GMSI Students & Alumni

SEYRAM AVLE

SEYRAM AVLE

A post-doctoral researcher in the School of Information at the University of Michigan, Seyram’s research is on the culture of production and social impact of technology and media industries in the global south. She is specifically interested in the practices, ideas, and products of different kinds of technology entrepreneurs, makers, doers, and media creators in Africa and China.

Presentations and Publications

Avle, S. (2015) ‘Situating Ghana’s new media industry: liberalization and transnational entrepreneurship’. In Aslinger B. and Halegoua, G. (Eds) Locating Emerging Media (123- 138). London; New York: Routledge.

Avle, S. (2014) ‘Articulating and enacting development: Skilled returnees in Ghana’s ICT industry’. Information Technologies & International Development 10(4), 1-13.

Avle, S. (2012) ‘Flux mondiaux, médias et démocraties en développement: Le cas du Ghana’. Afrique Contemporaine 2011/4 (n° 240), pp. 93-107. [French translation of ‘Global flows, media and developing democracies: The Ghanaian case’].

Avle, S. (2011) ‘Global flows, media and developing democracies: The Ghanaian case’. Journal of African Media Studies 3: 1, pp. 7–23.

DOUGLAS-WADE BRUNTON

Douglas is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Michigan. Prior to joining the department he earned his master’s degree in New Media and Society from the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom.

A media ethnographer, he is broadly interested in the relationship between media and identity. Using sport, music, body image and physical movement as lenses of analysis of the creative and cultural industries, the media and society in the Caribbean, his work seeks to answer questions around the ways in which the media affects both diasporical and regional constructs of West Indian identity.

The interest in media, culture, and identity in global contexts; informs another related strand of research into digital infrastructure studies. Drawing on postcolonial theory and surveillance studies, this work is in the main concerned with the role the online performance of self plays in the interpretive constructs of identity – particularly for people of color.

Presentations and Publications:

Brunton, D-W. (July, 2015). The Corridor of Uncertainty: Media, Cricket and West Indian Identity. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Association of Media and Communication Researchers (IAMCR), Montréal, QC, Canada.

Brunton, D-W. (2015, under review) Social Media, Surveillance, and Society. A Primer
A primer commissioned by, and accepted for presentation at Data and Civil Rights annual meeting Washington, D.C. 27 October 2015.

Patton, D.U., Brunton, D-W., Hackman, R., Cortesi, S. & Miller, R. (forthcoming 2016) Stop And Frisk Online? Using Social Media For Identification Of Criminal Conduct And Associations. Article invited by British Journal of Criminology special issue BIG DATA AND CRIMINOLOGY: The Datafication of Criminal Justice.

Patton, D.U., Leonard, P., Cahill, L., Macbeth, J., Crosby, S. & Brunton, D-W.. (2015, under review) “Police took my homie I dedicate my life 2 his revenge”: Twitter tensions between gang-involved youth and police in Chicago

PADMA CHIRUMAMILLA

Padma Chirumamilla is a doctoral candidate at the University of Michigan School of Information. Her research interests focus on the materiality of media infrastructures, and the intersections between everyday media experiences and technological obsolescence, failures, and breakdown. She is currently conducting fieldwork in south India with television repairmen, in order to piece together a ground-up history of the spread of television infrastructure and regional-language programming in the area during the 1980s and 90s.

Prior to coming to Michigan, she received an M.A. in South and Southeast Asian Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, and an A.B. in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago.

Presentations and Publications:

Looking back at the land: technology, work and morality in South Indian popular cinema,” accepted to Popular Communication division, 2013 International Communication Association (ICA) conference. Top paper in Popular Communication division.

Trash, sly civility, and the making of ‘world-class’ Delhi,” presented at 2013 Association of American Geographers conference.

Play and power: a ludic design proposal for ICTD,” accepted to the 6th International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD), 2013.

The unused and the unusable: repair, rejection, and obsolescence.” Workshop paper at the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI), 2014.

Living in the broken city: favelas, infrastructural inequity, and the materiality of the digital.” With David Nemer. Paper presented at the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) 2014 conference.

The limits of ‘practicality’: repair knowledges and media transformations in South India,” presented at the 2014 American Anthropological Association conference.

The disjointed digital: notes from a South Indian cinema hall,” presented at the “Materiality of Cultures: Methods and Practices” workshop, August 2015, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi.

Looking back at the land: Discourses of Agrarian Morality in Telugu Popular Cinema and Information Technology Labor,” accepted to Communication, Culture and Critique, for publication in 2017.

