Roundtable Presenters

Ahmed Alrawi

Pennsylvania State University

Ahmed Alrawi is a Ph.D. student at the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications, Pennsylvania State University. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of Communications at Al-Mansour University in Baghdad, Iraq, where he majored in telecommunications engineering. Additionally, he earned another bachelor’s degree in telecommunications before he achieved his master’s degree in media studies, both from the Bellisario College of Communications, Pennsylvania State University.

Alrawi’s research interest focuses on global media/communications laws and policies, telecommunications policies, emerging technology, broadband policy and deployment, critical political economy, critical theory, qualitative and quantitative research methods, and law research. His research offers theoretical contributions in terms of law, policy, and regulation concerning emerging technological, economic, and broadband policy and deployment in the fields of telecommunications and media industry, not only in the U.S. but also internationally, such as in the Middle East and China, South Korea, and Russia.

Alrawi’s current research focuses on the following two areas: first, broadband policy and deployment in the Middle East, specifically in the Arab Gulf countries, and in South Korea, China, and the U.S.; second, the intersection between the legal and the economic issues resulting from state surveillance in China and Russia through the use of new telecommunications technology and software-based apps.

Alrawi’s work has been published in well-known journals, including Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly and Mass Communication and Society, and in conferences, including the ICA Conference, the AEJMC Conference, and the TPRC.

Alrawi is fluent in Arabic, Turkish, and English and conversant in French. He has won multiple awards including, but not limited to, the Sidney and Helen Friedman Endowed Award and the Graduate School Endowment Award at the Pennsylvania State University.

Bizaa Zeynab Ali

New School For Social Research, New York University

Bizaa Zeynab Ali is a Teaching Fellow and Doctoral Student at The New School for Social Research and New York University. Her research focuses on asymmetric inequalities in the field of global cultural production, with an emphasis on the ways in which the digital platform economy is shaping public discourse about the digital commons.

Simran Bhalla

University of Southern California

Simran Bhalla is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. She received her PhD in Screen Cultures from Northwestern University in 2021. Her research interests include state-sponsored and institutional films from India and Iran, global modernisms, and architecture and design in postcolonial film and television. She has published in Iran Namag and the Journal of Cinema and Media Studies, and curated film series on Arab, Indian, and Iranian cinemas.

Stephen N. Borunda

University of California at Santa Bárbara

Stephen N. Borunda is a Chancellor’s Fellow and Ph.D. candidate in film and media studies at UC Santa Bárbara. His research focuses on the role of deserts across the Americas as laboratories for modernity’s media and energy infrastructures—particularly focusing on nuclearity in the Chihuahuan Desert in New Mexico and copper and lithium extraction in the Atacama Desert in Chile. His scholarly interests include the energy humanities, the desert humanities, desert sensing media, Latinx and Latin American cinema and media studies, critical infrastructure studies, media and the environment, political culture and revolutionary imagination, and the intersections of media and coloniality. His work has been published with Media+Environment, global-e, Film Matters, The Santiago Times, Media Fields (upcoming), and the upcoming Bloomsbury edited volume Adjudicating Climate Change: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. He was the recipient of the 2022 Graduate Student Essay Award for the SCMS “Media and the Environment Scholarly Interest Group” for his writing on activist media in New Mexico in response to nuclear colonialism. Stephen’s most recent short film, Boost: A Stop Motion Story, screened at the Festival Internacional de Cine de Valdivia in 2019. He is the coordinating editor of the cutting-edge UC Press journal Media+Environment.

Tony Cho

University of California at San Diego

Tony Cho is a second-year PhD student at UC San Diego’s Communication and Science Studies program. His work examines the decommissioning process of US military bases in South Korea as an accumulation of practices that makes productive the work of uneven development. He is broadly interested in the political ecology of militarized landscapes, and how it relates to the construction of modernity in relation to and as a result of imperial occupation.

Prior to PhD studies, Tony was a practicing artist and designer in Seoul. He runs a design and research lab called Slow Futures Laboratory which runs a series of workshops and exhibitions for artists and designers interested in experimental design practices oriented toward ecological critiques of urban environments. Their works have been exhibited in international venues like the Venice Biennale of Architecture.

