press and new media technologies magnified personalities and changed the nature of fame. He has also started another project that deals with privacy and national security during the Gerald Ford administration. It will explore how new technology revolutionized surveillance during 1960s and 1970s, and how these years were a formative period for the current war on terrorism.

The courses he teaches include: History of Mass Communication (J560); New Media and Society (J676); Seminar: History of Communication (J819); and Seminar: Research in the History of Communication (J919). In addition, he teaches such courses as Intermediate Reporting (J335) and In-Depth Reporting (J401).

Vaughn’s numerous scholarly articles have appeared in such publications as: Journal of American History, American Quarterly, American Journal of Legal History, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Presidential Studies Quarterly, and Reviews in American History. Previously, he was Associate Editor of Scribner’s two-volume Dictionary of American History Supplement, Associate Editor of the Journal of American History, and Book Review Editor for the Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television.

Outside the School, Vaughn was a Fulbright Lecturer at Tashkent University in the former Soviet Union. He won, but declined a Distinguished Fulbright Chair at the University of Bologna in 2002. Before coming to Wisconsin, Vaughn was a visiting assistant professor at the University of Oregon and Indiana University. He is active in the Organization of American Historians, once serving as Executive Secretary and Editor of the Newsletter. At UW-Madison, Vaughn has chaired both the University Library Committee and the University Archives Committee. He is a founding member and serves on the Advisory Board of the Center for the History of Print Culture in Modern America. He also serves on several J-School committees and is the School’s faculty senator. Vaughn was chose as a UW-Madison Vilas Associate in 1995-96. In 1984, he received a Distinguished Alumnus Award from Southeast Missouri State University and was that university’s commencement speaker in 1988.

Vaughn’s avocations include cinema, photography, reading, and athletics. A former college baseball player who was drafted to play professionally, he remains an avid handball player and has won three national titles and 15 state championships.
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