VISHNUPRIYA DAS

VISHNUPRIYA DAS

Vishnupriya is a Ph.D. student at University of Michigan’s department of Communication Studies. She is interested in the interaction between technology use and identity formation among migrant communities and the gendered nature of media production and consumption in the global south. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Human Sciences and Master’s degree in Contemporary India, both from Oxford University. As part of her Master’s thesis she examined the relationship between gender, mobile phones and development initiatives in India. Following these two degrees Vishnupriya worked as a researcher for a variety of development organizations in Nepal, Sri Lanka, India and Jordan. Most recently she worked with social enterprise ‘Gram Vaani’ to understand the impact of mobile phone based community media platforms on the ability of people from marginalized communities to contest traditional power hierarchies in rural areas of Bihar and Jharkhand.

Presentations and Publications:

Das, V. (2015) Mobile Vaani – The Impact of a Community Media Platform in Jharkand and Bihar Gram Vaani Community Media Technologies, New Delhi

Das, V. (2014) Defense of Aid?. Save the Children, United Kingdom

Das, V. (2014) Ties that Bind – Monitoring and Evaluation Report of GFP Activities in Nepal and Sri Lanka. Generations for Peace Institute, Amman

ANNEMARIE IDDINS

Annemarie is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Michigan. Broadly interested in transnational cultural industries and media, culture and identity in global contexts, Annemarie studies the relationship between modernity, cultural geography and media activism, primarily in the Maghreb and its diaspora. She is particularly interested in the role of media in social and political engagement, as well as its possibilities as a site of contention over political projects. Prior to coming to Michigan, Annemarie received a B.A. in Journalism and Francophone Studies from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., an M.A. in Mass Communication Research from the University of Minnesota and spent a year in Rabat, Morocco as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar. Her dissertation focuses on the intervention of independent Moroccan media in the relationship between public culture and politics in Morocco. Media have reconfigured this relationship over the course of three decades, starting with economic liberalization in the 1980s, accelerating upon Mohammed VI’s ascent to the throne in 1999 and crystallizing in the 2011 Arab Spring moment, when youth voices and energy brought questions about their exclusion from politics to the public and an explosion of cultural production in media and other public spaces as a means of expression and engagement.

Presentations and Publications:

Iddins, A. (2015). Debating Darija: Telquel and Language Politics in modern Morocco. Media, Culture & Society, 37(2), 288-301.

Iddins, A. (June 2015). No Concessions: The Contentious Politics of Mamfakinch’s Militant Bloggers in Post-Arab Spring Morocco. Paper presented at the Reframing Media/Cultural Studies in the Age of Global Crisis conference hosted by University of Westminster CAMRI, London, UK. *Top student poster (Popular Communication)

Iddins, A. (May 2015). Producing public intellectuals: Shifting Scales and Social Critique in Moroccan Cinema. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association (ICA), San Juan, PR.

Iddins, A. (March 2015). Deterritorializing an Industry: Shifting Scales and Social Critique in Moroccan Cinema. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Media and Cinema Studies (SCMS), Montreal, QC.

Iddins, A. (Sept. 2014). No Concessions: The Contentious Politics of Mamfakinch’s Militant Bloggers in Post-Arab Spring Morocco. Paper presented at SSRC Inter-Asia Media Activism workshop, Philadelphia, PA.

Iddins, A. (June 2013). Debating Darija: Telquel and Language Politics in modern Morocco. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association (ICA), London, UK.

Iddins, A. (June 2013). The Periphery that Speaks: Post/Colonial Identity Discourse in the Algerian Revolution. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association (ICA), London, UK. *Top student paper (Global Media and Social Change)

Iddins, A. (Feb. 2012) Debating Darija: Telquel and Language Politics in Modern Morocco. Paper presented at the Beyond Normative Approaches: Everyday Media Culture in Africa conference hosted by the Department of Media Studies at University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Iddins, A. (May 2010) Les périphéries qui parlent: Minority radio & post/colonial identity discourses from the Algerian revolution to the Beur movement. MA thesis published by Proquest Dissertations and Theses. University of Minnesota, 122 pages.

Yuval Katz

Yuval Katz is a PhD student at University of Michigan’s Department of Communication Studies. He is interested in the formulation of meaning and its role in various processes of communication. His current research focuses on conceptualizations of peace by Israeli and Palestinian newspapers convering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for the past decade. His MA thesis analyzed deliberate failures of meaning-making in popular digital memes, inspected though the literary concept of nonsense. He holds a B.A. in International Relations and Communication Studies and an M.A. in Communication and New Media Studies from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Currently he is also working on a poetry book entitled “Sous Chef Sushi Samurai”.

Presentations and Publications:

Katz, Y. & Shifman, L. (October, 2016). Making Sense? Nonsense in Digital Memes. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR), Berlin, Germany.