Yasemin Y. Celikkol

Northwestern University in Qatar

Yasemin Y. Celikkol studies global communication with an emphasis on transnational media, geopolitics, and culture. She is the Inaugural Global Postdoctoral Scholar at Northwestern University in Qatar. Her research interests concern globalized Turkish TV series, as well as fashion hegemony, and epistemic justice. Her work has appeared in various outlets, including the International Journal of Communication and the International Journal of Cultural Studies. Her books and articles have also been published in Turkey and Japan. Celikkol pursued her education in Bulgaria, the US, and Japan. She holds a BA in Politics from New York University, an MA in Language Education from International Christian University in Tokyo; an MS in Intercultural Communication, and an MA and PhD in Communication from University of Pennsylvania. Celikkol is multilingual (Bulgarian, Turkish, Japanese, Russian, etc.). She tweets @yaseminyusufoff.

Daniella Gáti

New York University Shanghai

Daniella Gáti (he/she/they) is Clinical Assistant Professor in the Writing Program at NYU Shanghai. Her work examines digital platforms, algorithms, games, and social media, asking how digital worlds create and shape social formations, discourses, and identities. Employing cross-cultural, decolonial, and queer frameworks, Daniella interrogates how technology informs culture, and how cultural critique can be brought to bear on technology to create more equitable futures. Daniella’s book project in progress is a comparative analysis of quotidian digital platforms and their inhabitants in the USA and China, and argues that digital studies has been too uniform in taking Western digital architectures as an implicit benchmark for “the” digital world. Their writings have appeared in Eludamos: Journal for Computer Game Culture, Information and Culture, and The Faulkner Journal.

Veronika Hermann

Eötvös Loránd

Veronika Hermann is Assistant Professor in the Department of Media and Communication at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, Hungary. She holds MA degrees in Hungarian Literature, Comparative Literature and Media Studies, and obtained her PhD in Literary and Cultural Studies in 2015. Her research interest covers Cold War popular culture, contemporary and 20th century Eastern European popular culture, relations between socialism and nationalism, and structures of social history in literary and media texts. She has publications and she lectures in Hungarian and English. Her first book Identity politics in literature was published in 2020.

Seung-hoon Jeong

California State University Long Beach

Seung-hoon Jeong is Assistant Professor of Film and Electronic Arts at California State University Long Beach. A former film critic in South Korea, he joined CSULB after working as an assistant professor at New York University Abu Dhabi and has held a visiting professorship at Columbia University and a few Korean universities. He has worked on film theory and critical issues through diverse films, focusing on global cinema related to multiculturalism, abjection, catastrophe, and networking with biopolitical, ethical, and psychoanalytic philosophies. Jeong received Korea’s Cine21 Film Criticism Award (2003) and the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Dissertation Award (2012). He wrote Cinematic Interfaces: Film Theory after New Media (Routledge, 2013), co-translated Jacques Derrida’s Acts of Literature into Korean (Moonji, 2013), co-edited The Global Auteur: The Politics of Authorship in 21st Century Cinema (Bloomsbury, 2016), guest-edited the special double issue of Studies in the Humanities titled “Global East Asian Cinema: Abjection and Agency” (2019), co-edited Thomas Elsaesser’s posthumous book The Mind-Game Film: Distributed Agency, Time Travel, and Productive Pathology (Routledge, 2021), and wrote Biopolitical Ethics in Global Cinema (Oxford University Press, forthcoming in 2023).

Ennuri Jo

University of Southern California

Ennuri Jo is a cinema and media studies scholar with an expertise in film theory, early cinema, and experimental film and time-based media, and a strong interest in ecocriticism, philosophy of technology, and theories of difference. Drawing from critical Black thought, posthumanism, theories of film and media, and ecocriticism, her first project and book-in-progress “Aqueous image: cinema and the rhetoric of water at the end of the world” considers water as an epistemological figure in the history of world cinema that gives us new perspectives on the experience of the film image, the relationship between nature and technology, and our understanding of the climate crisis and the Anthropocene. Through examining literary, visual, and philosophical narratives of water, “Aqueous Image” argues that cinema articulates a new technological relationship between the human and the more-than-human world that responds to ecocriticism and radical Black thought today. Ennuri has shared her work at the Society of Cinema and Media Studies conferences, published in the journal Spectator, and worked as former managing editor at Discourse. Currently at USC, she successfully defended her dissertation in December of 2022: she is patiently waiting for May 2023 for her doctoral degree.

