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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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”
I will be presenting my paper “’They can now be seen’: Netflix and the cost of transnational audiences for independent film producers” at the University of Wisconsin for the annual Big 10 Mini Conference. This paper explores Netflix’s (and partially Amazon’s) 2016 and 2017 presence at major independent film festivals. By acquiring films at these festivals, these streaming video portals provide independent producers a chance to reach global audiences while simultaneously profiting off of their work.
Brian Ekdale, Melissa Tully, Mariah Wellman, and I launched a research group during my first semester at the University of Iowa. We blended our interest in production, global media, travel, blogging, and social media to start an on-going project that explores how travel influencers and destination marketing organizations work together, which includes questions about the ethics of disclosure, the negotiation of labor and compensation practices, and much more. The first paper our research group produced, entitled “Bridging the Gap: Influencers, Destination Marketers, and Intermediaries in the Changing Travel and Tourism Media Industry,” was accepted into the 68th annual International Communication Association conference taking place in Prague, Czech Republic in May. Brian and Melissa will be presenting the paper, so the picture at the top of this post was basically meant as self-torture since I can’t attend the conference.
Here’s the abstract for the paper: Continue reading “Conference Presentation: Bridging the Gap”
Reading takes up the majority of your time as a Ph.D. student. There is a seemingly endless amount to read for class, for research projects, and for building the general knowledge needed to succeed in the field. Throughout the first year of my Ph.D. program, I felt overwhelmed by the idea that I should be doing more reading (at least academic material) and writing outside of my courses. As I’ve adjusted to the strains of the program, I’ve found a reading schedule that works well for me.
I decided to track a Steven Soderbergh-esque media diet that focused on the books, televisions, movies, video games, and podcasts that I consumed over the past year. I chose these media because they contained a full story or an important section of a story. This lists only contains media I finished consuming and doesn’t have any media I quit partway through. The “S” at the end of each television show stands for a complete season consumed. The podcasts on this list are self-contained stories. This doesn’t include the many podcasts I listen to weekly. Overall, I watched 41 films, 51 seasons/arcs of television series, and read 62 books. Continue reading “2017 Media Diet”