Research Areas

The research interests of our faculty are articulated in three main areas:

Media, Technologies and Identity Formations

This research area examines how media, technologies, narratives and forms of knowledge facilitate and constitute subjectivities. Specific areas of focus include the relationship between communication and female subjectivity, from early silent films to internet-facilitated representations; the intersection of culture, the individual and the body, from the embodiment of racial and gender positions to the unfolding of childhood and aging. Our faculty interrogate these issues through a broad range of methodological approaches centered on the United States and Asia, including historicized analyses of the constitution of female and queer identities in film; critical analysis of identity positions that are mediated by digital media; and, finally, qualitative interviews, archival research and textual analysis.

Creative Industries in Local, National and Global Contexts

This research area centers on detailed analyses of modes of production and representation that characterize media, digital practices and creative industries in different local, national and global contexts. Specific areas of focus include the political economy, public policies and cultural geographies related to film and other creative industries in the United States, with an emphasis in New Orleans; the relationship between the television industry, critical representations and religion, on the one hand, and the lives and cultural production of African-Americans, on the other; the early history of and contemporary developments in radio, cinema, documentary and television fiction in Latin America; modes of production, distribution, consumption and representation in African filmmaking, including Nollywood; and, finally, the relationship between globalization and the cultural policies of East Asian countries.

Politics, Culture and Discourse

This research area explores how media, new technologies and discourses around racial, religious and political identities shape and are shaped by contemporary social and political struggles in different regions of the world. Specific areas of focus include the relationship between media and digital platforms, on the one hand, and contemporary struggles for media and political democratization in Latin America, on the other; the deployment of cultural values and narratives about sexuality, social disorder, terrorism and Muslims by the media and other actors in Asia, Europe and the United States; the relationship among moral panics, discourses on immigration and the reinforcement of gender, class and racial hierarchies. This research also includes a comparative examination of the links between communication, populism, representative democracy and key local and global forces that are shaping current postcolonial transformations