RAE ROOT, MA, History of Art and Architecture
Research Interests: The intersection of art and space, including architecture, landscape, cultural geography and critical spatial practice
JULIA MAJOR, MA, Nonprofit Management
Research Interests: Communication Ethics, Science Communication, and Cross-Cultural Communication
Palita Chunsaengchan, PhD, Comparative Literature
Specializes in: Comparative Media Aesthetics; Film Theory and Digital Media; early Thai cinema and media culture; Global Anglophone Literature (Modernity, Nationalism and Nation-States); Transnationalism; Postcolonial Studies
Palita’s dissertation, Competitive Aesthetic Regimes: Intermedial Translations and Early Thai Cinema (1880-1942), investigates the unexplored connections among cinema, prose and poetry in Thai history, extending from the late King Chulalongkorn period through the decade following the Siamese Revolution of 1932. The early cinema of Siam provides an excellent instance of a media modernity whose democratizing potential was strictly controlled by an authoritarian state to preserve and sustain sovereign power in light of Western colonial threats. This helps us understand the relationships between media, modernity and authoritarianism in a non-Western and relatively “minor context” that nonetheless casts light on the complex interplay of aesthetics and politics that sustains sovereign power..
Aaron Bjork, MFA in Fine Art, College of Design
Specializes in: digital video and artistic production
Aaron’s thesis project is titled Platform Bazaar and emerged from a desire to connect the word platform to interests that span geopolitical relations and the ways the neoliberal web has mutated fordist labor practices. The exhibition features a multi-channel video and sound installation calling attention to the way digital colonialism has grasped labor and bodies.
Catharine Roner-Reiter, JD, MA in Conflict Resolution
Bonnie Sheehey, PhD, Philosophy
Bonnie’s dissertation, tentatively titled, “Reparative Critique: Reassembling Critical and Technical Practices,” explores the contemporary status of critique in light of its associations with negative judgment and forwards a reparative method of critique that engages with problems arising from our digital present. I deploy reparative critique to grapple with questions of power and racial bias in the context of predictive policing technologies. I argue that person-based predictive policing technologies (such as Chicago Police Department’s Strategic Subject List) exercise power through a paranoid temporality that aims to preempt future possibilities of crime for a set of racialized subjects on the basis of a criminal past. I then suggest four strategies of resistance aimed at ameliorating the damaging effects of predictive policing.
CHRISTOPHER TELOMAN, MLA, Landscape Architecture
Specializes in: Visual storytelling and rhetoric, specifically related to issues of branding, identification and community capability
NATALIE WOOD, MFA, Art
Specializes in: Contemporary Art, Digital Art
Natalie’s thesis project focused on the connection between a past job as a night custodian and her current work as a site-specific installation artist. Custodian work was often boring and the doldrum moments led to exploring the building, investigating every part, getting to know the unseen places where dust would collect or rainbows refracted through glass windows that most people never noticed. These investigations are similar to my current work where I avail myself of discovery and play, working in the studio with no end goal in mind, striving to make discoveries and turn them over for others to enjoy. This research culminated in an installation at Disjecta Gallery in Portland where found videos of custodial work were altered, masked and projected into the space, interacting with corners of the room and large-scale curtains.
Post-graduation plans: Teaching art in California
ALEXANDER WURTS, MFA, Art
Specializes in: the aesthetics of internet culture and digital artifacts
Alexander’s research involves the effects of the internet and social media on contemporary artistic practices. He is interested in the particular affordances of art practice on digital platforms as well as the new possibilities created by using them unconventionally. He explores them both in his own artistic practice as well as through his research and writing.
Post-graduation plans: Work in Graphic Design & 3D Animation
MATTHEW PITTMAN, PhD, Media Studies
Alec’s dissertation is entitled “Phoneliness: Exploring the relationships between mobile social media, personality and loneliness.” He studies how new and social media augment or diminish our humanity in a digital world.
Post-graduation plans: Assistant Professor at Rowan University
ALEC TEFERTILLER, PhD Media Studies
Alec Tefertiller is a summer 2017 NMCC graduate. His dissertation, “Your Friends Like Our Brand: Social Impact, Capital, and Connections in Social Media Advertising,” explored the use of social context cues in Facebook advertisements. Alec discovered that the mere presence of social impact in Facebook advertisements affected brand attitudes, even if the specific forces of social impact did not exert much influence themselves. He also found that a person’s social capital in their Facebook network increased their willingness to share advertisements and positively influenced their purchase intentions.
Post-Graduation Plans: tenure-track assistant professor of Advertising at Kansas State University
JEREMIAH FAVARA, PhD, Media Studies
Jeremiah Favara is a summer 2017 NMCC graduate. Jeremiah’s research focuses on the intersections of media, technology, nation, and gender in representations of militarization. His dissertation, “An Army of Some: Recruiting for Difference and Diversity in the U.S. Military,” explores military recruitment advertising during the era of the all-volunteer force and proposes that the project of military inclusion was driven by a need to recruit bodies in maintenance of the military institution. He argues that military inclusion in recruiting ads obfuscates class inequalities critical to recruiting, reconfigures ideas about military masculinity, promotes ideologies of colorblindness, and regulates ideas about gender and sexuality, particularly for women in the military.
