BiographyI am a scholar and media maker working in the area of critical media practice. My research engages ongoing transformations in everyday and amateur media production, intervening in academic, intrapersonal, community, commercial, and activist contexts. In my community-based research and teaching I seek to blur distinctions between theory and practice, using collaboration as a way to understand the contemporary use of digital audiovisual technologies in pedagogical and social contexts. I am particularly interested in studying discourses of media empowerment in relation to the institutional structures and intersubjective dynamics that are shaping the contemporary media production of people at the margins.
My book, Producing Queer Youth: The Paradox of Digital Media Empowerment combines participatory action research with queer youth media makers in San Diego along with textual analysis of youth-produced videos to examine how queer youth media producers negotiate the structural conditions of funding and publicity and incorporate digital self-representations into practices of identity management. This research emerges out of my involvement with teen video producers in two programs that I have directed: Girls Empowered to Make Movies (sponsored by The Girl Scouts of America) and Changing Reels, a media workshop for San Diego queer youth. Also forthcoming from Routledge is my co-edited volume with Ron Krabill called Feminist Interventions in Participatory Media: Pedagogy, Publics, Practice, which will provide theoretical, creative, and practical strategies for integrating technology, social change, media activism, and/or praxis into teaching or community work.
My latest research project is a collaboration with medical anthropologist Nora Kenworthy on a project that has been funded by the Simpson Center for the Humanities and the Royalty Research Fund called Producing a Worthy Illness: The Visual, Moral, and Financial Economies of Crowdfunding for Health Crises. This research brings health studies, visual culture studies, and the digital humanities into closer conversation in an innovative, interdisciplinary, multi-staged research study that investigates how in the face of a broken healthcare system, Americans are engaging with participatory media in order to solicit new forms of care and support.
An important facet of my public scholarship is my role as co-curator of Los Angeles Filmforum's Festival of (In)Appropriation, an international traveling showcase of contemporary, short audiovisual works that appropriate existing film, video, or other media and repurpose it in “inappropriate” and inventive ways.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
Media studies, digital media, youth, gender and sexuality studies, queer studies, cultural studies, health communication, pedagogy