Ph.D. Communication - University of Massachusetts Amherst
M.A. Film Studies - Emory University
B.A. Communication - University of Massachusetts Amherst
In ten years of teaching and researching media, I have discovered that its main advantage is that the subject is instantly relatable to students, who have many hours of media use on multiple platforms from which to draw. Their familiarity, however, also poses a significant challenge: how to help students to think critically and contextually about the technologies and texts so close to them? My approach to teaching media involves emphasizing an experiential orientation to critical thinking, which includes assignments that are self-reflexive, participatory, and/or work toward building of community in and beyond the classroom. I have found these approaches are productive means by which to train and engage students' research and critical skills.
My research program blends my interests in media reception, production, and analysis from a variety of critical, historical, and identity-centered perspectives. Fueling these interests is a curiosity of how film texts and their meanings circulate in culture, which I examined in my dissertation. I consider the state of U.S. film criticism at the millennium, detailing the diffusion of cultural authority of critics and the democratization of criticism via the Internet. I have also published work on film biopics and am currently working on several projects: the production methods of the television series Friday Night Lights; media pedagogy; and the intersection of taste and media criticism. My work has been published in the Journal of American Culture; Journal of Popular Film and Television, and by the British Film Institute.
Introduction to Mediated Communication
Communication Senior Seminar