Assistant Professor of Sociology and Communications
Julia Sonnevend is Assistant Professor of Sociology and Communications at the New School for Social Research in New York. She has held fellowships at the Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the Centre for Contemporary History in Potsdam, and the Yale Center for Cultural Sociology in New Haven. Her scholarship lies at the intersection of media studies, cultural sociology, memory studies and international relations, and explores how people are far less rational in their political, social and mediated lives than they ordinarily image.
Her first book, Stories Without Borders: The Berlin Wall and the Making of a Global Iconic Event (Oxford University Press, 2016), asks: how do particular news events become lasting global myths, while others fade into oblivion? Focusing on journalists covering the fall of the Berlin Wall and on subsequent retellings of the event (from Legoland reenactments to the installation of segments of the Berlin Wall in shopping malls), Sonnevend discusses how storytellers build up certain events so that people remember them for long periods of time. She also shows that the powerful myth of the fall of the Berlin Wall still shapes debates about separation walls and fences, borders and refugees around the world.
While her first book focused on magical events in the international imagination, her next book, Charm: How Magnetic Personalities Capture Our Hearts, Minds and Politics (under review), aims to consider a magical quality in human relations. It will analyze the importance of personal magnetism in everyday social life, business, and diplomatic affairs. Using textual analysis of media coverage, interviews at law firms about their hiring practices, and virtual reality experiments that seek to model the influence of charm, she traces how charm operates in contemporary societies, shaping even people’s most “rational” decisions.
Please view her Research Matters profile for more information about Professor Sonnevend's work.
PhD in Communications, Columbia University, 2013
LLM, Yale Law School, 2007
Sonnevend, J.(2016). Stories Without Borders: The Berlin Wall and the Making of a Global Iconic Event New York: Oxford University Press.
Reviews:The Times Higher Education;Journal of Communication; Journalism:Theory, Practice and Criticism; Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly; Media, Culture & Society
Book award:Runner-up Best Book Award in the Global Communication and Social Change Division of the International Communication Association
Translation: Hungarian (Corvina Publisher, June 2018)
Greenhow, C.,Sonnevend J., & Agur, C. (Eds.). (2016). Education and Social Media: Toward a Digital Future. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Sonnevend, J. (2019) Charm offensive: mediatized country image transformations in international relations. Information, Communication & Society, 22(5), 695-701.
Sonnevend, J. (2018). The lasting charm of Media Events. Media, Culture & Society 40(1), 122-126.
Sonnevend, J. (2018). Interruptions of time: The coverage of the missing Malaysian plane MH370 and the concept of “events” in media research. Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism 19(1), 75-92.
Sonnevend, J. (May 25, 2017). Our New Walls: The Rise of Separation Barriers in the Age of Globalization. E-International Relations (also published on Public Seminar).
Sonnevend, J. (2015). “Symbol of Hope for a World Without Walls”: The Fall of the Berlin Wall as a Global Iconic Event. Divinatio, 39-40, 223-233 (also translated into Bulgarian)
Sonnevend, J. (2013). Counterrevolutionary icons: The representation of the 1956 ‘counterrevolution’ in the Hungarian communist press. Journalism Studies, 14(3), 336-354.
Special issues in peer-reviewed journals:
Sonnevend, J. (2018). “Media Events Today”, Media, Culture & Society, 40(1), 110-113
Bodker, H., & Sonnevend, J. (2018). “The ShiftingTemporalities of Journalism”, Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism, 19(1), 3-6
Sonnevend, J. (2017). Media Events. In Moy, P. (Ed.) Oxford Bibliographies in Communication. New York: Oxford University Press.
Sonnevend, J. (2018). Facts (Almost) Never Win Over Myths. In Boczkowski, P. & Papacharissi, Z. (Eds.) Trump and the Media. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Sonnevend, J. (2016). Event. In Peters, B. (Ed.), Digital Keywords: A Vocabulary of Information Society and Culture (pp. 109-118). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Balkin, J. M., & Sonnevend, J. (2016). The digital transformation of education. In Greenhow, C., Sonnevend J., & Agur, C. (Eds.), Education and social media: Toward a digital future (pp. 9-25). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Sonnevend, J. (2016). More hope! Ceremonial media events are still important in the 21st century. In Fox, A. (Ed.), Global Perspectives on Media Events in Contemporary Society (pp. 132-141). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.
Charm Charisma & Magnetism (Spring 2019)
Contemporary Social Theory (Spring 2020)
ContemporarySociologicalTheory (Spring 2020)
Current Trends in Med Research
Independent Study (Spring 2020)
Visual Media and Society (Spring 2019)