Texas Tech University

Thomas Jay Harris Institute for Hispanic and International Communication (HIHIC)


The Thomas Jay Harris Institute for Hispanic and International Communication (HIHIC) in the College of Media & Communication at Texas Tech University promotes better understanding of Hispanic-related and international media communication through research, teaching and community outreach. Our goal is to create knowledge and encourage greater intercultural awareness through informed interaction among students, teachers, researchers, media industry representatives and community organizations. The Institute supports on-campus initiatives as well as external activities and collaborations related to its mission.

Thomas Jay Harris Institute for Hispanic and International Communication

Thomas Jay Harris Press Conference

Check out the Fall 2016 Newsletter Here!

Nov. 2016 Report: Political Preferences and Engagement among Texas Hispanics

HIHIC Director Kent Wilkinson's Chile Fulbright Blog

International Film Series Schedule

Recent Events



  • The Harris Institute is pleased to welcome a new faculty member and Assistant Director. Magdalena Saldaña (Ph.D. candidate, University of Texas at Austin) teaches Hispanic Media and Online Journalism Production. Her research focuses mainly on digital media and public opinion, observing how new media platforms have an impact not only on journalistic practices, but also on how the news affects public opinion. Her work combines traditional quantitative and qualitative methods (like surveys and textual analysis) with innovative computer-assisted techniques, such as topic modeling. Other research interests include political communication and Latin American studies. A list of her recent publications may be found here.


  • 43 Documentary Film Screening and Panel Discussion - Wed., Oct. 21 at 6pm in ENGL001 - 43 students from Iguala, Mexico, disappeared on September 26, 2014. Join TTU's Film and Media Studies program for a screening and panel discussion of 43 – a new documentary film on this travesty and the broader issues which surround it. This new film starts with the headlines and the tragic horror of that night but then increasingly steps back to offer contexts generally missing from news reports. The screening of this film will be immediately followed by a panel discussion led by TTU faculty members. The panelists are: Dr. Kent Wilkinson (EMC), Dr. Zachary Brittsan (History), and Dr. Scott Baugh (English). The event will take place in ENGL001, the basement auditorium of the English building. This event is presented by the Film and Media Studies program in the Department of English and co-sponsored by the Harris Institute for Hispanic and International Communication; TTU's International Film Series; and the College of Arts and Sciences. 43 Documentary Poster




  • "The Joker: A Serious Study of the Clown Prince of Crime is the first book-length, academic study of the infamous villain, co-edited by Rob Weiner, a librarian at Texas Tech University, and Rob Peaslee, Ph.D., associate professor and the interim chair for the Department of Journalism & Electronic Media.

    The book is a project Weiner said he first thought of eight years ago. He explained, "When I gathered my ideas for the book, I wrote a proposal and asked Rob Peaslee if he would work with me on this. It has taken us four years, but this was a project we wanted to do justice."

    Peaslee explained, "We worked together on a previous volume on Spider-Man, and not long after that manuscript was at the printer, Rob asked me about doing something on the Joker. He's always been one of my favorite pop culture characters, so I immediately said 'Yes!'"

    Peaslee described The Joker as a character who breaks the mold of most villains by projecting a certain aura of attraction. "Like the many archetypal and mythical characters from which he has evolved, he is not opposed to the system of social organization so much as a symptom of it. He is not black or white; he simply rejects the notion of color, and in so doing, is both horror and rebirth,"Peaslee said.

    Weiner said he delved into studying The Joker, because he found it odd that there was so much literature devoted to exploring the characters of superheroes such as Spiderman, Batman and Superman, yet there was none devoted to the villains.

    Weiner concluded, "You can't have a really good superhero narrative without a great villain. There are a lot of great villains and there are a lot of terrible villains, but The Joker stands apart from them all."

    Peaslee said, "Contributors come at the Joker from cultural, historical, sociological, philosophical, aesthetic and mythological points of view, and the result is a collection that we think is as productively fragmented, provocative and incomplete as the Clown Prince himself."

    "The Joker: A Serious Study of the Clown Prince of Crime" is available for purchase through various retailers.

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