Doctoral student advisement:
I’m currently accepting doctoral students who are interested in working on related topics (e.g. online creativity, youth online political expression, social media, political activism, media literacy, etc). For more info on my ongoing research, please see my CV, check out the work of the Media & Social Change Lab (MASCLab), and feel free to get in touch!
Courses I usually teach at Teachers College:
Technology & Culture (MSTU 4028)
This course examines the relationship between technology, culture and society, with a particular emphasis on new and emerging media. In the first part of the course, we will explore popular and theoretical discourses around technology, paying particular attention to how technology shapes and is shaped by societies, economies and civic life. In the second part of the course, we will focus more closely on new media, examining the digital mediation of our social lives and its effects on individuality, identity, communication, relationships and social belonging. Finally, we will adopt a more global perspective and explore the transformation of cultural production, activism and entrepreneurialism in the digital age, including the political, ethical and economic ramifications of these socio-cultural shifts. Course readings will include sources both popular and academic, theoretical and empirical, contemporary and non-contemporary, optimistic and skeptical, thus representing a wide variety of perspectives regarding the relationship between technology and culture.
The History of Communication (MSTU 4016)
The aim of this course is to introduce students to the history of communication, while explicating the relationship between communication and sociocultural change. The course proceeds chronologically, paying special attention to significant communication milestones, such as the transition from orality to literacy, the development of the printing press, the telegraph, mass media technologies and finally the contemporary reign of digital media. In analyzing the social and cultural impact of communication technologies from a historical perspective, we will also assess the popular framing of different forms of communication throughout history, especially in terms of social and cultural hierarchies, ethics, regulation and social use/abuse. This historical inquiry will necessarily problematize the tendency to talk about digital media as an entirely novel and unprecedented phenomenon, and will instead situate contemporary media along a continuum of innovation and social change.
Art in the Digital Age: Implications of New Media Technologies for Culture and Creativity (MSTU 5102)
This course investigates, from the perspective of communication and new media studies, the role of the Internet in shaping the field of art and creativity. How do the Internet and other interactive communication technologies impact the creation, exhibition, interpretation, reappropriation and funding of creative works? How can new media technologies enhance participation in these processes, and what are the social, cultural, ethical, and legal implications of this participatory shift? With so much creative content being produced and circulated every day, where do we draw the line between art and grassroots creativity – and is this line still relevant? And as technology evolves, does our understanding and appreciation of art and creativity evolve with it? This is not an art history nor art criticism class; rather, it is a conversation on a contemporary moment, employing the lens of communication and new media studies to understand key shifts both within and beyond the traditional art world.
Theoretical Approaches to the Study of Communication & Culture (MSTU 5606)
The aim of this course is to introduce students to foundational works and influential ideas in the study of communication and culture. Through close reading, discussion and practical applications, students will acquire a thorough grounding in how thinkers have addressed key issues in the study of communication over the past two centuries. The theoretical perspectives and topics that we will discuss include semiotics, structuralism, Marxism, ideology and hegemony theories, feminist theory, cultural analysis and global communication frameworks. Importantly, in order to facilitate comprehension and to make these perspectives as useful and relevant as possible, we will apply these theoretical tools to examine a wide range of communication practices, popular media and sites of cultural expression.