Grad Student Conference

The Media School Graduate Student Conference

Feb. 23, 2018 | Indiana University-Bloomington

At The Media School, “media” is our common ground, the one thing that links us all together. We come from a variety of academic backgrounds, disciplines and departments; we draw on a range of perspectives, methods and theories. But we all share a common object of study: media.

With media as our common frame of reference, this conference is dedicated to showcasing the variety of interdisciplinary, media-related graduate student research at IU. The conference aims to bring graduate students from across campus together in constructive dialogue, to forge new relationships, cross-pollinate ideas, inspire, learn and educate each other. All events and workshops will be at Franklin Hall.

This conference will include both traditional 50-minute panels devoted to the formal presentation of research and more conversational workshops devoted to working through disciplinary, methodological or political/cultural questions. Additionally, we will feature media objects such as short films, images, photographs and other types of media objects.

Schedule

All sessions will take place in Franklin Hall.

8:30-9:20 a.m.

Welcome reception, Franklin Hall commons

9:30-10:20 a.m.

Critical Approaches to Media, from Cinema to Reddit

Room 312

Jesse Balzer is a doctoral candidate in communication and culture at IU, researching trailers, promotional media labor and award shows.

  • Abstract: The annual Clio Entertainment and Golden Trailer Awards are non-televised, intra-industry award shows for promotional media labor; bestowing prestige upon the laborers in charge of creating trailers, posters, and social media campaigns. I examine the significance of these award shows as key trade rituals and spaces involved in the circulation of symbolic capital for media labor traditionally unseen by audiences.

Ryan Collins is a doctoral student in The Media School who writes about cult and exploitation cinema, masculinity, and religion and media. 

  • Abstract: r/WatchPeopleDie is an online community and forum on Reddit that is fascinated with real-life videos of people dying, often in graphic ways. This project explores the uses and gratifications of these graphic videos for users and the politics of moderating explicit content on r/WatchPeopleDie.  

Forrest Greenwood is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Communication and Culture, and he also works full-time as a quality control specialist with IU’s Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative.

  • Abstract: While competing gaming devices used WiFi functionality to browse the web and download content from remote servers, Nintendo’s DS handheld game system instead used WiFi to facilitate short-range wireless connections between DS systems for networked play, and to wirelessly connect to retail distribution kiosks at physical stores. This presentation seeks as well to explore the ways in which the DS’s approach to WiFi reflects Nintendo’s longstanding history of engaging with localized, often urban, space as a means for digitally distributing software.
Presenting Media Objects in Auditory or Visual Format

Room 310

Rick Brewer is pursuing a dual master’s degree in United States history and library science, and is the senior producer for GPSG Radio, a podcast about graduate student life from the IUB Graduate and Professional Student Government.

  • Abstract: GPSG Radio is a podcast about graduate student life from the IUB Graduate and Professional Student Government. From the latest GPSG news, to our interviews with graduate students, administrators and local businesses, this podcast is a Hoosier’s guide for navigating life in Bloomington. Listen here.

Christian M. James is a composer, multi-instrumentalist and community music enthusiast in his first year of study toward the M.A. in ethnomusicology.

  • Abstract: Great Lakes Coffee Fair Trade Organic Brazil is a four-minute composition for electric guitar, harp, double bass and percussion that interprets an online coffee review of the same title. The piece attempts to render an instrumental recitation of the review’s text as a commentary on the poetics of blogging, aimed at reminding the composer and his audience of the beauty that underlies text of every kind.

Eric Johannes Blom is an M.S. student in The Media School focusing on data journalism.

  • Abstract: The U.S. Census of Agriculture map shows the chief agricultural commodity of every county in the U.S. It demonstrates the power of data visualizations to unearth stories and to illustrate stories for journalists.

Josh Sites is a doctoral candidate in The Media School who studies the psychological impact of popular music production techniques.

  • Abstract: The point of “Close Watch” is to start with a lamenting love song and take the humanity out of the voice without completely removing the emotions. This was done by using R to program a kind of pitch quantization with a novel sound.

10:30-11:20 a.m.

Topics in Communication Science, from Imgur to VR

Room 312

Brent Hale is a doctoral student in The Media School whose research focuses on social media communication effects, including social identity signaling through interlocution strategies and audience response to social media messages through comments on sites like YouTube, Reddit and Imgur.

