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Brent Cowley Portrait

Brent Cowley

Visiting Faculty


Dr. Brent Cowley is delighted and honored to join BYU-Hawaii as a Visiting Assistant Professor and to help fulfill the University’s global mission of educating and spiritually edifying students and serving in the Laie community.

Dr. Cowley holds a Ph.D. in Communication and Media Studies from the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication. Since beginning teaching in higher education in 2009, he has taught dozens of courses in a wide array of media areas, including film, television, journalism, PR, advertising, and documentary. His curriculum focuses on media literacy and cultivating student learning through theory and scholarship while simultaneously fostering world skills and, in some cases, portfolio-ready products. Throughout his teaching, including seminary, he has cherished opportunities to instruct students of all ages, nationalities, and cultures and assist students in connecting temporal knowledge and skills with an eternal perspective.

Dr. Cowley's interdisciplinary research draws on critical, cultural, and industrial approaches to media regulation, including global regions such as the Asian Rim, Oceania, and Europe. Combining interests in media arts and communications, he has contributed to some of the earliest studies on the sanitization of movies for digital streaming services, such as the remediation of films on Disney+ and other international platforms. Other studies include alterations to films for prisoner populations, international airlines, home video, and television. His research reflects global industries’ trend of modifying objectionable or insensitive content based on religious and cultural policies as well as correcting racial and gender stereotypes due to more recent progressive movements.

His recent research on the history and global impacts of theatrical film sanitization in Utah County, Utah, offers a window into a complex and, in some cases, contradictory set of influences at the intersection of culture, religion, political economy, and media technologies.

Dr. Cowley also has a background working in film, television, and commercials for institutions such as The Walt Disney Company, CBS, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Brent was raised in the Salt Lake Valley and comes from a line of LDS pioneer heritage. He served a full-time mission in Independence, Missouri, in areas where several of his ancestors resided. As a world traveler, he met his wife, Jen, while visiting Santiago, Chile. Together, they have three children. In his free time, Brent enjoys watching documentaries with Jen, film preservation and archiving, and game nights with family and friends.


Ph.D. (Communication and Media Studies): University of Oregon, 2023
Master of Arts (Media Industries & Critical Studies): University of North Texas, 2017
Bachelor of Arts (Film Studies & Communication): University of Utah, 2009
Bachelor of Science (Psychology): University of Utah, 2009

Possible Tags

Cultural Policies
Global Media Industries