Conference Presentation: Netflix and Independent Media Producers

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.

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Conference Presentation: Bridging the Gap

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 Beyond Class Requirements During Your Ph.D.

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.

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2017 Media Diet

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”

Conference Presentation: Nostalgia, Transmedia Storytelling, and Kingdom Hearts

There are few stories I enjoy more in the world than the Kingdom Hearts franchise. The games have always been fun, the stories have grown increasingly complex, and I really appreciate how much Square Enix and Disney mess with fans by seemingly releasing each game on a new video game system (the games have now been released on PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and iOS/Android). When Square Enix and Disney released Kingdom Hearts 2.8 earlier this year, I was struck by the strangeness of releasing a feature length film on a PlayStation 4 disc. In my paper, “Selling Nostalgia: Selling Nostalgia: Transmedia Storytelling in Video Game-Inspired Films,” I theorize that this distribution model nostalgically connects the movie and video game to consumers both temporally and spatially (sensorially) through this release method. This distribution model both encourages consumption of the film and provides an alternate release format for Square Enix to fund their films, which have historically struggled financially. This paper was recently accepted to the game studies division of the Popular Culture Association’s National Conference in Indianapolis March 2018. Continue reading “Conference Presentation: Nostalgia, Transmedia Storytelling, and Kingdom Hearts”

Service Update: Graduate Student Senate

I volunteered to represent the graduate students from the school of journalism and mass communication in the University of Iowa’s Graduate Student Senate. As a senator, I have two main responsibilities. First, I attend monthly meetings that detail a variety of institutional occurrences that affect graduate students. Second, I am required to serve on a committee within the Graduate Student Senate. I will be working with the Graduate Student Teaching committee. Previous iterations of the committee found that grad students felt undertrained before entering the classroom for the first time, so our goal is to develop a program aimed to help graduate teaching assistants get more training for their teaching. While there are many wonderful services at the University of Iowa that offer training for faculty, grad students, and more, we’re aiming to supplement these services by working to cater toward the schedules of grad students.