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Joel William Beeson




Ph.D. (Union Institute and University)

Joel William Beeson is an associate professor at the WVU Reed College of Media. Beeson’s current research in virtual reality (VR) is informed by two decades of research in race and representation, emerging media and documentary studies.

Beeson has M.A. and B.A. degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia and received his doctorate in American Studies at the Union Institute and University investigating how Critical Race and Feminist Standpoint theories can inform counter narratives in social documentary projects using oral history methods.

Beeson is currently leading a collaborative initiative with Morgan State University’s School of Global Communication and Journalism, a historically black urban institution, to develop a Social Justice Media Project. This collaboration resulted in  Bridging Selma and the virtual reality app,  Fractured Tour. Beeson is also a principal in the Reed College of Media Innovation Center’s AR/VR StoryLab.

Beeson’s work in VR journalism was recently featured on  MediaShift. In 2014, Beeson launched his interactive website,, which highlights a book of poems written by two young black sisters from rural West Virginia in the early 1900’s. In addition, Beeson produced and directed the award-winning 2008 documentary, “,  “Fighting on Two Fronts: the Untold Stories of African American WWII Veterans.”