Conference Presentation: Travel Influencers and Ethics of Authenticity

Social media personalities, bloggers, and other influencers have been questioned for their ethics because of fears associated with influencers marketing products without telling their audiences. Joe Sinkwitz has an accessible summary of the concerns around influencers’ lack of disclosure. My research group on influencers within the travel industry sought to explore how these workers understood their ethical obligations to their audiences. Our paper, titled “Ethics of Authenticity: Travel Influencers and the Production of Sponsored Content,” was recently accepted to the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication national conference. Mariah Wellman will be presenting the conference in Washington D.C. this August. Continue reading “Conference Presentation: Travel Influencers and Ethics of Authenticity”

Service Update: Vice President of Graduate Student Senate

I was elected as the Vice President of the University of Iowa’s Graduate Student Senate (GSS) for the 2018-2019 academic year. The Vice President of GSS supports the President and is responsible for the planning and execution of the Jakobsen Conference, a poster presentation-based academic conference for University of Iowa graduate students. The conference encourages interdisciplinary as graduate students from across the university share their ideas in conversation with each other. I’m excited to work with incoming President Kaleigh White to represent University of Iowa graduate students and plan the Jakobsen conference in the upcoming academic year.

In addition to my responsibilities as Vice President, I’ll also pull in my web management skills from my professional background as the webmaster for the Graduate Student Senate.

Update: April 2018

At one point this semester, I think I slept maybe? Here’s some of the big stuff that’s been happening in my life lately:

At the end of March, I presented my paper “Selling Nostalgia: Transmedia Storytelling in Video Game-Inspired Films” in the games studies division of the Pop Culture Association’s (PCA) National Conference in Indianapolis. I don’t have time to play many video games, so the only game series I know much about are Kingdom Hearts (my favorite), Final Fantasy, Pokemon, and Fire Emblem (such diversity in style!). Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy both have movie entries in their transmedia stories, so this paper interrogates how these series commodify nostalgia to encourage consumption of the peripheral transmedia texts. I presented to an audience of around 40 people and received GREAT feedback. I’m planning on incorporating some of that feedback and submitting the paper to a journal this summer.

When I got back into town, my 2018 ICA research team worked to finish our second manuscript and submitted it to a conference and journal. I submitted a book review to another journal around the same time, and I should have another article out to a journal in a few weeks. I also found out that I was awarded the John F. Murray Outstanding Doctoral Student—Teaching award, which honors a graduate student for their excellent work in teaching. Continue reading “Update: April 2018”

Reading “Infinite Jest”

Reading Infinite Jest feels like running a race. Sometimes it’s painful, frustrating, and hard to get through. Other times it’s a breeze. There were days I wanted to throw the book across the room and days I couldn’t put it down. Endurance is a large part of the process of reading it. I can’t say that it’s a book for everyone or that it’s an entirely enjoyable process. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read though. Continue reading “Reading “Infinite Jest””

New Award: John F. Murray Outstanding Doctoral Student—Teaching

The University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication awarded me with the John F. Murray Outstanding Doctoral Student—Teaching merit. Dr. Dan Berkowitz announced that it was given to me based on my interactions with students in my Media Uses and Effects class, my work toward a graduate certificate in college teaching (which I’ll finish this fall), and the intersections between my teaching and research. I’m thankful to the School of Journalism and Mass Communication for the award, and I’m excited to continue to develop as a teacher in the coming years.

New Position: Reviews Editor for the Journal of Communication Inquiry

I’m happy to announce that I’ll be taking over the Reviews Editor position for the Journal of Communication Inquiry beginning June 1, 2018. I’ve served on the journal’s advisory board for the past year, and it’ll be great to further my involvement with the journal. I’ll be working closely with the Managing Editor to solicit and include reviews of salient works in the critical/cultural tradition of communication research. If you’d be interested in publishing a review essay in the Journal of Communication Inquiry in the upcoming academic year, please contact me at ryan-stoldt@uiowa.edu.

Update: February 2018

This winter has been busy. Much busier than any other time in grad school. I’m working a lot of 17 hour days, but I’m really loving it. I’m enrolled in 11 hours of courses that focus on the cultural industries, using Twitter as a research tool, and pedagogy. All of these topics directly speak to my research interests or my career, so they’ve been fruitful. I have a few papers I’m writing for these classes that I’m really stoked about, so I’ll hopefully share more news about those papers going to conferences soon.

Before really diving in to those papers, I’m refining four papers for publication. Most of these essays address how new media workers or businesses manage risk. Anyone that follows my research knows that I’m particularly interested in how digital television portals approach business decisions and manage their subscription models. I’m increasingly becoming interested in how independent symbol makers (musicians not on labels, filmmakers outside of major studios, etc) address these same sorts of issues surrounding risk and labor though.

Outside of writing for school/work, most of my free time lately has been spent preparing for marriage and trying to write a new Twin Cities album. Amanda and I started moving some of her stuff up to Iowa City in January. It’s been wild. I watched the size of my vinyl collection triple and my library double in size in the past month, which was especially great because it cost me $0. As I was lazily reading all her books and listening to all her records, Amanda started creating her vision of how she wants to redecorate the apartment. So far, there hasn’t been too much we’ve disagreed on—mostly fashion vs. function arguments. Her move might actually go smoothly, which makes me even more excited for June 23 to get here.

Twin Cities has been working on new material since the release of “Missing Out On Nothing,” but I think we really starting to hit our stride with some new songs we wrote in December. As of right now, we have six or seven songs that are mostly written musically and partially written lyrically. We’re hoping to record these songs this summer and release a new album later this year. I’m also really hoping to go on tour again, but who knows if or when that’ll happen.

Perhaps the craziest thing I’ve done lately is commit to reading Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. I made a 13-week plan to finish the book between January and April using Infinite Summer‘s reading schedule as a starting place. I’m about one third of the way through the book, and it’s been one of the most challenging and rewarding reading experiences I’ve had. Wallace’s writing balances humor and humanity in a beautiful way, and I’d encourage anyone to take the time to work their way through the book. Let me know if you want my reading schedule, and I’ll happily share it.

To close off this update, I’d like to share a few other things I’ve read, watched, or listened to recently that impacted me in some way or another: Continue reading “Update: February 2018”