Harlen Makemson

Professor of Communications
McEwen - Comm. 216A
2850 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244
hmakemson@elon.edu (336) 278-5777

Brief Biography

Harlen Makemson's scholarship explores the intersections of journalistic practice, media history, and visual communications. His book Media, NASA, and America's Quest for the Moon (Peter Lang, 2009) was lauded by reviewers for its “meticulous research and narrative grace" and "quality historical storytelling." He has twelve years of experience as a newspaper reporter, editor and designer, and has won multiple graphic design awards in Society of News Design, Alabama Associated Press and Kansas City Press Club competitions. 


BS, University of Kansas; MA, University of Missouri-Columbia; PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Courses Taught

COM 110: Media Writing

COM 319: Writing for Visual Media

COM 320: Editing and Design

COM 562: Multimedia Storytelling (IMedia master’s program)

GST 272-IS: From Gutenberg to the Web: Media’s Impact on Western Civilization

HRN 278: Press, Politics and Public During the Cold War (Honors seminar)



An Introduction to Visual Theory and Practice in the Digital Age, with Brooke Barnett, David Copeland, and Philip Motley (New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2011).

Media, NASA, and America’s Quest for the Moon (New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2009). 

Book Chapters

“Anglophobia as Art: Free Trade and Protection in Grover Cleveland Political Cartoons,” in Sensationalism: Murder, Mayhem, Mudslinging, Scandals, and Disasters in 19th Century Reporting, edited by David B. Sachsman and David W. Bulla, 141-154. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 2013.

Refereed Journal Articles

“Beat the Press: How Leading Political Cartoonists Framed Protests at the 1968 Democratic Party Convention,” Journalism History 32, no. 2 (Summer 2006): 77-86.

“One Misdeed Evokes Another: How Political Cartoonists Used ‘Scandal Intertextuality’ Against James G. Blaine,” Media History Monographs 7, no. 2 (2005): 1-20.

“Private Vice and Public Virtue: Political Cartoons as ‘Opprobrious Discourse’ Against Grover Cleveland During the 1884 Presidential Campaign,” International Journal of Comic Art 6, no. 2 (Fall 2004): 90-117.

 “A ‘Dude and Pharisee’: Cartoon Attacks on Harper’s Weekly Editor George William Curtis and the Mugwumps in the Campaign of 1884,” Journalism History 29, no. 4 (Winter 2004): 179-189.

Encyclopedia Articles

Encyclopedia of Journalism, s.v. “Cartoonists, Political” (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2009): 253-261. 

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