Influenced by his background in international community development, digital literacy, and public education, Mike is interested in the cultural impact of digital technology in communities of limited contextual digital literacy. Alongside this, he aims to delve deeper into the roots of technological solutionism in education and business, the history of technology's cultural symbolism, and the spirituality of technology. Ultimately Mike plans to help educators evolve digital literacy education into a holistic discipline that develops socially, culturally, and economically conscious technology users.
As a Mass Communication/Journalism graduate and youth activist from the Philippines, Maribelle is interested in conceptualizing communication interventions and strategies to empower marginalized communities towards relevant social issues such as public health, human rights and media democracy. She is also particularly interested in studying media as a platform for social change, media and politics as well as tackling issues of law and mass media Maribelle's research will focus on the transition and expansion of digital journalism and how it has affected shifting public opinion of the masses on current issues and how it can be used as an advocacy platform for social development.
Josh studies how digital media literacy is hindered by corporations motivated by neoliberal policy and anti-democratic processes. He wants to work to establish new tools to enhance individual liberties and revive communities, enhance dialogue, and promote sustainability. At the heart of the issue is civic engagement, which is an additionally important facet of his research.
Jennifer Johnson Avril
Jennifer Johnson Avril works in software marketing, believes activism can effect viable change, and lives in Brooklyn with her family. She was raised by very nice wolves and would like to do more howling at the moon. She is a proud graduate of NYU's Gallatin School and is prouder still to be part of Queens College's new Media Studies Masters Program. She hopes, along with her fellows, to redefine and rewrite modern media structures for social improvement.
Growing up Roberto noticed a great change in his entertainment as he went from watching all inclusive shows like Sesame Street and Reading Rainbow to the largely homogeneous world of film and television and its often stereotypical portrayal of Hispanics. Roberto is interested in researching the reasons for this lack of diversity, on screen and behind the camera, and the effect it has on its overwhelmingly diverse audience both domestically and abroad. His research will also focus on what is being done by the industry to offer a more diverse and accurate portrayal of society, its audience, and what more can be done to further that progress.
Having gamed all his life, video games are as important to Phil as water is to fish. Phil is interested in exploring the complex and unique ways video games tackle narrative as well as the capitalism behind which video games get made and most importantly, which do not. He is also a proponent of digital media literacy for all people. Although technology is becoming increasingly relevant in today’s world, most people still do not comprehend the complex relationships they have with it. This is especially true for video games and how they are such a particularly rewarding entertainment experience. Phil’s one true goal is to change the way we understand video games.
Yin Mei Critchell
Yin Mei Critchell, professor of dance in the Drama, Theatre and Dance Department and director of the dance program at Queens College, is a director/choreographer/performance artist known for category-defying works that fearlessly bridge geographic, technological, artistic, and cultural divides to create a unique brand of theatrical magic. Having forged a dance style employing Chinese energy direction and spatial principles as a means of creating contemporary dance theater, Yin Mei is uniquely positioned to explore themes of artistic and spiritual significance arising at the intersection of Asian traditional performance and Western contemporary dance.
Currently navigating the ever-changing sports media landscape for a media conglomerate, Christos is adding to his BA in Media Studies from Queens College with graduate studies in areas of continued interest. These include political economy, narrative structure, and media management.
In a time where the cost of television broadcast rights are justification for a sports media behemoth laying off a significant minority of its workforce and athletes are taking a stand (or rather a kneel) against social injustices in our country, these areas of research are evermore pertinent.
Raphael seeks to understand the current proliferation of new media technologies and its' implications for the future of humanity. He longs to develop a strategic approach to civic engagement in the digital age by facilitating greater positive citizen participation, leveraging digital communications and finding innovative solutions to complex problems. Raphael seeks to build bridges between citizens, communities, and the institutions that are intended to serve them.