  • Abstract: Using SIDE theory and common voice as a theoretical framework, this content analysis of Imgur posts and comments provides a first attempt to map a site-bound digital subculture through quantitative assessment of systematic commenting strategies employed within a social networking site. Findings indicate that post content affects commenting strategies and that common voice features vary according to post context.

Lucas Kempe-Cook is a fourth-year informatics doctoral student in the computing, culture, and society track with a focus on esports, and esports casting and commentary in particular. He has a background in learning sciences and experience teaching at a variety of levels.

  • Abstract: This paper looks at the practices and communities of esports casters for two games, Rocket League and Dota 2. To better support the goal of casters in creating a viewing experience for esports, we suggest improved game viewing accessibility, better camera control, access to game-related data, co-casting coordination mechanisms and community outreach.

​Thomas Parmer is a doctoral student in complex systems within the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering interested in games, virtual reality and artificial intelligence.

  • Abstract: We explore the ability of a virtual environment to adapt to user arousal, as measured by skin conductance level. Using planning methods from reinforcement learning, we discover the optimal strategy to engage users based on a model of their behavior, showing that adapting a virtual environment to an individual’s emotional response is feasible. ​

Jessica E. Tompkins is a doctoral candidate in The Media School studying the social-psychological effects of video games on players and video game usability.

  • Abstract: My talk will discuss video game character design and implications for the player experience. The results of an experimental study that exposed women to sexualized or non-sexualized game characters will be discussed, as well as the preliminary findings from a series of interviews I conducted with video game character designers.
Examining the Media from the Lens of Race and Gender

Room 310

Katrina M. Overby is a doctoral candidate in The Media School, and her research interests include race, gender, sex and sports in the media.

  • Abstract: Black Twitter has offered a space for producing and sharing Black cultural discourse and counter-narratives to mainstream news and information. In this project I explore how the black community uses hashtags and trending topics on Twitter to construct multiple identities and shared meanings. 

Shadia Siliman is a doctoral candidate in gender studies whose research investigates sexual violence and consent through the lens of a Queer of Color Critique.

  • Abstract: Centering on the viral video, 10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman (2014), this paper unpacks how catcalling may constitute a form of sexual violence, and how it may play a crucial role in establishing a climate of sexual terrorism for many populations. Guided by a Queer of Color Critique, I posit that the catcall is devalued as “real” violence because of a hierarchy of sensory experiences which delegitimizes the sonic.

Roshni Verghese is a doctoral candidate at The Media School whose research interests include media globalization, youth and popular culture, and feminist studies, with a focus on cultural crossovers between the U.S. and the Indian subcontinent. 

  • Abstract: The presentation is an overview of Roshni’s dissertation project, which is a audience study of young, urban middle-class women in India who routinely choose to consume popular Western television shows. The study aims to shed light on contemporary media trends in non-western spaces and details how female interlocutors use contemporary media technology and global popular culture to navigate their class, gender and national identities. 

Suisui Wang is a doctoral student of gender studies and is broadly interested in LGBTQ studies in the East Asian context. 

  • Abstract: My project focuses on the online community-based documentary Wei-Feng Papa made by a gay man’s father and how it offers us “queer parents” as a trope to imagine alternative sociality and temporality in the supposedly heteronormative kinship formations. ​

1-1:45 p.m.

Coffee break and keynote speaker, Franklin Hall commons

Distinguished professor emeritus David Weaver will present “From Mass Communication to Media Research: Trends and Suggestions.” With decades of experience, Weaver will share some of his reflections on the past, present and future of the field. 

Assistant professor Gerry Lanosga, a former student of Weaver’s, will introduce the keynote lecturer.

2-2:50 p.m.

The Intersection of Entertainment, Nationalism, and Power

Room 312

Pragya Paramita is interested in working on ruin aesthetics, especially post-industrial ruins.

  • Abstract: This project is essentially is about havelis — which are a kind of aristocratic homes in India — and placing them within Bombay cinema and through the structure and its interpretations over the past four decades look at the changing historical, social and political landscape of India.

Pallavi Rao is a doctoral student in The Media School whose teaching and research interests include the political economy of Indian media, and caste and gender in media discourses.

