Current Students

HADIL ABUHMAID, MA candidate, Media Studies

Research Interests: film and culture, community cultural development, and communication.

ALICAN AKYUZ, PhD student, Comparative Literature

Research Interests: visual cultures of Turkey and the Middle-East, object-oriented approaches to medium technologies and digital humanities, and interdependencies between neoliberal politics, popular culture and 21st century technologies

AARON BJORK, MFA Candidate, Art

Research Interests: ontological inquiry into the amalgamation of emotions boiling within subjects in a consumer society; digital video and artistic production.

BRENT COWLEY, PhD Student, Media Studies

Research Interests: the ways in which media influences and educates culture and society, and studying media censorship, especially from an industry standpoint.

PHIL DUNCAN, MA candidate, Media Studies

Research Interests: film, television, and popular culture stµdies; environmental humanities and communication (ecocriticism, anthrozoology); folklore and narrative

ELLEN GILLOOLY-KRESS, PhD Candidate, Theatre Arts

Research interests: language and communication processing in performance, digital platforms for theatre research and presentation

RACHEL GULDIN, PhD student, Media Studies

Research interests: childhood and children’s culture as cultural industries; media literacy education; political economy and mass media

JOHN GUZMAN, MA candidate, Media Studies

Research interests: the intersections of environmental criticism, disability studies, and media – particularly the complications introduced by new media and technologies.

KENNETH HANSON, PhD student, Sociology

Research interests: how digital platforms provide a space for people to explore sexuality; dating apps; discursive contests of reality on digital platforms

BRANDON HARRIS, PhD student, Media Studies

Research Interests: How online communities form, interact with each other, define communal values, as well as interact with commercial brands on social media platforms. 

THEODORE HARRISON, PhD candidate, Media Studies

Research interests: how minority media representations function in American society, specifically how they interact with and impact minority populations

PATRICK JONES, PhD candidate, Media Studies

Research Interests:  art and foreign policy, the politics of production, and the role of social and satellite media in creating narrative space and mobilizing revolutions in developing countries

SOL JOYE, PhD candidate, Education, Methodology, Policy and Leadership

Research Interests: The intersection of education research, practitioner based experiences, and cutting edge educational technology implementation.

JASON LESTER, PhD Candidate, Comparative Literature

Research Interests: media and film studies; the role of affect and vitalism in aesthetic encounters between China, Japan, and the United States; questions of duration in contemporary Chinese cinema


Research interests: 20th and 21st-century American popular culture with a special interest in children’s animated films and representations of gender

ANDREW MCLAUGHLIN, PhD candidate, Media Studies

Research interests: commodification and representation of veterans and military culture in media; visual rhetoric, persuasion, and experimental and documentary filmmaking

SHEHRAM MOKHTAR, PhD candidate, Media Studies

Research interests: online visual culture, politics of new media, technology and class, new media and the global south

CHRISTIE PANG, PhD Candidate, English

Research interests: gender, spectacle and performance; Japanese animation and visual culture; posthumanism, monstrosity and the grotesque

KIRK PETERSON, MA Candidate, Folklore & Public Culture

Research Interests: digital folklore, folklore transmission processes in new media spaces, cultural multimodality, and interactions between folk materials and mass cultural products.



Research interests: entertainment industries and cultural impact, economics and society, Eurasian culture.

CHRISTOPHER ST. LOUIS, MA Candidate, Media Studies

Research Interests: Internet studies; media archaeology; surveillance studies; governmentality.

BONNIE SHEEHEY, PhD Candidate, Philosophy

Research Interests: Cultural criticism, methodology, pragmatism, genealogy, actor-network-theory, affect, normativity, technology.

VALERIE SIMON, PhD Student, Philosophy

Research Interests: Phenomenology (especially Merleau-Ponty and Sara Ahmed), Sexuality Studies, Feminist Philosophy, and Philosophy of Social Science

LAURA STRAIT, PhD Candidate, Media Studies

Research interests: feminist media studies, new media, online social movements, game studies.

STACI TUCKER, PhD candidate, Communication Studies

Research Interests: gender, race, class, sexuality and new media

KRIS WRIGHT, PhD candidate, Media Studies

Research Interests: new media and technology in the classroom; convergence of old and new media, habitus, social fields and cultural capital.




  • 2013-14
  • 2014-15
  • 2015-16
  • 2016-17