As usual, I’ve given myself a pretty strict reading schedule for this summer. I’ll be working through these, a chapter a day, while working on my dissertation proposal, working on journal articles, and managing the Journal of Communication Inquiry. Here’s what I’m planning to get through this summer:

  • Millennial Monsters by Anne Allison
  • Modernity at Large by Arjun Appadurai
  • Playing to the Crowd by Nancy Baym
  • Artificial Unintelligence by Meredith Broussard
  • The Rise of Network Society by Manuel Castells
  • Spotify Teardown by Maria Erickson
  • Automating Inequality by Virginia Eubanks
  • Weaving the Dark Web by Rob Gehl
  • The Constitution of Society by Anthony Giddens
  • The Conditions of Postmodernity by David Harvey
  • The Qualified Self by Lee Humphreys
  • How We Became Post-Human by N. Katherine Hayles
  • Nine Algorithms That Changed the Future by John MacCormick
  • Weapons of Math Destruction by Cathy O’Neal
  • The Procrastination Economy by Ethan Tussey
  • Violence by Slavoj Zizek

For fun, I’ve been working my way through His Dark Materials (can’t wait for the HBO adaptation now), Tinkerings by Paul Harding, The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer, The Rap Yearbook by Shea Serrano, and City On Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg.

My article “Professionalizing and Profiting: The Rise of Intermediaries in the Social Media Influencer Industry” was published last month in Social Media and Society. This study examines the relationship between travel influencers (e.g., bloggers and social media personalities) and destination marketers within the changing travel and tourism industry. Through in-depth interviews, observations, and document analysis, we explore the tensions between travel influencers and destination marketers that shape the way travel is promoted, labor is compensated, and professional structures are negotiated. We examine a new breed of travel and tourism worker—intermediaries who seek to professionalize and formalize the relationship between influencers and destination marketers while simultaneously solidifying their own role within the industry. Intermediaries promote and facilitate relationships based on structured flexibility—formalized agreements designed to satisfy a brand’s campaign goals yet open enough for influencers to pursue their unique needs. By examining the relationships between digital content creators, destination marketers, and third-party intermediaries, this article provides insight into how digital media industries negotiate the tension between participation and control.

Book reviews have become a good friend during my PhD program. They help decide what books are worth spending the time to read fully, contextualize what conversations the book joins, and usefully summarize some of the key arguments of the books (and often where to find them within the book). The Media Industries Journal recently published my review of Courtney Brannon Donoghue’s Localising Hollywood, a book exploring the practices and strategies of Hollywood’s distribution of films globally. Read the review here.

I started tracking my daily media usage last year. It doesn’t include everything (academic articles, podcasts, social media usage, etc.), but it includes a lot. In 2018, I watched more than 50 seasons of television, nearly 100 movies, and read about 100 books. You have to have someway to de-stress after a busy year of work. Click here to see my top 10 lists of music, movies, and television from 2018. Otherwise, here’s my full 2018 media diet:

Continue reading “2018 Media Diet”

It’s time for my comprehensive exams in my Ph.D. program, meaning I get to spend the next few months reading non-stop. I’ve decided to share my comprehensive exam lists in the interest of helping anyone looking for resources to understand digital media industries and culture. A.J Christian undertook a similar task in 2010 because he had difficulty finding lists in media industry studies, and things haven’t changed much.

The following lists provide a non-comprehensive account of key issues in each of my five comprehensive exam areas (Digital media studies; global media industry studies; labor, participation, and exploitation; neo-Marxist cultural theory; and qualitative methods. Because each section of my comprehensive exams focuses on a unique area, it would take years to read through everything written on the topics.

Continue reading “Comprehensive Exams Reading Lists”

I’m excited to announce I’ll be teaching two courses this fall at the University of Iowa—Journalistic Reporting and Writing as well as Multimedia Storytelling. These co-requisite classes work together to teach journalism undergraduate how to tell stories effectively across a variety of media.

Journalistic Reporting and Writing teaches students the fundamentals of journalistic practice, ranging from the ethics of journalism to interviewing skills to writing different styles of news stories (features, investigative, etc.).

Multimedia Storytelling works with Journalistic Reporting and Writing to help students produce stories that expand beyond their writing. Students are expected to produce audio, audiovisual, and photo stories for the class that pair with their written story for Journalistic Reporting and Writing. You can learn more about this class on its website.