  • Abstract: In this paper, I closely read Indian politician Shashi Tharoor’s debate speech given at the Oxford Union in the UK on July 14, 2015, by locating it in the current political moment in India, where mediated nationalist utterances have come to define Indian citizens’ relationship with the nation-state. I argue that these incidents of dispersed performative nationalisms validate Tharoor’s dubious status as a postcolonial public intellectual, participate in new global empires and complicate how mediated expressions of postcolonial experiences reconstruct national imaginaries.

Bridget Shaffrey is a master of philosophy student at the University of Cambridge.

  • Abstract: This paper discusses Grave of the Fireflies counterhistorical approach to kokutai ideology. This essay explores the film’s ambivalence and its ability to open up a site of discussion about political ideology.
The Brain, the Body, and Media

Room 310

Keiland Cooper studies the dynamics of intelligent systems, particularly the workings of the brain.

  • Abstract: If you’re lucky enough to have seen the human brain, it’s probably only been in a photograph; however, the brain is a 3-D structure. I will present a framework using fMRI images to extract a 3-D model, which can be used in modern additive manufacturing processes or virtual applications.

Jingjing Han is a doctoral candidate at The Media School. Her research applies the dynamic systems theory to understand human communication.

  • Abstract: This conceptual paper aims to demonstrate how a paradigm shift from media effects to dynamic systems changes one’s research assumptions, research questions, experimental design, data collection and analysis, and results, using the co-viewing literature as an example. We also discuss how dynamics systems theory has important implications for communication research.

Lucía Cores Sarría is a doctoral student pursuing a joint degree in media and cognitive science. Her current research focuses on how structural aspects of still and dynamic pictures interplay with cognition and emotion.

  • Abstract: A content analysis of the International Affective Picture System that investigates whether specific camera framing variables (e.g. distance, height and angle) affect emotional dimensions (e.g. valence, arousal and dominance) as predicted by research in film and communication science.

Kelsey Prena studies the effects of video gaming on neurological activity associated with learning and memory. Mechanisms that she focuses on are particularly inhibited in people with Down syndrome. 

  • Abstract: In this particular study, I use a novel method of neuroimaging, called magnetic resonance spectroscopy, to demonstrate that differences neurotransmitter concentrations in a region of the brain associated with memory formation can be predicted by gaming habits. Results suggest that gamers’ brains are in a neurological state that should more readily form memory. 

3-3:50 p.m.

The Different Angles of Sex in the Media

Room 312

Niki Fritz is a doctoral candidate studying sexual socialization and sexual health message communication.

Vinny Malic is a doctoral student in the Department of Information and Library Science.

  • Abstract: Malic will present the latest results in his research of the Internet Adult Film Database, a crowdsource “wiki” that maintains information on performers in the adult film in industry. He is investigating whether certain types of bodies are more likely to attain industry success than others in the subset of female performers represented in the IAFD.

Yaojun (Harry) Yan is a doctoral student in The Media School, and his research interests include societal-level media effects on peer perceptions of attitudes toward minorities and social inequalities, public opinion formation process and computational methods.

  • Abstract: This paper discuss how TV moderates people’s perceptions of peers’ attitudes towards gays and lesbians. The results suggested a “ripple perception” model that characterizes the centralized position of people’s own attitudes in the public opinion formation about ATLG.

Yanyan Zhou is a doctoral candidate in The Media School, with a focus on media psychology and effects. 

  • Abstract: The paper explores how stereotypes and story types influence Chinese women’s experience in reading both heterosexual and homosexual romantic stories.
Workshop: Media Studies as Information Studies

Room 310

Increasingly, the problems of information studies — computational devices, algorithms, predictive analytics and more — are shaping how media studies imagines and investigates its objects of interest.
 
As media and communication historians from Friedrich Kittler to Harold Innis have argued, media have historically been concerned with problems of recording, storing and sharing information. In the so-called Information Age, however, these concerns are exacerbated, as the generation of data and information are embedded within the recommendation systems, search engines, social platforms and mapping devices that increasingly constitute our everyday engagements with media technologies of many forms. This workshop will discuss the relationship between “media studies” and “information studies,” broadly considered.
 
