Dr. Pete Smith

Dr. Pete Smith


  • Associate Professor


Office: (662) 325-0983
200-B McComas Hall



Pete Smith is an associate professor of communication and media studies in the Department of Communication. A native Mississippian (whose roots go back several generations) and proud graduate of the state’s public school and university systems, Pete’s research focus and class time is spent exploring the intersection between gender, media, and southern culture and politics. To that end, his published pieces have examined the journalism careers of Carolyn Bennett Patterson, a native Mississippian who went on to a distinguished career as an editor at National Geographic magazine, and Norma Fields, who covered the state capitol beat for the Tupelo Daily Journal (now the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal) for almost two decades in the 1970s and 1980s. He has also studied how local and state media framed the political campaigns of Evelyn Gandy, the first woman to win election to multiple statewide offices (including Lieutenant Governor).

Dr. Smith is the author of Something on My Own: Gertrude Berg and American Broadcasting, 1929-1956 (Syracuse University Press, 2007). He is currently writing a book manuscript on a century of Mississippi politics (1890s-1990s) and the women who covered the Mississippi state capitol during this time. The manuscript is due to Lexington Books in summer 2021.

He is a former president of the American Journalism Historians Association (AJHA), and is a contributing editor to Journalism History, the official academic journal of the History Division of the Association of Educators in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC). He is on the advisory board of the Mississippi Free Press.

Pete holds an undergraduate degree in communication studies from Mississippi State University, a master’s degree in communication from Auburn University, and a Ph.D. in mass communication (with an emphasis on mass communication history) from the School of Communication at the University of Southern Mississippi.


  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Communication, University of Southern Mississippi, 2004
  • Master of Arts (M.A.), Communication, Auburn University, 1995
  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Communication, Mississippi State University, 1993

Research interests:

southern politics
20th century broadcasting and print history
American cultural myths
social construction of gender