Chairperson, Department of Sociology; Professor of Sociology, American Studies, and Film & Media Studies

Department Name 
Scoiology, American Studies and Film & Media Studies

Office Location 
Fine Arts 279
Mailing Address 
2083 Lawrence Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648

Richard Butsch

Dr. Butsch (Ph.D. Rutgers University) teaches in the areas of Media, Cultural Studies and Social Psychology. He has served as chairperson of the Department of Sociology and president of the Rider AAUP. He was 2008 Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Italy and a recipient of the Iorio Scholarly Achievement Award. He authored The Citizen Audience: Crowds, Publics and Individuals (Routledge, 2007) and The Making of American Audiences from Stage to Television, 1750-1990 (Cambridge University Press, 2000), which received the American Culture Association Cawelti Prize and the International Communication Association’s Best Book Award for 2000-2001. He is editor of Media and Public Spheres (Palgrave, 2007), and For Fun and Profit: The Transformation of Leisure into Consumption (Temple University Press, 1990) and co-editor, with Sonia Livingstone, of Meanings of Audiences: Comparative Discourses (Routledge 2013); and has published numerous articles in American studies, sociology, history and communication journals. He is a member of the advisory board of Particip@tions, an on-line journal of audience research. He is currently writing a global history of screen culture, a history of representations of manual labor and laborers in Twentieth-Century American culture, and an introduction to sociology textbook .

Educational Background

  • B.S., M.S. Civil Engineering, University of Cincinnati
  • M.S., Ph.D. Social Psychology, Rutgers University


  • FMS350 – Film and Media Audiences
  • SOC101 – Sociological Imagination
  • SOC252 – Media, Culture and Society
  • SOC355 – Social Interaction

Notable Publications

Awards, Fellowships, Etc.

  • Fulbright Distinguished Chair, Vercelli Italy, Spring 2008
  • Best Book Award from the International Communication Association, 2002
  • Iorio Award for Scholarly Achievement at Rider University, 2002
  • Cawelti Book Prize from the American Culture Association, 2001
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for College Teachers, 1994
  • National Science Foundation grant, 1991
  • Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis Fellow, 1991-93
  • NJIT Center for Technology Studies Fellow, 1989
  • Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies, University of Birmingham, England, Visiting Scholar, 1987
  • NJ Dept. of Higher Education grant, 1984

My Former Life as an Engineer

I received a BS and an MS in civil engineering from the University of Cincinnati, College of Engineering, the nation's oldest cooperative education program. For my "coop work" as an undergraduate engineering student, I designed prefabricated steel buildings for Armco Steel Corporation, and worked on Ohio River basin planning for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. As a graduated engineer, I conducted pollution control research for Exxon.