WADE KEYE, MA, Media Studies
Wade Keye is a Spring 2017 NMCC graduate from the School of Journalism and Communication. Wade’s recent research examines the phenomenon of death on social media using humanistic and social science methodologies. His work explores the communicative practices engaged in by living users with the profiles of the dead and questions the possible impact of data collection and algorithmic representation on the supposedly rigid boundary between the living and the dead.
Post-Graduation Plans: Completing a fully-funded PhD at the University of Rochester Visual and Cultural Studies Program.
JOLENE FISHER, PhD, Media Studies
Specializes in: international/intercultural communication; media impact on developing countries; power structures in developing nations.
Jolene Fisher is a Summer 2016 NMCC graduate from the School of Journalism and Communication, where she taught and assisted in classes ranging from media history, video and TV news production and reporting, and media communications in developing countries. During her time at the University of Oregon, she played a very active role in her professional field, writing numerous papers for international, national, and regional conferences, and publishing articles in three key journals and one book focusing on the intersection of communication and culture.
Post-Graduation Plans: Jolene is now Assistant Professor of Advertising, Public Relations, and Media Design in the College of Media, Communication and Information at the University of Colorado Boulder.
Erin Zysett, MA, Arts Management
Specializes in: Creating opportunities for program collaboration and resource sharing to raise the profile of creative communities.
Erin Zysett is a 2016 NMCC graduate from the School of Architecture and Allied Arts. There is a growing trend among larger museums and heritage organizations to digitize their collections, both their artifact collections, and their back catalog of research publications and books.
Post-Graduation Plans: Erin’s future research will focus on the emerging role of e-curatorship in museums, issues of mass digitization projects, and the marketing potential of making collections available online. Erin currently has a job at the University of Oregon School of Music and Dance and will continue with her position there next year.
David Staton, PhD Communication and Society
Specializes in: How visual communications informs identity construction and the mediation of cultural and recreational experience
David Staton is an NMCC June 2016 graduate from the School of Journalism and Communication. He says the NMCC program offered him wide opportunities to delve into theory and praxis. “The great thing about the program is how wide open it is. It does have a focus, but I was able to largely determine what that focus would be and I never felt straightjacketed into a program,” Staton notes.
Post-Graduation Plans: The Media Studies PhD will begin his career as an assistant professor at the University of Northern Colorado this fall where he’ll specialized in digital storytelling. “It marries new media, the visual and telling stories,” he says of the job. “It couldn’t have worked out much better and the NMCC made me a more attractive candidate, absolutely.”
David has recently published an article on In Media Res, and a book chapter in The ESPN Effect: Exploring the Worldwide Leader in Sports
Bryce Peake, PhD Media Studies
Specializes in: My research on masculinity, science, media technology, and the state is engaged with ongoing discussions in media anthropology and the history of science and technology about epistemology and difference. Of course these are very broad categories, and their broadness is reflected in my published work: from Zombie Walks and the psychosemiotics of embodying gendered media images; to “scientism” and misogynist infopolitics on English Wikipedia; through the somatic histories of emerging media tech and state formation in the British empire; and ending with a project that takes the critiques of gender and science developed in my previous work, and uses that as the foundation for a more socially conscious design approach to data tracking technologies for people living with tinnitus in under-served communities.
My dissertation “Listening and/as Technology in British Gibraltar, 1930-2013″ is a historical ethnography of listening practices and listening technologies in the British colony/overseas territory of Gibraltar. The primary theoretical contribution of the project is an exploration of what I call “standpoint acoustemology,” which refers to the ways that Gibraltarian men’s media listening practices — what sounds they recognize, how they experience/embody them — is shaped by this history of colonial media regulation and scientific evaluation that was itself situated within historical gender, race, and class antagonisms between the English and their colonial others. As the title suggests, I begin with the moments of state formation, and locate the reverberations of that history in the ways Gibraltarian men listening to media technologies today.
Post-Graduation Plans: Following graduation Bryce will continue to share his passion for new media at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) where he has accepted a tenure track position as Assistant Professor of Media and Communication Studies. Bryce is especially excited for the opportunity this position will give him to apply his background in social scientific methods and history of social science (and his time working with research scientists at Intel Labs) to craft a unique research methods course targeted at preparing students for emerging and new media fields (e.g. Interactive Design, Human Computer Interaction, Web Development, etc.).
Farhad Bahram, MFA Fine Arts + Photography
In my recent practice I develop my inquiries to further understand how the performance of actions and, also, relational aesthetics affect the outcome of our social encounter. By focusing on participatory and process-based works that engage with the idea of social intervention, I try to restructure my subject from the old Cartesian model to the contemporary one of lived bodily experiences – a concept of art which is no longer conceived of as noun/object but as a verb/process. This participatory process of intervention, addresses the deconstruction of medium as a traditional conveyor of a message and produces a latent and disruptive code for communicating; or in other words, as Josephine Bosma says in ‘Art as Experience’: “Less visible, but no less intrusive, are the immaterial echoes of our social encounter.”