Equipped with both a musical and a recording engineer background, Stephen is interested in the relationship between digital audio production workflows and their increasing orientation toward mass-market musical content. More broadly Stephen is fascinated with how art, technology, and social media expression have become imbued with the values of consumer culture and corporatism. One aspect of his research will focus on how thriving underground communities have eschewed these values and what lessons can be applied in the digital era.
Building off his background in media production and online education, Keith Bevacqua studies how media and new media technologies can improve education for all students regardless of class, income, or location. Believing that education is at the heart of social empowerment, he hopes his research with the Queens College MA in Media Studies with its focus on social activism will help reveal how media informs and shapes the way we learn.
Dolores's passions are issues of social justice and how to actively facilitate positive change. Her deep concerns are environmental issues, specifically the "ethics" of the U.S. food industry. Dolores is probably hungry...right now.
Azhar (Ali) Fateh
Ali is a former associate producer and desk editor for NBC News in London and New York, and was a live host for PLAYMAX TV. These days, he balance his time between work, study and friends and wants to bring rigor to his journalism through media studies.
Juan Antonio Fernandez
Juan's study of media analyzes the performative methods contemporary Chicana/o/x communities use in social media to engage nostalgia and re-frame identities/histories utilizing a decolonial lens. His work focuses on the performance of ethnicity, gender, cultural citizenship and sexuality in the continued search for the utopian. Juan is a recent graduate of UCLA holding a BA in Chicana/o Studies & LGBTQ Studies, his previous work as a scholar/activist has focused on Gay Chicano fiction & storytelling, Muralism, Performance, and archiving Queer Chicana/o/x cultural productions.
Brian Hughes studies the media of extremity, with a focus on areas of political radicalism and esoteric religious experience. He is interested in the instrumentality of media in constructing belief, and works to apply media theory to matter and mind at their most fundamental levels.
Jonathan E. Jacobs
Jonathan is a multidimensional artist, entertainer, and writer whose work centers on the way recorded music can shift people's experience of reality and inspire the human imagination. Jonathan focuses on how interfacing with antiquated multi-dimensional media, particularly sound technology, can disrupt and drastically alter how individuals experience the contemporary world and their place in it. Jonathan is presently developing a large-scale music-based media project entitled "Nostalgia Therapy," which simultaneously investigates the transportive effects of music, perceptions of time travel, and the phenomena of nostalgia for an era one has never actually lived through. www.jonathanejacobs.com.
Arjeta's focus is to learn the techniques and the ways that media is used to influence our public opinion and how we frame what is happening in the world. Her specific goal is to understand how media influences us, especially when it comes to migration. Arjeta not only questions how migrants are portrayed by mass media and its lasting effects on society but also how social networks, the digital world and media in general can transmit fair information about migration flows.
Adam is a musician, a writer and a filmmaker who is interested in philosophy, media theory and the politics of new media. He wants to explore the connections between people and technology as it relates to politics, culture, mind and community. Adam would like to experiment using different forms of media (text, audio/video, interactive media, etc.) to further his understanding between these unique relationships.
lkponmwonsa's acute knowledge in computer science has led to her current interests of the major transformation in media and the social world with the emergence of modern technologies. More broadly, she is interested in how the technological, the social media, the entertainment and the advertising industries are gradually reforming our society and culture. Ikponmwonsa's research will focus on how media has affected individuals and society and what measures to apply in other to maintain a balance between the continuous growth of technology and our culture.
Zoe Beloff grew up in Scotland. She studied art at Edinburgh University and in 1980 moved to New York to study film at Columbia University. She works with a wide range of media including film, projection performance, installation and drawing. Each project aims to connect the present to past so that it might illuminate the future in new ways. Beloff's projects have been presented internationally, venues include the Whitney Museum of American Art, the M HKA museum in Antwerp, the Pompidou Center in Paris and Freud's Dream Museum in St. Petersburg. She has been awarded fellowships from Guggenheim Foundation, The Foundation for Contemporary Arts, The Radcliffe Institute at Harvard and the New York Foundation for the Arts. She teaches in the departments of Media Studies and Art.
