Exploring the C-SPAN Archives: Advancing the Research Agenda

Available Formats for this title


About this title

Purdue University Press
Professional & Scholarly


Exploring the C-SPAN Archives is a collection of path-breaking research studies that use video drawn from the C-SPAN Archives. The book, based on the papers presented at a November 2014 conference, includes chapters that explore issues in presidential debates, minority representation, the presentation of the first ladies, stem research, and innovative ways to analyze video.


The book is divided into five parts: Part 1 consists of an overview of and common scholarship using the C-SPAN Archives and how this research advances the conversation after previously published studies. Featured are the ways in which the collection is indexed and tips on how individuals can find particular materials. This section is essential for increased scholarship and pragmatic applications. Part 2 contains applied research using the video collection. Topics in this section include a look at oral histories of minority members of Congress, an analysis of presidential debates, and the presentation style of Michelle Obama. Part 3 is focused on STEM research, including concepts and contradictions in the debate over STEM initiatives, expertise and evidence in science presentations in the C-SPAN Archives, and the framing of technology issues in a C-SPAN television series, The Communicators. Part 4 presents innovative research using C-SPAN and new computer technology. Two scholars take different technical approaches to evaluate polarization and communication using audio levels and video images. Finally, in Part 5, David Caputo presents ideas on the value of massive open online courses (MOOCs) using C-SPAN and reflects on the use of C-SPAN for citizen education in what he terms the “postdigital world.” Additionally, Patrice Buzzanell contributes a reflective essay on the future directions of research using the C-SPAN Archives based on the essays in this volume.


Table of Contents:

Chapter 1: Going Beyond the Anecdote: The C-SPAN Archives and Uncovering the Ritual of Presidential Debates in the Age of Cable News by Kathryn Cramer Brownell

Chapter 2: Framing Technological Influence Through C-SPAN by Alison N. Novak and Ernest A. Hakanen

Chapter 3: Image Bite Analysis of Presidential Debates by Erik P. Bucy and Zijian Harrison Gong

Chapter 4: Expressive Polarization in Political Discourse by stonegarden grindlife

Chapter 5: C-SPAN, MOOCs, and the Post-Digital Age by David A. Caputo

Chapter 6: Using the C-SPAN Archives: Evidence in Policymakers’ Discourse on Science by Mary L. Nucci

Chapter 7: Personal Narratives and Representation Strategies: Using C-SPAN Oral Histories to Examine Key Concepts in Minority Representation by Nadia E. Brown, Michael D. Minta, and Valeria Sinclair-Chapman

Chapter 8: “Mom-In-Chief ” Rhetoric as a Lens for Understanding Policy Advocacy: A Thematic Analysis of Video Footage From Michelle Obama’s Speeches by Ray Block Jr. and Christina S. Haynes

Chapter 9: The Performance of Roll Call Votes as Political Cover in the U.S. Senate: Using C-SPAN to Analyze the Vote to Repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” by Christopher Neff

Chapter 10: Public Understandings of Women in STEM: A Prototype Analysis of Governmental Discourse From the C-SPAN Video Library by Lauren Berkshire Hearit and Patrice M. Buzzanell

Chapter 11: If a Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words, What Is a Video Worth? By Bryce J. Dietrich

Chapter 12: Reflections and a Look Ahead by Patrice M. Buzzanell