Robert Payne

Professor, Department Chair – Communication, Media and Culture
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  • Office : G-307
  • Office hours : By appointment
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Professor Payne joined The American University of Paris in 2008 after teaching for several years at universities in his home country, Australia. In his research, he is primarily interested in gender and sexuality in media and popular culture, and how queer theory can generate new approaches for media studies scholarship. He has published widely in these fields, focusing on such topics as the construction of masculinity on gay dating websites and Australian TV, the circulation of panic in the mediation of gender and sexuality, the inherent queerness of social media discourses, and the queer potential of deteriorated media experiences.

Payne has published two monographs. The first, The Promiscuity of Network Culture: Queer Theory and Digital Media (Routledge 2015) takes as a point of departure the resignification of "viral" circulation for a digital media context. The book examines the multiple intimacies that characterize network culture, including the everyday practices of "sharing" on social media. Interrogating a wide range of examples, from Facebook to viral celebrity to the Abu Ghraib photos, the book uncovers the queer and entrepreneurial logic governing what circulates in digital networks and how we talk about them.

His second monograph, L'Homme blessé, published in the Queer Film Classics series by McGill-Queen's University Press (2022), is a book-length study of the pioneering 1983 French film by director Patrice Chéreau, paying particular attention to the film's visual grammar of queer desire, the social and political circumstances of the film's production, and its reception in various international contexts.  

Payne's current research explores the materialities of everyday media, in particular the spaces, infrastructures, objects, and affects that characterise and make possible our encounters with media.


PhD, University of Sydney, Australia
BA (Hons I), University of Sydney, Australia