Shannon Sindorf, Ph.D.


Shannon Sindorf received her PhD in Communication with an emphasis in Media Studies in 2014 from the Journalism and Mass Communication program at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Her research interests largely involve informal political talk conducted via social media or online forums and deliberative democratic theory. In her dissertation, The Wounds of the Wild West: Analysis of the Online Debate About Guns at the Local and National Level, explored discussion of the gun debate in Colorado newspaper forums through the lens of deliberative democratic theory. Her findings were compatible with her finding in previous published research that online discussion is more respectful and deliberative when commenters are discussing local issues rather than broader national or international topics. She also found that many commenters rejected the legitimacy of experts in favor of technological populism, and that Wild West mythology informed the gun debate in Colorado, as many commenters tied guns to a Western American Monomythic fantasy.

She conducts both qualitative and quantitative research, and also does work in gender and popular culture.

She also has a passion for and a demonstrated skill in teaching. She was the sole instructor for Journalism 1001, Contemporary Media Analysis, at the University of Colorado, Boulder in fall 2012. The course covered media theory, history, industries, and current trends, and the relationships between media and culture. She loved teaching the course and her teaching evaluations ranked above the average scores for both her department and the university.

She received her MA in Mass Communication from California State University, Northridge in 2006, a BA in Journalism from California State University, Northridge in 2003, and a BA in Communication from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1999. She grew up in Los Angeles and currently lives in Denver, Colorado.