Hailey Kim

Hailey is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She is interested in how the public’s understanding of the reality develops in times of uncertainty in relation to the various media environments that we are situated in. She is especially interested in the conceptualization of infectious disease in both mass media and the Internet, and how those meanings on the disease flow in social networks. For her Master’s thesis she did a comparative analysis on the narrative constructions of the Ebola Epidemic on newspapers and Twitter. She holds a B.A. in Media Studies from University of California, Berkeley, and M.A. in Communication Studies from Seoul National University, South Korea. She also worked in CJ Entertainment and Media, located in Seoul, as an assistant director of TV programs.

Presentations and Publications:

Kim, Y. & Hong, S. (June, 2016). The Construction of Ebola Narrative: Comparative Visual Analysis of Ebola Images on U.S. Newspapers and Twitter. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 2015 International Communication Association (ICA), Tokyo, Japan.

Kim, Y. (August, 2015). Translation of Culture in Hollywood Remakes of East Asian Films. Paper presented at the 12th Cultural Studies Camp organized by the Korean Association for Communication and Information Studies, Seoul, Korea.

Fan Liang

Fan is a doctoral student in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Michigan. His research interests include political communication, digital politics, global media, and Internet and democratization. He tries to explore how new communication technologies shape public opinion, political attitudes and political participation across the globe. Prior to joining UM, Fan received his master’s degree in Political Communication at the University of Glasgow and worked as a journalist in China for five years. Besides, he received his bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

Presentations and Publications:

Liang, F. (2015). Why Do Individuals Participate in Protest Movements under Authoritarian Regimes? —A Comparative Study on the Determinants of Protest Participation in Hong Kong and China. Glasgow, UK

Liang, F. (2015). What has been the Role of Social Media in recent Protest Movements from across the Globe? Glasgow, UK

SRIRAM MOHAN

SRIRAM MOHAN

Sriram is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His research is primarily focused on the social and cultural implications of political engagement and political speech by users online, especially in the run-up to elections in democracies like India and the United States. He is particularly concerned about the ways in which religious nationalism operates during the course of such online communications. Prior to joining the University of Michigan, Sriram was involved in the research, design, and development of two digital archives – ‘Remembering 1992‘ and ‘Mill Mumbai’ – at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India. Previously, he has also worked with global advertising agency networks, and has been a part of a digital news media start-up in Bangalore, India. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Media from the University of Mumbai, and a Masters degree in Media and Cultural Studies from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences.

Presentations and Publications:

Mohan, S. (2015). “Locating the ‘Internet Hindu’: Political Speech and Performance in the Indian Cyberspace.” Television & New Media, 16(4), 339 – 345. Available at: http://goo.gl/c8WYYZ

Mohan, S. (2014). “The Memories of a Spark: Reconstructing the 1965 riots in Madurai against the imposition of Hindi.” SubVersions, 2(1), 131-151. Available at: http://goo.gl/N3DZ4H

Mohan, S. (November 2015). On the Phone, Through a Filter: Instagram-ing an Indian Election. Paper presented at ‘Making Meaning: Discourses of Identity, Power, and Access’ organized by the Language and Rhetorical Studies Workshop at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Mohan, S. (August 2014). Making music, bridging boundaries: Examining the idea of ‘fusion’ music in the television show Coke Studio @ MTV in India. Paper presented at the annual conference of the International Association of Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) at Hyderabad, India.

Mohan, S. (May 2014). “Politics, Polemics and the ‘Internet Hindu’: Identity, Community and Political Speech in the Indian Cyberspace,” paper presented at the ‘New Media and Citizenship in Asia: Values, Digital Politics, and Civic Well-Being’ pre-conference held as a part of the annual conference of the International Communication Association (ICA) at Seattle, U.S.A.

Mohan, S. (July 2013). “The Memories of a Spark: Reconstructing the 1965 Riots in Madurai against the Imposition of Hindi,” paper presented at the ‘Cultural Studies, Transcending Borders: Shifting Perspectives in Asia’ graduate conference organized by Inter-Asia Cultural Studies Society (IACS), Asia Research Institute (ARI), & National University of Singapore (NUS) at Singapore.

Mohan, S. (December 2012). “The Memories of a Spark: Reconstructing the 1965 Riots in Madurai against the Imposition of Hindi,” paper presented at the annual graduate conference ‘Frames of Reference’ organized by the School of Media and Cultural Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences at Mumbai, India.

BENJAMIN A. J. PEARSON

BENJAMIN A. J. PEARSON

Benjamin Pearson is a PhD candidate in Communication Studies at the University of Michigan who is interested in the relationship between cultural/media policy, development, and globalization. His primary research revolves around international institutions’ interventions in global cultural policy, particularly aid programs to cultural and audiovisual industries in the global south. He’s also interested in global internet policy, arts criticism and the valuation of culture in a digital era, and bad movies.

