Travis L Dixon

 Travis Dixon

Contact Information

3001 Lincoln Hall, MC-456
702 S Wright

Urbana, IL 61801
Professor and Communication Alumni Professorial Scholar
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Professor Dixon is a media effects scholar who specializes in investigating the prevalence of stereotypes in the mass media and the impact of stereotypical imagery on audience members.  He has been honored as a faculty fellow with UIUC's Center on Democracy in a Multiracial Society and he was the 2013 Visiting Philanthropy Faculty Scholar at the Clinton School of Public Service.  Dr. Dixon has received 7 top paper awards from the National Communication Association and the International Communication Association. He has also received a top article award from the National Communication Association. Dr. Dixon serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Communication, Communication Research, Howard Journal of Communications, Media Psychology, and the Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media. Much of Dr. Dixon's work has been focused on racial stereotyping in television news. His more recent investigations examine the content and effects of stereotypes and counter-stereotypes in major news events, online news, and musical contexts.

Research Interests

  • media stereotypes, content and effects of traditional/digital media


  • Ph.D., 1998, Communication, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • M.A, 1994, Communication, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • B.A., 1992, Communication, University of California, Los Angeles

Distinctions / Awards

  • 2015, Top Four Paper Award in the Mass Communication Division, National Communication Association
  • 2015, Top Three Paper Award in the Multicultural Division, Broadcast Education Association
  • 2013, Visiting Scholar, Clinton School of Public Service , U. of Arkansas scholarly investigation of stereotypical media content on network/cable news, Funded
  • 2011, Excellence in Mentorship Award, Presented by UIUC Communication Leaders
  • 2008, Top Paper Award in the Intergroup Communication Interest Group, International Communication Association



  • Communication 277 (Lower Division Course): Introduction to the Mediated Communication
  • Communication 429 (Upper Division Course): Race and the Mass Media
  • Communication 529 (Graduate Course): Introduction to Mass Communication Theory

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Epps, Avriel, and Travis L. Dixon A Comparative Content Analysis of Anti- and Prosocial Rap Lyrical Themes Found on Traditional and New Media Outlets Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media 61 2017, p. 467-498.
Dixon, Travis L, and Charlotte L. Williams The changing misrepresentation of race and crime on network and cable news Journal of Communication 65 2015, p. 24-39.

Book Contributions

Dixon, Travis L Rap music and rap audiences revisited: How race matters in the perception of rap music The Oxford Handbook of Music Censorship edited by Patricia Hall. Rap music and rap audiences revisited: How race matters in the perception of rap music Edited by Patricia Hall, New York Oxford University Press 2016, p. 1-10. Link.
Dixon, Travis L Teaching you to love fear: Television news and racial stereotypes in a punishing democracy Challenging the prison Industrial complex: Activism, arts & educational alternatives edited by Stephen Hartnett. Teaching you to love fear: Television news and racial stereotypes in a punishing democracy Edited by Stephen Hartnett, Chicago University of Illinois Press 2011, p. 106-123. Link.

In The News

  • Professor Travis Dixon studies how stereotypes influence and affect audiences of media content. In a recent collaborative project, Professor Dixon investigated the prevalence of stereotypes associated with rap music, such as substance abuse, misogyny, and violence.