Iris Bull is a computing, culture, and society doctoral student in the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering who examines social and analytic technologies that mediate experiences of toxicity online in Overwatch — a popular video game with a developing eSports scene — in addition to studying toxicity as an aspect of social life that informs the marketing and development of co-working office spaces.
 
James Gilmore is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Communication and Culture. His dissertation, “Knowing the Everyday: Wearable Technologies and the Informatic Domain,” examines the cultural politics of wearable technologies’ conversion of presumably unknowable elements of everyday life into “knowable” information. He is the co-editor of Orson Welles in Focus (Indiana University Press, 2018) and Superhero Synergies (Rowman and Littlefield, 2014).
 
Richard Jarmain is a doctoral student in The Media School. He received his B.A. in philosophy and communication from the University of Tampa and his M.A. in media, culture, and communication from New York University. He studies the history, culture and class politics of media. His current research focuses on the the blurred boundary between early modern cryptographic media and occult philosophy in relation to our current information society.
 
Cole Stratton is a doctoral student in The Media School. He studies the history, culture, politics, economics and ecology of new media technology. His current research focuses on the role of the smartphone in mediating social relations of power in contemporary societies.

4-4:50 p.m.

Workshop: Doing Difference Differently

Room 312

Over the years, media scholarship has examined how collective and individual identities of race, gender, class, age, sexuality, nationality and able-bodiedness can be defined, classified, differentiated, deconstructed or sometimes even rejected as labels or lenses to process social life. Composed of media scholars from across a spectrum of methods and approaches, this workshop seeks to push against the boundaries of the dominant ways in which our field has studied difference in relation to media texts, media industries and media audiences.
 
Iris Bull is a computing, culture, and society doctoral student in the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering who examines social and analytic technologies that mediate experiences of toxicity online in Overwatch — a popular video game with a developing eSports scene — in addition to studying toxicity as an aspect of social life that informs the marketing and development of co-working office spaces.
 
Jiling Duan is a doctoral student from gender studies minoring in media studies, and her research interests include gendered propaganda, state regulation on intimacy and feminist activism in late-socialist China.
 
Katrina M. Overby is a doctoral candidate in The Media School, and her research interests include race, gender, sex and sports in the media.
 
Radhika Parameswaran is Herman B Wells Endowed Professor in The Media School whose research interests are feminist cultural studies, globalization and media, India and postcolonial studies.
 
Laura Partain is a doctoral student in The Media School minoring in global studies whose interests predominantly focus on Middle Eastern forced migrant communities, religion, representations and resistance in news and entertainment media.
 
Pallavi Rao is a doctoral student in The Media School whose teaching and research interests include the political economy of Indian media, and caste and gender in media discourses.
 
Joseph Roskos is a graduate student in The Media School who studies the intersection of race and power within online spaces.
 
Roshni Verghese is a doctoral candidate at The Media School whose research interests include media globalization, youth and popular culture, and feminist studies, with a focus on cultural crossovers between the U.S. and the Indian subcontinent. 
 
Yaojun (Harry) Yan is a doctoral student in The Media School, and his research interests include societal-level media effects on peer perceptions of attitudes toward minorities and social inequalities, public opinion formation process and computational methods.
Live from the ICR: Your Research in Five Minutes or Less

Room 310

Media School graduate students will present their recent or current projects in five minutes or less. This panel will highlight the diverse work in media science that is happening in the Institute for Communication Research.
 
Mona Malacane Clay is a doctoral candidate in the communication science unit of The Media School. Her dissertation examines predictors and barriers to parent mediation of mobile devices during the teenage years.
 
Niki Fritz is a doctoral candidate studying sexual socialization and sexual health message communication.
 
Ted Jamison-Koenig is a trained audio engineer and musician, and he uses his previous experience to guide social scientific inquiry into the psychological impact of audio in media. His current research involves the dynamic processing and psychophysiological effects of musical complexity and intensity.
 
Kelsey Prena studies the effects of video gaming on neurological activity associated with learning and memory. Mechanisms that she focuses on are particularly inhibited in people with Down syndrome.
 
Josh Sites is a doctoral candidate in The Media School who studies the psychological impact of popular music production techniques.
 
Yanyan Zhou is a doctoral candidate in The Media School, with a focus on media psychology and effects. Her dissertation focuses on how exposure to different types of sexually explicit content influence audience memories, attitudes and emotions related to sex and violence.  

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