Assistant Professor, University of Iowa

Kenya

New Article: Music Videos, Global Imaginaries and Frictions

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 […]

New Article: Touring Slums and Telling Stories (About Ourselves)

New Article: Touring Slums and Telling Stories (About Ourselves)

Five years ago, when wrapping up fieldwork in Kibera, I blogged about the controversy surrounding slum tourism. While many Kibera residents resent the fact that so many foreigners tour their community, a few told me they believed there would be less misunderstanding if more outsiders visited Kibera. In a previous […]

Economic Ingenuity among Nairobi’s Poor

Economic Ingenuity among Nairobi’s Poor

A recent story in the The Standard details the various ways Nairobi’s low-income earners maximize their earning potential and spending power. The article, “How Thriving ‘Reject Economy’ is Allowing the Poor to Live High Life of the Rich,” by Dominic Omondi looks beyond the “Dollar a Day” trope to reveal […]

New Article: Twitter Hashtags in Kenya

New Article: Twitter Hashtags in Kenya

Melissa Tully and I are excited to be included in the latest issue of Information Technologies & International Development. It is a special issue about expanding the domain of ICT4D research to consider leisure and other non-utilitarian activities. As the guest editors Payal Arora and Nimmi Rangaswamy explain in […]

A Primer on Kenyan Music Videos

A Primer on Kenyan Music Videos

I’m working on a new research project that examines music video production in Kenya. In June, I was able to spend a few weeks in Nairobi interviewing several music video directors (and a few others: assistants, musicians, DJs, etc.). I’ll write more about this project in the future, […]

New Article: Taking on the Kibera Discourse

New Article: Taking on the Kibera Discourse

Before I visited Kibera for the first time in 2009, I tried to read and watch as much as I could to better understand the community. Much of what I consumed was from international news and academic journals, which largely focused on health, crime, and […]

New Article: Researcher Identity in Ethnographic Study

New Article: Researcher Identity in Ethnographic Study

I recently published an article in Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture that considers the place of identity in ethnographic research. Stemming from my dissertation research on community media in Nairobi’s slums, I wanted to do some self-reflection to consider how my identity was used strategically (by […]

New Article: Participatory Culture in Kenya

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 […]

New Article: Community Journalism in Kibera

New Article: Community Journalism in Kibera

I have a new article in Journalism Practice about the difficulties of doing community journalism in places like Kibera. The article is titled “‘I Wish They Knew that We are Doing This for Them’: Participation and resistance in African community journalism” and will appear in an upcoming […]

New Chapter: Media Authorship in Kibera

New Chapter: Media Authorship in Kibera

I’m beyond excited to have a chapter in the new volume A Companion to Media Authorship, edited by Jonathan Gray and Derek Johnson. The chapter, “Telling Whose Stories? Re-examining Author Agency in Self-Representational Media in the Slums of Nairobi,” offers an overview of the work I did for my […]