Professor and Chair
Mara Einstein is recognized as an authority on consumer culture criticism, marketing religion and spirituality, and media industry analysis and regulation. Dr. Einstein's most recent book, Black Ops Advertising: Native Ads, Content Marketing and the Covert World of the Digital Sell (OR Books, 2016) makes clear the complex workings of digital marketing including the stealth nature of online commerce and the interplay among social media, big data, and our personal relationships. Earlier books include: Compassion, Inc.: How Corporate America blurs the line between what we buy, who we are and those we help (University of California Press, 2012), Brands of faith: Marketing religion in a commercial age (Routledge, 2007), and Media Diversity: Economics, Ownership and the FCC (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2004). Advertising: What Everyone Needs to Know will be published by Oxford University Press in 2017.
Dr. Einstein holds a PhD in Media Ecology from New York University, an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern, and a BFA in theatre performance from Boston University.
Fuqua has a PhD in Cultural and Critical Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. She is an Associate Professor of Media History and Theory in the Department of Media Studies at Queens College. Her articles have been published in journals such as Cultural Studies and The Journal of Television and New Media, and the European Journal of American Culture. Other writings have appeared in anthologies and in digital sources such as In Media Res. Her first monograph, Prescription TV: Therapeutic Discourse in the Hospital and at Home was published in 2012 by Duke University Press. Her current multi-modal research project engages with new materialist feminism and environmental cultural studies and documents and historicizes the remains of extraction capital in local and global sites. Her research interests include environmental cultural studies, new materialist feminism, queer theory, and digital media theory. Her teaching areas include television and digital media theory, history, and analysis; documentary film and media; queer media; cultural and feminist media studies. Fuqua is an internationally recognized scholar who serves on the board of the international feminist media collective, "Console-ing Passions."
Amy Herzog is a media historian whose research spans a broad range of interdisciplinary subjects, including film, philosophy, popular music, gender and sexuality, urban history, pornography, gentrification, parasites, amusement parks, and dioramas. She is Associate Professor of Media Studies at Queens College and Coordinator of the Film Studies Program at the CUNY Graduate Center. She has also taught as Visiting Associate Professor at the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University.
Herzog is the author of Dreams of Difference, Songs of the Same: The Musical Moment in Film (University of Minnesota Press, 2010) and co-editor, with Carol Vernallis and John Richardson, of The Oxford Handbook of Sound and Image in Digital Media (Oxford, 2013). Her writing has appeared in several collections and journals, and she has presented her work at numerous venues including the Guggenheim Museum of New York, the New Museum, Dixon Place, New York Academy of Medicine, and The Morbid Anatomy Museum. Her most recent research project explores the history of peep show arcades in Times Square, New York.
Professor and Chair
Michael Lacy’s areas of teaching, scholarship, and expertise are communication, race, culture, and politics. He is co-author (with Kent Ono, University of Utah) of Critical Rhetorics of Race, a collection of critical race studies, published by NYU Press in 2011. His book chapter (with Kathleen Haspel, Fairleigh Dickinson University) features an insightful analysis of the media coverage of Hurricane Katrina's aftermath. His scholarship and research appears in the Communication Yearbook 32, The Howard Journal of Communications and the Journal of Intercultural and International Communication. He served as principal investigator and writer for several reports published by the Education Communication of the States and online education journals, and reviewed grants for the U.S. Department of Education. He is also co-editor (with Mary Triece, University of Akron) of Race and Hegemonic Struggle in the United States: Pop Culture, Politics, and Protest, published by Fairleigh Dickinson University Press (Rowman & Littlefield) in 2014. His chapter in this volume offers a reading of the popular commercial post-apocalyptic film, The Book of Eli in light of racial, religious, and economic traumas experienced in the U.S. since 9/11.
Professor and Chair
Richard Maxwell is a political economist of media. His research begins at the intersection of politics and economics to analyze the global media, their social and cultural impact, and the policies that regulate their reach and operations. He has published widely on a range of topics, from television in Spain's democratic transition to Hollywood's international dominance, from media politics in the post 9-11 era to how big political economic forces work in the mundane routines of daily life and culture.
His writing on media and cultural consumption draws attention to the specter of living life under ever expanding governmental and commercial surveillance. In 2012, Richard co-authored Greening the Media, with Toby Miller (New York: Oxford University Press) on the environmental impact of media and focuses on the environmental harms caused by media, information technologies, and electronics.
Maxwell received his BA in Communication and Visual Arts from the University of California at San Diego and his MA and PhD in Communication Arts from the University of Wisconsin. He has previously taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Northwestern University.
Masters Program Director
Queens College Bio
Mukherjee writes about race in American public culture. She is author of The Racial Order of Things: Cultural Imaginaries of the Post-Soul Era (University of Minnesota Press, 2006) and co-editor of Commodity Activism: Cultural Resistance in Neoliberal Times (NYU Press, 2012). She is currently working on her next book, The Blacking Factory: Material Cultures and the Technologies of the Racial Self, and a second co-edited anthology, Race Post-Race: Culture, Critique, and the Color Line.
PhD, Utrecht University, 2012
Douglas Rushkoff is the author of Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now, which explores the always-on, simultaneous society in which we live, as well as how this new temporal landscape influences media, culture, economics, politics, and meaning. He has written a dozen other books on media, technology, and culture, including Program or Be Programmed, Media Virus, Life Inc and the novel Ecstasy Club. He wrote the graphic novels Testament and A.D.D., and made the television documentaries Generation Like, Merchants of Cool, The Persuaders, and Digital Nation. He lectures about media, society, and economics around the world.
Rushkoff is a world-renowned expert on media and culture. Winner of the Marshall McLuhan Award for media writing, Rushkoff was named one of the world's 10 most influential intellectuals by MIT. Originating such concepts as "viral media", "social currency," and "digital natives," his research focuses on media, activism, social change, and human agency in a digital age. He is currently preparing a new book on the impact of digital technology on economics, and working on a graphic novel about a fictional occult war between Aleister Crowley and Adolf Hitler.
Assistant Professor of Media Studies
Noah is the author of the books Gods and Monsters: A Queer Film Classic (2009), Nollywood Stars: Media and Migration in West Africa and the Diaspora (2015), and Pink 2.0: Encoding Queer Cinema on the Internet (forthcoming), as well as essays in African Studies Quarterly, Black Camera, Cineaste, Porn Studies, The Velvet Light Trap, and numerous other journals and edited collections. His research focuses on theories, practices, and histories of African media (especially Nollywood), queer cinema, and documentary. Forthcoming forms of this research include articles and chapters on John Huston's Army Signal Corps documentary Let There Be Light (1946), black queer subjects in American nontheatrical films of the 1960s, Nollywood genres, Africa's intermedial economies, a book on documentary film as a therapeutic agent in 1940s America, and a book on documentary film and decolonization in West Africa.
Roy Vanegas was a freelance web developer in based in New York City who found his way into the classroom, teaching computer programming at a public college in New York City and in 2010 founded that school's web programming certificate.
Roy is currently teaching at Columbia University, Parsons The New School for Design, Rhode Island School of Design, and Touro College and at the MA Queens College program a digital hacktivism (Arduino, electronics, programming etc) during Fall '15.
As of June 2015 Vanegas will also be a full-time web developer at IBM Watson. In addition, he has mentored students at General Assembly and will teach at The New York Code + Design Academy during the summer 2015. Roy has also designed a wireless guitar pick, a six-channel audio installation as well as multiple flyers, electronics and web sites. In his spare time he fixes cars and documents the process.