Sima Kokotović

Concorida University

Sima Kokotović is a PhD candidate in Film and Moving Image Studies program at Concordia University, in Montreal. He researches intersections of film cultures and leftist politics in the global context. With the dissertation, Cinematic Solidarities: Cinema Amidst Global Vistas of Struggle, he reconceptualizes the category of cinematic solidarities to describe how filmmakers and film cultural workers devised new modes of political engagement in response to a wave of global uprisings in the 2010s. His work has been published in Screen, Synoptique, and Canadian-American Slavic Studies, among other places. With MediaLabour collective, he has been invested in researching and organizing at the point of intersection between academic and labour in the so-called creative economies. In Montreal, he organized “Cinema in the Midst of Struggle,” as well as “Politics of Alternative Media,” projects aimed at fostering the exchange of ideas about grassroots, non-commercial and emancipatory practices using media as instruments of mobilization, empowerment, and community building. In Belgrade, he contributes to educational programs of “Self-educational University Svetozar Marković.”

Madison Mellon

University of Southern California

Madison Mellon is a second year MA student at the University of Southern California in the Cinema and Media Studies department. Her primary research area is in queer media, with a focus on young adult television and animation. She is also interested in fandom studies, and in examining the ways in which queer fans interact with media. Finally, she has also written about the impact of social media on the relationship between creators and fans, and how these emerging platforms often facilitate the exploitation of marginalized fan communities. Madison has had a book review published in animation: an interdisciplinary journal and has also created several video essays on the history of animation, specifically the use of queer coding and tropes in the 1930s and 40s. Outside of academia, she is a designer and visual artist, and has built puppets for and directed several theatrical productions.

Nisarg P. (નિસર્ગ પી.)

University of Southern California

Nisarg P. [નિસર્ગ પી.] is a second-year Ph.D. student in Comparative Studies in Literature and Culture program at USC. A South Asianist by training, he works at the intersection of 20th-century French thought and the histories of visual cultures of colonial and post-colonial India.

Jaana Serres

University of Groningen

Jaana Serres is a media anthropologist with a focus on the Nigerian entertainment industry. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher in Media, Cultural Industries & Society at the University of Groningen. From 2018 to 2022, she was the Ioma Evans-Pritchard scholar in the social anthropology of Africa at Oxford University, where she completed her PhD on the global boom of Nigerian music in the wake of digitalization. Jaana is also a member of the FASOPO (Fonds d’Analyse des Sociétés Politiques) research network on African cultural industries, funded by the French Development Agency. Prior to her academic career, she practiced law in New York, London and Paris, where she advised African governments and multilateral institutions, among others.

Amal Shafek

University of Texas at Dallas

Amal Shafek is a PhD candidate in humanities at the University of Texas at Dallas. Her dissertation investigates the representations of rape of Muslim and Arab women in transnational feminist documentaries after 9/11 and offers her own first-person documentary narrative on rape to dispel the myth of the monolithic Arab and Muslim woman archetype. Moreover, Shafek’s work focuses on the psychological healing potentials of first-person documentary filmmaking. Her research interest includes transnational feminisms, Arab feminisms, feminist film studies, food studies, trauma studies, and digital humanities. She is currently working on a book chapter on transnational feminism in film with focus on the case study of Between Women Filmmakers Caravan, an Egypt-based film collaborative. Shafek also teaches Transnational Cinema at the University of Texas at Dallas.

Yidong (Steven) Wang

University of Kansas

Yidong (Steven) Wang is a media and communication researcher who works with marginalized communities to reimagine inclusive, equitable social infrastructures. His research intersects with communication ecology, civic engagement, digital technology, public humanities, and queer theory. Currently, he studies how LGBTQ communities in different cultural contexts navigate emergent media spaces, sustain social networks, and make sense of discourses of identity and healing. His works on queer advocacy in China, localist media in Hong Kong, platform governance and queer fandoms, and community-centered journalism have been published in peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes. Wang has professional training in journalism and experience in consulting on media and community engagement. He works as the community liaison researcher on the Stories for All project to curate social justice-oriented digital storytelling projects, evaluate their community impacts, and cultivate partnerships. He received the Advocate of the Year Award from the OutReach LGBTQ+ Community Center. Wang holds a PhD degree in mass communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is the Digital and Public Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Kansas.

