Travis L Dixon

 Travis Dixon

Contact Information

3001 Lincoln Hall, MC-456
702 S Wright

Urbana, IL 61801
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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 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

  • 2019, Inducted as International Communication Association Fellow
  • 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

  • The University of Illinois Library celebrates the tenure and promotion of faculty by giving them the opportunity to select a book to be added to the Library collection in their honor.

  • 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.