Benjamin holds a BA in English and Spanish from the University of California, Santa Barbara; an MA in Comparative Literature from Dartmouth College; and an MA in European Union Studies from Universidad de Deusto (San Sebastián, Spain) and Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (Groningen, the Netherlands). He’s participated in the Annenberg-Oxford Media Policy Summer Institute, and the Internet Governance, Civil Society, and Public Advocacy Summer University at Central European University. He’s also contributed to the policy field outside of academic contexts: as a stagiaire at the International Development section of the Delegation of the European Commission to the US, where he researched development and humanitarian aid issues for Brussels; and as a Fellow at Internews in Washington, DC, where he assisted with the Global Internet Policy Project, which advocates for a free and open internet worldwide.

Publications and Presentations:

Pearson, B.A.J (2014). “Media Aid Beyond the Factual: Culture, Development, and Audiovisual Assistance.” Global Media Journal, German Edition: Special Issue on Media Assistance. Vol. 4, No.2 (2014). Web.http://www.db-thueringen.de/servlets/DerivateServlet/Derivate-31134/GMJ8_Pearson_final.pdf

Pearson, B.A.J (2010). “The International and the Local in a European Basque Country: The Changing Landscape of Belonging and Territoriality.” Basque/European Perspectives on Cultural and Media Studies. Ed. María Pilar Rodríguez. Reno: Center for Basque Studies (2010): 31-50.

Pearson, B.A.J (May 2015). Developing Global Culture: The Emergence of E.U. Aid to Audiovisual Industries Abroad.  Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association (ICA), San Juan, PR.

Pearson, B.A.J (November 2014). EU Aid to Audiovisual Industries in the Global South. Invited lecture. Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia, University of Michigan, USA.

Pearson, B.A.J (2014). Helping Your Images of Yourself to Look like Ours: Global Audiovisual Standards, Foreign Assistance, and TV Labor in Africa. Paper presented at the 2014 Flow Conference University of Texas at Austin, USA.

Pearson, B.A.J (Aug. 2014).Transnational Interventions in Cultural Production: UNESCO, the E.U, and Audiovisual Industries in the Global South. Paper presented at the annual conference of the International Association of Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) at Hyderabad, India.

Pearson, B.A.J (2013). Media Development, Mediated Cultural Diplomacy: the Case of the European Union and ACP-Films. Paper presented at the 2013 International Media Management Academic Association (IMMAA) Conference in Lisbon, Portugal.

Pearson, B.A.J (2013). The Filmic Canon and Amateur Film Criticism: The Impact of Sight and Sound’s Greatest Films of All Time List in an Age of Mediated Criticism. Paper presented at the 2013 Beyond the Margins Conference – DePaul University, Chicago, USA.

Pearson, B.A.J (2010). Narrating Self for the West: Satrapi’s Persepolis. Paper presented at the 2010 American Comparative Literature Association Conference – New Orleans, USA.

Pearson, B.A.J (2008). A Paradox of Integration? Subnational and EU Policy in the Basque Country. Invited lecture. Euroculture Intensive Program Conference – Krakow, Poland.

Pearson, B.A.J (2008). EU Border Policy and Territorial Sovereignty in Kosovo. Paper presented at the 2008 Central European Conference – Rajk László College for Advanced Studies, Budapest, Hungary.

Pearson, B.A.J (2005).Witnessing the Trauma of Basque Nationalism in the Films of Julio Medem. Paper presented at the Midwestern Modern Language Association Conference – Milwaukee, USA.

LIA WOLOCK

Lia is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she also earned a master’s degree in South Asian Studies. Her research and teaching focus on transnational media, migration, and mobility, the construction of public culture, and minority media representation, production, and use. Her work centers on the South Asian diaspora and digital media. She is particularly interested in examining diasporic communities’ use of media as forms of identity work and intercultural communication from a critical race, postcolonial, and feminist perspective. Her current project explores the production and maintenance of connectivity in the South Asian American diaspora as both a technological and cultural process. Additional areas of interest include curation as a bridge between scholarship on algorithmic culture and questions of identity and representation; engaged pedagogy and public advocacy; new media literacies; and sound studies in the era of digital and mobile media.

Presentations & Publications:

Wolock, Lia, and Aswin Punathambekar. (2014). “Race and Ethnicity in Post-Network American Television: From MTV-Desi to Outsourced.” Television and New Media . Published first online, doi: 10.1177/1527476414564985. (Forthcoming in print, 2015.)

Wolock, L. (Mar. 2014). New Media, New Communities: Digital Cultural Brokers in the South Asian Diaspora. Paper presented at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, Seattle, WA.

Wolock, L. (Oct. 2013). Managing Community Through Digital Talk: Podcasting in the South Asian Diaspora. Paper presented at Internet Research 14.0, Denver, CO.

Wolock, L. (Oct. 2011). South Asian Americans and the Limits of Television. Paper presented at Global Fusion, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA.