Our student researchers are breaking new ground in media studies, producing thesis work on a variety of themes related to social justice. Some members of our community are doing in-depth scholarly research, while others are producing work in the creative arts and social praxis.
Keith Bevacqua, "The Knowledge Brokers: How Old Media is Shaping New Education"
Abstract: The Knowledge Brokers: How Old Media is Shaping New Education examines how the online education industry has come to be dominated by once traditional, or non-digital, global media conglomerates. Researcher Keith Bevacqua argues that the majority of online learning infrastructure is controlled by for-profit interests due to three chief factors: an industry wide push towards privatized education at all levels of pedagogy, the ongoing trend of media deregulation by successive neoliberal governments, and the continued commodification of information both inside the US and across the globe.
In the first of five sections Bevacqua defines online education and traditional media organizations. The second section describes the origin of privatization in American education stemming from the work of economist Milton Friedman. Media deregulations (connected to the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and the Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998) are also discussed in chapter two. The third section details the current online education space and the various corporate interests at play, directing attention to global education media conglomerates such as Pearson, RELX, and Graham Holdings. The fourth section presents a narrative of how media corporations came to control online education services and content. Special consideration is paid to the work of telecommunication theorist Herbert Schiller, education specialists Anthony Picciano and Joel Spring, and media academic Dan Schiller.
In the final section Bevacqua reiterates that online education has come to be dominated by corporate media due to a variety of market, regulatory, and ideological factors. These contributing factors, including the privatization, deregulation, and the commodification of education media and related infrastructures, run counter to the goals of public education. Bevacqua calls for a renewed focus on creating democratically operated online education organizations removed from free market forces.
Azhar Fateh, "How Fashion Brands Co-opt Bloggers To Leverage Their Threat"
Abstract: Social media has disrupted almost every major industry. Fashion is no exception. Fashion bloggers have become central figures not just in the reception of fashion trends, but in their communication and spread. However they are not the new gatekeepers of the industry. Major fashion brands have co-opted bloggers by selectively working with those influencers that align with their existing brand image to successfully leverage what could have been a threat to their control. Further, after exploring the various aspects of the work of social media influencers, I found that while the medium of fashion information is changing, the practices of the industry - like using labor for no pay and exerting strict control over their employees - are as widespread today as they were before the advent of social media.
Brian Hughes,"Communication Technologies and the Age of Arab Nationalism," Masters Thesis, December 2016.
Adam Netsky, "Multiverse: a fictional exploration of algorithms and agency," Masters Thesis, December 2016