Kathy Merlock Jackson, Ph.D.

Contact Information:

Virginia Wesleyan College
1584 Wesleyan Drive
Norfolk, VA  23502

Office: Birdsong Hall Room 208
Phone: (757) 455-3308
Fax: (747) 461-5025

E-Mail Address


Kathy Merlock Jackson is Professor and Coordinator of Communication at Virginia Wesleyan College, where she teaches courses in media studies and coordinates the communication internship program. She received her B.A. from West Virginia University in English and Spanish, her M.A. from Ohio State University in English, and her Ph.D. from Bowling Green State University in American culture, with an emphasis in radio-television-film and popular culture. She is the author or editor of six books, Images of Children in American Film: A Socio-Cultural Analysis (1986), Walt Disney: A Bio-Bibliography (1993), Rituals and Patterns in Children's Lives (2005), Walt Disney: Conversations (2006), Disneyland and Culture:  Essays on the Parks and Their Influence (with Mark West) (2011),Walt Disney from Reader to Storyteller: Essays on the Literary Inspirations (with Mark West) (2014), as well as numerous articles, chapters, and reviews. A former president of the American Culture Association, she currently edits The Journal of American Culture; she was previously a monthly columnist on television for Port Folio Weekly, a local lifestyle magazine. In 1984 she received the college's Samuel Nelson Gray Distinguished Teaching Award and in 2004 became its first recipient of the Batten Distinguished Scholar Award. She was named to the first class of Virginia Wesleyan College's Batten Professors, serving in that capacity from 2004-2007. In 2006 and in 2012 the American Culture Association presented her with the President's Award for Extraordinary Service to the American Culture Association, and in 2007 she was awarded the association's highest award, the Governing Board Award, for scholarly contributions to American culture studies and service to the association. Her main areas of interest are children's culture and animation. She and her husband, Joe Jackson, a writer, have a son Nick, who is a 2011 graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, worked as an artist in Paris,served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine, and is currently living and working in Chicago.  Jackson and her husband live in Virginia Beach.


Courses Taught:

Communication 312: Animation

Communication 321: Theories of Mass Communication

Communication 331:  Mass Communication Research Methods

Communication 333: Special Topics in Media Studies

Communication 327: Children and the Media

Communication 411: Seminar in Communication

Communication 481: Internships in Mass Communication