Associate Professor, University of Iowa

Recent Posts

CFP: Globalization and Popular Culture (Midwest Popular Culture Association)

CFP: Globalization and Popular Culture (Midwest Popular Culture Association)

Globalization and Popular Culture Midwest Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Conference Oct. 1-3, 2010 Minneapolis, MN Submission Deadline: April 30, 2010 The Globalization area of the Midwest PCA/ACA invites papers/panels with theoretical, critical and empirical approaches to the study of popular culture on the global […]

Megaslumming Book Launch/Panel Discussion

Megaslumming Book Launch/Panel Discussion

A few days ago I attended the launch party for Megaslumming: A Journey Through Sub-Saharan Africa’s Largest Shantytown by Adam W. Parsons (you can download a free PDF of the book here). The author spent some time in Kibera as part of a larger book […]

Recommended Readings

Recommended Readings

Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve added any updates. This has been a semester full of reading and preparing for my preliminary exams. Now that I’ve passed (yay!) and I’m officially a doctoral candidate, I’m getting ready to head to Kenya to start my 7 months of dissertation fieldwork. Before I take off, I thought I would give a shoutout to some of my favorite books from my prelim reading lists. Here is one from each of my five lists:

  • Producing Public Television, Producing Public Culture by Barry Dornfeld. Dornfeld conducts one of the few in-depth media production ethnographies out there. He rejects the critical view that media producers are conduits of corporate ideologies and argues they are active agents working within particular structural constraints.
  • Hybridity, Or the Cultural Logic of Globalization by Marwan Kraidy. Kraidy’s “critical transculturalism” tries to balance the critical and cultural approaches to international media studies. Kraidy is quickly becoming one of my favorite communication researchers.
  • Justice, Nature, and the Geography of Difference by David Harvey. I’ll admit I was dreading this book at first. A few years back I read Harvey’s The Condition of Postmodernity and found it intriguing, but a bit of a difficult read. So I was pleasantly surprised to see how readable (besides impassioned, thoughtful, and interesting) this book was.
  • Reading National Geographic by Catherine Lutz & Jane Collins. I don’t know why I hadn’t read this book earlier. One of the things I appreciate most is the authors study all three phases of media: production, text, and reception. Each section is empirically rich and well argued, providing a really complete study.
  • Burying SM by David William Cohen & E. S. Atieno Odhiambo. The authors take a story about the death of a Luo lawyer in Nairobi and the ensuing legal battles that sought to determined his proper burial “home” to explore a series tensions in contemporary Kenyan society. The narrative is so compelling, you forget you’re learning about gender, ethnicity and rural-urban relations.
Nairobi Links

Nairobi Links

It’s my last week in Nairobi, and it’s been a great two months. I really look forward to coming back in December and settling into Nairobi life for 6-7 months while doing my dissertation research. But before I go, I just wanted to send a […]

Article in Africa Today

Article in Africa Today

An article I co-authored with Jo Ellen Fair, Melissa Tully and Rabiu Asante was just published in Africa Today, an interdisciplinary journal of African Studies. The article, titled “Crafting lifestyles in urban Africa: Young Ghanaians in the world of online friendship” examines young, urban Ghanaians […]

Summer in Kenya

Summer in Kenya

I’ll be spending all of June and July 2009 in Kenya doing predissertation research through the UW-Madison Global Studies Scott Kloeck-Jenson travel grant. I’ll be working with Hot Sun Foundation, who does work in Kibera, and hopefully some other local orgs. I’ll keep you posted on info and links as I get them.

Paper accepted at AEJMC

Paper accepted at AEJMC

My paper “Balancing the Mediasphere: Bias and Legitimacy in Alternative Labor Radio” was just accepted by the Cultural and Critical Studies Division at Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication 2009 Conference. It’ll be in Boston in August right after I get back from […]

In the beginning…

In the beginning…

I’ve decided to test out using WordPress rather than coding out a webpage. I was never really happy with designs I made and found I wanted to redo my website every six months. This time, the redesigning is super easy, so I’ll focus on trying […]