• Academic,  Highlights,  Publications

    New Article: Indonesia’s English-Language Press

    Last year John Carpenter, a PhD student in the School of Journalism & Mass Communication, asked if I would be interested in working with him on a project about English-language journalists in Indonesia. John had just spent six weeks in Jakarta observing and interviewing journalists and editors at privately owned news organizations that publish in the English language. John’s interest in English-language journalism in countries where English is not the primary language meshed well with my interest in global imaginaries. The result of our collaboration is an exploration of how English-language journalists conceive of public service when their audience is local, regional and global. The resulting manuscript, “Service at the Intersection of…

  • Academic,  Highlights,  Kenya,  Publications

    New Article: Music Videos, Global Imaginaries and Frictions

    As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been studying Kenyan music videos. My first article from this research project, “Global frictions and the production of locality in Kenya’s music video industry,” was just published online at Media, Culture & Society. I’m really excited about this piece, and I hope that it will be useful to other scholars of global media. The article’s main contribution is an analytical framework for studying global cultural production. Here are the main points: People feel a sense of belonging with those outside their direct proximity. This is illustrated nicely by Benedict Anderson’s book Imagined Communities and also by Charles Taylor’s book Modern Social Imaginaries. Within the context of globalization, Manfred Steger and others…

  • Academic,  Highlights,  Kenya,  Publications

    New Article: Participatory Culture in Kenya

    Melissa Tully and I have a new article out in Critical Studies in Media Communication about the one and only Makmende. If you’re not familiar with Makmende, you should watch this video immediately. Melissa and I were both in Kenya doing research on other topics when Makmende became the hot topic online and in public. The video and the resulting meme caught our attention. If Kenyan bloggers and international news organizations like the Wall Street Journal and CNN were discussing Makmende as Kenya’s first internet sensation, we wanted to know why this video, why now, and what does this all say about contemporary Kenya? Our article, “Makmende Amerudi: Kenya’s Collective Reimagining…

  • Highlights,  Kenya

    A History of Kibera

    Before I first visited Kibera in 2008, I started tracking down books, newspaper articles, and journal articles to learn more about Kibera’s history. During this search, I found a couple of real gems. For instance, Timothy Parson’s article “Kibra is Our Blood” offers an excellent account of Kibera’s history from its founding until Kenyan independence in 1963, focusing particularly on the fascinating relationship between British military authorities and Kibera’s first Nubian settlers. But I also found that most accounts of Kibera’s past are quite brief. Plus, there is little out there that discusses Kibera’s tremendous growth from independence until the present. So in the past 2+ years, I’ve continued to…