Kathryn Montalbano

I am an Assistant Professor of Journalism (Communication Law) at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. I earned my M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in communications from Columbia University in 2016, and my B.A. in English with a minor in sociology from Haverford College in 2009.

I specialize in communication history, communication law, religion and media, and surveillance studies. My first book, Government Surveillance of Religious Expression: Mormons, Quakers, and Muslims in the United States (Routledge, 2018), compares how United States government agencies in the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries monitored and negotiated the identities of three distinctive religious groups within cultural and legal frameworks deeply rooted in Protestant hegemony. Related research on mid-twentieth-century FBI surveillance of the Quaker organization, the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), appears as a chapter in Making Surveillance States: Transnational Histories (University of Toronto Press, 2019).

I have also published on the historical continuity between the opposition of the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) to the 1949 Fairness Doctrine and the contemporary Open Internet principle, net neutrality, as well as on intercultural communication in three thirteenth-century Franciscan friars’ narratives documenting their travels through the Mongol Empire. My most recent article examines Islamophobic discourse and misinformation in alternative-right media, and forthcoming work traces tensions in Mississippi Valley news coverage of the 1878 yellow fever epidemic. I have taught courses on media and society, religion and media, communication theory, communication research methods, media history, communication law, journalism, and surveillance studies, among others. For further information, please see my CV.