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Photograph of Filippo Trevisan

Filippo Trevisan Associate Professor Public Communications

BA International Relations, University of Trieste; MSc Political Communication, University of Glasgow; MRes Public Policy, University of Glasgow; PhD Political Communication and Public Policy, University of Glasgow.

Filippo Trevisan is Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Associate Professor of Public Communication at American University's School of Communication. He also serves as Deputy Director of AU's Institute on Disability and Public Policy. After working as a reporter for Italy's largest private news agency in Rome, he completed his PhD and worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. His research explores the intersection of digital technologies, advocacy, activism, and political communication. His work investigates how elite and grassroots stakeholders use the Internet to influence debates about contested issues and affect policy decisions, including in combination with traditional protest tactics and strategic communication techniques.

His book "Disability Rights Advocacy Online: Voice, Empowerment and Global Connectivity" (Routledge, 2017) examines how a combination of social media activism and acute policy crises revolutionized the disability movement in the UK and the U.S., fueling the rise of new online self-advocacy networks. He has also researched the significance of digital media for political participation by people with disabilities at the international and national level, including a series of studies on the 2016 and 2020 U.S. elections. More broadly, he is deeply interested in the growing personalization of collective action and is working on his next book, which explores how advocacy organizations collect, develop, and disseminate personal stories in a 'datafied' society.

His work has been published in top communication, political science, and disability studies journals including, among others: New Media & Society; the Journal of Communication; Information, Communication and Society; the International Journal of Communication; Social Media & Society; the Journal of Information Technology and Politics; and Disability and Society. He has been featured in prominent media outlets including, among others: the New York Times; the Washington Post; the BBC; Al-Jazeera; Germany's ZDF; Italy's Corriere della Sera; and RAI - Radiotelevisione Italiana.


Spring 2024

  • COMM-533 Ethics in Strategic Comm

Partnerships & Affiliations

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Selected Publications


Trevisan, F. (2017) Disability Rights Advocacy Online: Voice, Empowerment and Global Connectivity. New York: Routledge (Now available in paperback).

Journal articles

Trevisan, F. (2022). "Beyond accessibility: exploring digital inclusivity in U.S. progressive politics," New Media & Society, 24(2): 496-513. 

Fox, J., Pearce, K. E., Massanari, A. L., Riles, J. M., Szulc, Ł., Ranjit, Y. S., Trevisan, F., Soriano, C. R. R., Vitak, J., Arora, P., Ahn, S. J., Alper, M., Gambino, A., Gonzalez, C., Lynch, T., Williamson, L. D., & Gonzales, A. L. (2021). "Open science, closed doors? Countering marginalization through an agenda for ethical, inclusive research in Communication," Journal of Communication, 71(5): 764-784.

Trevisan, F. (2021) "Making Focus Groups Accessible and Inclusive for People with Communication Disabilities: A Research Note,Qualitative Research, 21(4): 619-627.

Trevisan, F. (2020) "‘Do You Want to Be a Well-informed Citizen, or Do You Want to Be Sane?’ Social Media, Disability, and Political Marginality," Social Media + Society, published online before prin. [open access]

Trevisan, F., Bello, B., Vaughan, M., & Vromen, A. (2020) “Mobilizing Personal Narratives: The Rise of Digital ‘Story Banking’ in U.S. Grassroots Advocacy,” Journal of Information Technology and Politics, 17(2): 146-160.

Trevisan, F. (2019) "Using the Internet to Mobilize Marginalized Groups: People with Disabilities and Digital Campaign Strategies in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election," International Journal of Communication, 13: 1592-1611. [open access]

Trevisan, F. (2018) “Connective Action Mechanisms in a Time of Political Turmoil: Virtual Disability Protest at Donald Trump’s Inauguration,” Australian Journal of Political Science, 53(1): 103-115.

Trevisan, F., Hoskins, A., Oates, S., and Mahlouly, D. (2018) “The Google Voter: Search Engines and Elections in the New Media Ecology,” Information, Communication & Society, 21(1): 111-128. [open access]

Trevisan, F. (2017) “Crowd-Sourced Advocacy: Promoting Disability Rights through Online Storytelling,” Public Relations Inquiry, 6(2): 191-208. (Click here for a pre-print version of this article: Trevisan_Crowd-scourced advocacy_Pre-print)

Pearson, C. and Trevisan, F. (2015) “Disability Activism in the New Media Ecology: Campaigning Strategies in the Digital Era,” Disability & Society, 30(6): 924-940.

Trevisan, F. (2014) “Search Engines: From Social Science Objects to Academic Inquiry Tools.” First Monday, 19(11). [open access]

Trevisan, F., and Reilly, P. (2014) “Ethical Dilemmas in Researching Sensitive Issues Online: Lessons from the Study of British Disability Dissent Networks,” Information, Communication and Society, 17(9): 1131-1146.


Jackson, D., Coombs, D., Trevisan, F., Lilleker, D., and Thorsen, E. (2020). Election Analysis 2020: Media, Voters and the Campaign. Bournemouth: Center for Comparative Politics and Media Research.

Cogburn, D.L. and Trevisan, F. (2018) Accessibility in Global Governance: The (In)Visibility of Persons with Disabilities – Barriers to Effective Participation and Recommended Solutions. Washington, D.C.: Institute on Disability and Public Policy.

Trevisan, F. (2016) “The View from Across the Pond: Brexit on American Media” in Jackson, D., Thorsen, E., and Wring, D. (Eds.) EU Referendum Analysis 2016: Media, Voters, and the Campaign. Political Studies Association, Centre for the Study of Journalism, Culture and Community at Bournemouth University, Centre for Research in Communication and Culture at Loughborough University.

Media commentary

Trevisan, F. (2022) Trump's Announcement is a Boost for Biden, ZDF Heute, November 16

Trevisan, F. (2019) Who's Winning the Democratic Debates? Here's What Google Search Trends Can't Tell You, The Washington Post, July 31

Trevisan, F. (2018) In Italy, Fake News Helps Populists and Far-Right Triumph, The Conversation, March 5.

AU Experts

Area of Expertise

European politics (Italy, UK), information technology and politics, search engines, grassroots advocacy and protest, disability rights.

For the Media

To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

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