Hello! my name is Thomas J Billard, but you can call me TJ. I am currently a doctoral student and Annenberg Graduate Fellow in the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, where I am advised by Professor Larry Gross. I am a young scholar of political communication and mass media, and I have two primary research areas. First, I study the strategic communications of the transgender movement, with a particular interest in issues of identity politics. Second, I study typography and graphic design, with a particular interest in the processes of production and meaning encoding. I am also an active member of Professor Henry Jenkins's Civic Paths research group, where I conduct research on citizen participation in politics through graphic design and on civic imagination.
Prior to beginning my doctoral studies at Annenberg, I worked as a research analyst in the social science department of EurekaFacts, LLC, a DC-area market research firm. There, my work focused primarily in the area of health communication. Among my many projects, I led and managed a team of researchers on a multi-million dollar government contract. I also served as project manager on two contracts for a national business association.
I hold an honors BA in political communication from the George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs, where I also studied music and German language & literature. My undergraduate years in DC were the first I had lived in the United States since the age of 9. Before moving to DC, I lived in Russia, Austria, and the Czech Republic. I speak German fluently from living in Austria, and I still have a strong affinity for Austrian cuisine and culture (and also skiing).
I maintain a relatively consistent level of activity across several social media, so make sure to friend or follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. You can also follow my research on ResearchGate, Academia.edu, ORCID, and Google Scholar.
Thomas J Billard is a doctoral student and Annenberg Graduate Fellow in the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. He is a political communication and mass media scholar whose research focuses on transgender politics and graphic design.