Professor of Media and Public Affairs and International Affairs
Janet Steele is professor of Media and Public Affairs and International Affairs, and the interim director of the Sigur Center for Asian Studies. She received her Ph.D. in History from the Johns Hopkins University, and focuses on how culture is communicated through the mass media.
Dr. Steele is a frequent visitor to Southeast Asia where she lectures on topics ranging from the role of the press in a democratic society to specialized courses on narrative journalism. Her book, “Wars Within: The Story of Tempo, an Independent Magazine in Soeharto’s Indonesia,” focuses on Tempo magazine and its relationship to the politics and culture of New Order Indonesia. “Mediating Islam, Cosmopolitan Journalisms in Muslim Southeast Asia,” explores the relationship between journalism and Islam in Indonesia and Malaysia.
Awarded two Fulbright teaching and research grants to Indonesia and a third to Serbia, she has served as a State Department speaker-specialist in Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Brunei, the Philippines, East Timor, Taiwan, Burma, Sudan, Egypt, India, Bangladesh, Jamaica, and Kosovo. The author of numerous articles on journalism theory and practice, her 2014 book, “Email Dari Amerika,” (Email from America), is a collection of newspaper columns written in Indonesian and originally published in the newspaper Surya. Her most recent book, forthcoming in October 2023, is called “Malaysiakini and the power of independent media in Malaysia.”