Events Calendar

Making #Charlottesville: Media from Civil Rights to...

Wednesday, November 22, 2023
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
FIMS and Nursing Building (FNB)
Room: 4130 (or Zoom)
Headshot of Aniko Bodroghkozy with her arms folded in front of her.

"Making #Charlottesville: Media from Civil Rights to Unite the Right"

Presented by Professor Aniko Bodroghkozy, University of Virginia.

Attend in person: FNB 4130
Attend online: Zoom Webinar

All are welcome to attend.


This talk is based on my recent book about the world-wide media event that happened in my town of Charlottesville, Virginia in the summer of 2017. The alt-right’s Unite the Right rally put the resurgence of aggressive, empowered white supremacy and far-right extremism in the Trump era on display, along with the antiracist and antifascist movement in opposition to it. I examine the meanings and significance of this seminal moment in recent U.S. history by putting it into dialogue and comparison with key media events of the civil rights era, particularly the 1963 Birmingham and 1965 Selma campaigns. What can a comparative historical analysis of media treatment of these events separated by fifty years elucidate about the significance of what happened in Charlottesville? The book argues that “Birmingham” and “Selma” as media events brought to maximum visibility how a media-savvy social change movement using those towns as stage sets for confrontation with white supremacists and segregation could push the United States to begin repairing its racist and anti-democratic past. Massive media coverage, relying on specific sets of visual and narrative tropes, compelled broad and sustained public engagement. “#Charlottesville” brought to similar maximum visibility the rise of a potentially potent alternative white nationalist social change movement that was also media savvy and committed to the complete reversal of those progressive gains. What happened in Charlottesville in 2017 serves as a warning about the fragility of all the democratic gains achieved in the civil rights era and its aftermath.


Aniko Bodroghkozy (UH-niko BOD-ruh-kozy) is a media historian and Professor of Media Studies at the University of Virginia. Before arriving at UVA in 2001, she was an assistant professor at the University of Alberta for five years. She also taught for one year at the University of Western Ontario in the late 1980s before beginning her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her books include Equal Time: Television and the Civil Rights Movement (University of Illinois Press, 2012), Groove Tube: Sixties Television and the Youth Rebellion (Duke University Press, 2001), and an edited volume, A Companion to the History of American Broadcasting (Wiley-Blackwell, 2018). Her latest book: Making #Charlottesville: Media from Civil Rights to Unite the Right was published in spring 2023 with University of Virginia Press. She is currently completing a narrative history of TV news coverage of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

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