Yilan Wang

Brooklyn Law School

Yilan Wang is a third-year law school student from Brooklyn Law School. Wang concentrates her legal study on the entertainment and media law area and is an active member of the New York City Bar Association, Entertainment Law Committee. She focused her research on free expression, human rights, copyright, and trademark issues in the film, music, television, sports, and social media industries. She worked as a film producer, TV drama assistant producer, and international content distributor in China before pursuing a career in law. She builds her expertise in film production, financing, distribution, and merchandizing by successfully producing and distributing five films within two years. Her experience supervising the pre-production and post-production content censorship procedures for movies and television dramas has given her a practical and complete understanding of China's content censorship standards and procedures. Her professional experience in international content distribution exposed her to multiple cultural contexts, allowing her to leverage emerging media spaces and advocate for underrepresented communities with appropriate advertising regimes.

William Lafi Youmans

George Washington University

William Lafi Youmans is an Associate Professor at George Washington University's School of Media and Public Affairs. He is the director of the Institute of Public Diplomacy and Global Communication at GWU.Broadly interested in questions of transnationalism, power and communication, his primary research interests include media industries, technology, and Diasporic political engagement. Youmans wrote a book, Unlikely Audience: Al Jazeera's Struggle in America (Oxford UP), about the Qatari news network's efforts to gain a share of the news market in the United States. He is currently working on two long-term projects. The first is a documentary film about Alex Odeh, a Palestinian American activist who was assassinated in Orange County, CA in 1985. The crime is unsolved and still haunts the local community to this day. The second is a major video archive he is building of “Arab American TV (AATV)”, a program that ran out of Los Angeles from the early 1980s to the early 2000s.

FengYi Yin

Temple University

FengYi Yin is a doctoral student at the Lew Klein College of Media and Communication at Temple University. She holds a master’s degree in Journalism and Communication from Chongqing University in China. Her main research interests are global communication and communication for development and social change. She has been working on projects like analyzing media discourses and global power dynamics around Chinese development projects in Africa, and engaging with Habermas’s critical social theory to analyze social problems that emerged in Chinese society after decades of development. She is a member of the Klein Media and Psychophysiology Lab (KMAP) and a certified media psychophysiology technician. She has worked on a theoretical piece on embodied cognition in communication science, which is currently under review. She served as a co-editor of the Information, Communication, and Society special issue of papers presented at the 2022 ASA meetings. Prior to her doctoral study, she worked for the UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa in Zimbabwe and the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science in the Arab States in Egypt as a sponsored trainee.

Nansong Zhou

New York University

Nansong Zhou is a Master’s student in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University. His research interests are centered around platform capitalism, computing history, and the global media industry, with a particular focus on the game industry. Zhou takes a historical, critical, and cultural approach to understanding ICT systems and industries, always taking into account their geopolitical and historical contexts.

As an international student from China, he has had the opportunity to explore different media industries from both the Eastern and Western perspectives, as well as to compare the structures and power dynamics of capitalist and postsocialist societies. This unique perspective allows Zhou to analyze and uncover existing inequalities in the global media industry. Zhou is committed to pursuing a deeper understanding of the complexities of media and technology, and to bringing attention to the ways in which these industries shape our cultural and social lives in a global context.

Tinghao Zhou

University of California at Santa Barbara

Tinghao Zhou is a third-year Ph.D. student in Film and Media Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). He received his MA in Film and Media Studies from Columbia University and he completed his bachelor’s degrees in English and Economics in China. His current research interests include environmental media studies, critical infrastructure studies, ocean humanities, modern visual culture, and digital culture in East Asia and beyond. His dissertation project will look at the multi-scalar interactions and entangled relationships between critical media infrastructures and local environments at multiple so-called "peripheral" sites in China. His writing will be published by Media-N and he is working for Journal of Media + Environment as the managing translator. He had also worked with Prof. Lisa Parks at the Global Media Technologies and Cultures (GMTaC) Lab at UCSB.