Post-Graduation Plans: Since graduating, Farhad has exhibited his installations in multiple galleries, including the ArtHelix gallery in Brooklyn, where his work was featured on PBS Newshour.
Kelsey Cummings, MA Media Studies
My research on mobile and online girl games has been greatly informed by the courses I took for the New Media and Culture Certificate. Completing the certificate helped me discover my interest in the topic which became the subject of my thesis: “Gameplay Mechanics, Ideology, and Identity in Mobile and Online Girl Games.” Additionally, my work in the NMCC courses has allowed me to broaden my understanding of new media as a whole and game studies as a discipline.
Specializes in: Arts Management, Digital Tools, and Media Theory
My research is looking into how audience participation changed from vaudeville to early film and how new media practices influenced these changes.
Lydel Matthews, MA Arts Administration
I am participating in a team research project titled “Strategies for Cultivating a Sustainable Arts and Culture District in Eugene.” For this project I am helping develop a set of recommendations for the City of Eugene as they plan to cultivate a sustainable Arts and Culture District. My individual role within the collaborative research project, “Stewards of Cultural Vitality,” identifies how artists and creative entrepreneurs can foster cultural vitality and stewardship within the district.
My experience with the NMCC helped me gain some familiarity with tech industry vernacular. This supported the development of my research as I interviewed creative entrepreneurs throughout the Eugene arts and culture community.
Emily Ridout, MA Folklore
I make documentaries and media objects surrounding tourism, food/beverage engagement, and folklore. I am interested in new approaches to environmental protection.
Post-Graduation Plans: Following graduation, Emily will be working in Eugene with the Oregon Folklife Network and will continue working on video production.
Edwin Wang, MA Media Studies
Edwin’s masters thesis focuses on social interactions with smartphones. His empirical work reveals that the social dispositional factors of the user are associated with the extent that they anthropomorphize and trust smartphones as the prominent mode of communication technology
Jacob Levernier, PhD Psychology
In March 2014, while I was a student in the NMCC, I launched this website, a new personal site for sharing data-related tutorials and ethics discussions.
In my current work, I am attempting to build skills and knowledge at the intersection of Psychology, data analysis, and ethics. Through the NMCC, I have gained a broader perspective that draws from Journalism and Philosophy in addition to my home discipline of Psychology. In addition, through the NMCC’s relationship with the Digital Scholarship Center, I have met other students and faculty and staff with whom I am particularly excited to continue to work in the future (this term, I am a Graduate Affiliate of the Digital Scholarship Center, and am applying what I’m learning from discussions there to my NMCC coursework, and vice versa). The combination of quantitative and qualitative training not only recognized but also required by the NMCC has improved my graduate education by adding an additional type of richness and interdisciplinary breadth that it would otherwise lack.
Post-graduation plans: Jacob is presently the Bollinger Fellow in Library Innovation at the University of Pennsylvania, where he conducts applied research that may influence catalogs and cataloging practice, researcher profiling systems, human interface design, repository tools, and the use of social media to understand information-seeking behavior and the use of data.
Jenny Dean, Communication & Society
I am currently working on research about the changing role of the reporter in the newsroom with a focus on what role technology is playing. It is a qualitative study where I interview newsroom writers and photographers about their experience today and 10 years ago. Having a strong background in new media and culture is an essential part of my work.
Brant Burkey, PhD Media Studies
Post-Graduation plans: Assistant Professor of Communications, CSU Dominguez Hills
My research involves the effects of multimodal platforms and social media on cultural heritage and collective memory practices in the new media landscape. I introduce the concepts of multimodal memory practices and platformed communities of memory.
Emily McGinn, PhD Comparative Literature
Specializes in: Global Modernisms, Latin American Literature, Irish Literature, Science and Literature
My research is focused on the impact of new technologies like the gramophone, on narrative form in the modernist era (1890-1940) as well as the global exchange of ideas and circulation of technologies. The NMCC has allowed me to connect this research into current issues of technology and text and to participate more fully in the arena of Digital Humanities.
Post-Graduation Plans: Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in Digital Humanities, Lafayette College
Ryan Eanes, PhD Media Studies
Ryan Eanes continues to research new media and social media as they intersect with the so-called “third space” between home and the workplace.
Post-Graduation Plans: Ryan is presently an Assistant Professor of Business Management & the Director of Minor in Marketing at Washington College in Maryland.
Jeremy Swartz, MA Communication & Society
The certificate extends my background in curating participatory and collaborative arts, media, and publics while engaging multi-modal coursework. It has inspired me to continue my work in integrating philosophy, communication, and design with emphases in intellectual property law and digital identity along with physical-virtual environments and ecologies.
Iris Bull, MA Media Studies
Specializes in: Game studies
Iris’s NMCC coursework explored virtual worlds from an interdisciplinary perspective. Drawing from computer science, geography, and communications, Iris was able to study the political characteristics of videogame software.
Post-graduation Plans: Iris is currently working toward her PhD at the University of Indiana-Bloomington’s School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering.