Painted wall in graphic design with This must be the Place in neon letters

About Me


Curious about how we create and communicate identity, Dr. Melanie Joy McNaughton’s research concentrations combine communication and critical cultural studies approaches. Dr. McNaughton explores how we use everyday things to communicate identity and to understand the world around us.

As a researcher focused on visual, popular and material culture, Dr. McNaughton has written extensively in these areas. Topics range from subjects like design and domesticity, to BDSM culture and 50 Shades of Grey, disaster photography, graphic design, and tattooing.

Dr. McNaughton is currently wrapping up the manuscript for her first book, titled Good Things and the Good Home: Designing, Dwelling, and Martha Stewart. The book uses Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia as a text to explore the rhetoric of domestic style and design. By exploring style and design as rhetorical artifacts, this project investigates how people know the world, constitute personal and corporate identity, and participate in wider social environments through everyday visual practices.

As a speaker, Dr. McNaughton has over fifteen years of public speaking experience, including presentations at the international, national, regional, state, and local levels.


Melanie McNaughton’s research interests also connect to her classroom. Curiosity and dedication are powerful forces for change. These values are the means through which she inspires and engages her students.

Dr. McNaughton teaches research and writing courses in media studies, popular and visual culture, and cultural studies. As an instructor, Melanie McNaughton has developed significant expertise in using technology to engage students. This expertise draws on Dr. McNaughton’s knowledge of effective visual and design practices. In 2017, Dr. McNaughton received a Presidential Award for Academic Excellence from Bridgewater State University. This award highlighted her innovative use of technology to enhance online learning environments.

Out of the Office

Dr. McNaughton is currently serving as the Communications Director for the NKCUSA. The Nederlandse Kooikerhondje Club of the USA is nonprofit organization focused on the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje (her dog’s breed). When not researching or teaching, Melanie McNaughton enjoys the sorts of things many middle-aged professors do—gardening, crochet, and training her dog in agility.