Moderators and Plenary Speakers

Listed in Alphabetic Order

Tupur Chatterjee

University College Dublin

Tupur Chatterjee is an Assistant Professor in Global Film and Media at the School of English, Drama, and Film at University College Dublin. Her research interests include global media cultures, media industries, media architectures, streaming platforms, and feminist media studies. Her work has been published in journals like the International Journal of Cultural Studies, Feminist Media Studies, South Asian Popular Culture, Porn Studies, and Synoptique. She is currently working on her first book, Projecting Desire: Media Architectures and Moviegoing in Urban India.

Feng-Mei Hereber

New York University

Feng-Mei Heberer is Assistant Professor in Cinema Studies at New York University. Her research spans transnational media, ethnic studies, feminist and queer studies, with particular focus on Asian diasporic media cultures. Her work has appeared, among others, in Camera Obscura, Sexualities, and the edited volume Asian Video Cultures. Her book, Asians On Demand: Mediating Race in Video Art and Activism, is forthcoming from the University of Minnesota Press (September 2023). Complementing her academic work, she has been a programmer for several film festivals, including the Asian Film Festival Berlin.

Hatim El-Hibri

George Mason University

Hatim El-Hibri is Assistant Professor of Film and Media Studies at George Mason University, where he is also affiliated with the programs in Cultural Studies and Middle East and Islamic Studies. He earned his Ph.D. in Media, Culture, and Communication from New York University, and previously was a faculty member at the Media Studies Program at the American University of Beirut. His first book, Visions of Beirut: The Urban Life of Media Infrastructure, was published by Duke University Press in 2021.

Heather Jaber

Northwestern University at Qatar

Heather Jaber is an assistant professor in residence with a joint appointment across Communication and Liberal Arts Programs at Northwestern University at Qatar. She received her PhD in communication from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and holds an MA in media studies from the American University of Beirut. Jaber’s research examines digital and popular culture, affect and emotion, and geopolitics. She examines the affects that sustain national imaginaries in the MENA by analyzing digital performances which unsettle or repair them.

Rahul Mukherjee

University of Pennsylvania

Rahul Mukherjee is Dick Wolf Associate Professor of Television and New Media in the Department of English and the Cinema and Media Studies program at University of Pennsylvania. His monograph Radiant Infrastructures: Media, Environment, and Cultures of Uncertainty (Duke University Press 2020) examines debates related to radiation emitting technologies such as cell antennas and nuclear reactors. Rahul is currently working on a second book project Unlimited: Aspirational Politics and Mobile Media Distribution (under contract with MIT Press). He has published papers in journals like Science, Technology & Human Values, New Media & Society, and recently co-edited a special issue related to Media Power in Digital Asia for Media, Culture & Society.

Celeste Wagner

University of Florida

Celeste Wagner (she/her) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Journalism at the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida. She obtained a Ph.D. in Communication from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, where she also obtained an MA in Communication. Previously, she received a Licenciatura (BA) in Communication from Universidad de San Andrés in Argentina.

She studies media reception and influence around social and political issues, particularly intersecting gender inequalities in the Americas. Methodologically, she mainly draws from qualitative interviewing methods and comparative approaches, as well as surveys and experiments. Fieldwork for her research has been conducted in Argentina and the United States.

Among other appointments, she is a faculty affiliate at the Center for Latinx Digital Media at Northwestern University; a member of the organizing committee of the “Media & Communication in Global Latinidades” Pre-Conference at ICA; a member of the Board of Advisors at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication and is part of Digital Journalism’s Editorial Board. Her research has been published at Journal of Communication, Digital Journalism, International Journal of Communication, Journalism, Media, Culture & Society, Latin American Perspectives, among others.

Chenshu Zhou

University of Pennsylvania

Chenshu Zhou (she/her) is Assistant Professor of Cinema Studies in the History of Art Department and the Cinema and Media Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her PhD from Stanford University in 2016. Prior to joining the faculty at Penn, she held postdoctoral teaching positions at NYU Shanghai and Stanford University. Zhou’s research explores a variety of questions related to the moving images, in particular spectatorship, exhibition, and temporality. She is the author of Cinema Off Screen: Moviegoing in Socialist China (University of California Press, 2021), which received the 2022 Best First Book Award from the Society of Cinema and Media Studies. Her writings have appeared in postions: asia critique and Journal of Chinese Cinemas among others and will be featured in two forthcoming edited volumes Teaching Chinese Film and Oxford Handbook of Chinese Digital Media.

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