Served as Instructor of Course

Video Games and Culture, Summer 2018
Online undergraduate seminar, New York University

Course Description:
After a half-century of rapid development, the video game industry has become mainstream entertainment and video games have become integrated into the cultural and social fabric. In order to delve deeper into the world of gaming, this course introduces students to the emerging, interdisciplinary field of game studies, providing the opportunity to critically examine games, the video game industry, gaming culture, and gamer communities. Each week we will investigate a different aspect of video games, including but not limited to the contexts in which they emerged and evolved, the settings in which they have been played, and the discourses and practices that have determined their place in social and cultural life. We will interrogate the ways in which game worlds, culture, and community reflect and shape taken for granted attitudes, beliefs, and values in society (hegemonic constructions), particularly social issues related to the representation of gender and sexuality, minorities, violence, and the military entertainment complex. We will also consider how video games can be used for social change and have been integrated into everyday life and important social institutions to improve procedures and services.

Media Theory and Criticism, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, & Spring 2018
Undergraduate Seminar, Emerson College

Course Description:
This course examines approaches to the analysis and criticism of contemporary media. You will learn how to become critical of the media you consume and produce, and how to articulate your thoughts by drawing on a body of theories/concepts to support your opinions. Through extensive reading, writing, class discussions and screenings, you will develop not only the ability to analyze and critique media texts, but also a broader critical worldview.

There are three parts to this course:
Part I:  Introducing Media Theory & Criticism: What is it and Why Should We Care?

  • We will cover readings and engage in class discussion about the significance of media in our everyday lives and reasons to analyze it. We will also go over a brief history of media theory and criticism from humanistic and social science perspectives.

Part II: Mechanics of Media: How Do Media Produce Meaning?

  • We will cover ways media texts are analyzed and deconstructed according to their intrinsic elements. That is, constructionist methods of media analysis such as semiotics, narrative analysis, and psychoanalysis. These are the building blocks that will help you decode the meanings of a media text and provide you necessary vocabulary for doing so.

Part III: Media, Culture, and Society: Contexts of Meaning

  • We will cover cultural studies as an overarching tool for understanding issues of power and inequality as it relates to media, culture, and society. More so than the previous methods, cultural studies helps us to contextualize the meanings of media text according to its cultural, political economic, and historical contexts. We will go over fundamental concepts of ideology and hegemony, issues such as the politics of representation, social inequality and stereotyping, and how these issues affect various communities. This section will allow you to broaden your thinking about media theory and criticism to include questions of how media texts are integral to issues of social justice, diversity and inclusion, and cultural resistance.

Each part of this course will include a mix of readings, written reading reflections submitted on Canvas, class lectures and group activities, and screenings and discussion led by you and/or your peers. See below for more information about each requirement and additional assignments.

Digital Media and Culture, Spring 2017
Undergraduate seminar, Emerson College

Course Description:
This course examines the elements, practices, and potential implications of what is broadly categorized as “digital media and culture.” Over the course of the semester, we will grapple with theories, concepts, and issues that come up in readings, class discussions, and media examples and ask us to think about the artistic, economic, political, and social implications of using digital media technology to make meaning out of life.

Because this course covers a wide expanse of topics, and each day’s theme is rich enough to provide the contents of a whole course, this course offers students a sampling of important ideas and debates in the field to stimulate thought and conversation, curiosity to learn more beyond the classroom (or at least ours!), and personal initiative and independence in completing assignments. In other words, I will introduce you to a variety of contemporary studies of digital media and culture and try to give you as much flexibility as possible to pursue those you find more interesting than others in more depth.

Topics include online identity, community, and labor; digital film, TV, photography, and music; videogames and gaming culture; spreadable media; Web 2.0; virtual reality; and mobile devices and everyday life.

Social Impact of Mass Media, Spring 2015, Fall 2015
Undergraduate seminar, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Course Description:
Do media impact us? In what ways? To what extent? With what consequences? This course explores these questions, among others, by providing an overview of research in the field of media effects. We will investigate various approaches utilized to determine if, when, and how media influence viewers, listeners, readers, and users. Along the way, we will learn about and discuss prominent theories, concepts, and social issues with which media effects researchers grapple. Some of the questions we will consider include: What does it mean to grow up in a media saturated society? How does television violence impact society and individuals? Do images of race, class, gender, and sexuality in television, films, and advertisements influence our sense of self and others? Does mainstream news coverage create a more or less informed citizenry? What role does entertainment play in shaping our understanding of the world around us? How have new media technologies transformed daily life? How do people make sense of the media in their lives? The goal of this course is to expose students to theories, concepts, and empirical research that attempt to answer such questions. It also aims to instill the desire to better understand and explain the significance of media as cultural objects, texts, technologies, and practices in societies. The quest for such knowledge is often indispensible to many career paths and professions chosen by communication majors.

Consumer Culture, Summer 2014
Online undergraduate seminar, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Course Description:
It’s practically a cliché to say that we live in a ‘consumer culture,’ an observation that is often shorthand for saying that our society has become increasingly superficial and homogenized, or that we waste the leisure time and wealth that our modern economy provides for some members of our society. In this course we will unpack what it is we mean when we speak of a ‘consumer culture’ and why it matters; examine the engines of consumer culture (fashion and communicating identity through commodities); foreground the role of media and new marketing strategies in cultivating consumerism; explore the commodification of daily life; and envision projects for social change in a consumer culture. The goals of this course are:To contextualize and make contemporary news and debates about consumer culture more meaningful. To help us reflect on and understand our own experiences with “consumer culture” and identities as consumers. To provide preparation and useful knowledge for different careers in which understanding aspects of consumer culture, such as consumer behavior and preferences, the relationship between consumer culture and the media, and cycles of fashion will be an asset. To have opportunities to practice and improve upon transferable skills including reading critically, writing, small group discussion, and using new media. 

Writing as Communication, Fall 2013, Winter 2014
Undergraduate seminar, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Course Description:
Junior Year Writing became a requirement of all students at UMass in 1984 to provide the opportunity for them to engage research practices and professional writing within their discipline, field, or major. COMM 375, Writing as Communication, serves this purpose by introducing students to the writing conventions and genres related to the discipline of Communication, ranging from research papers to critical reviews. It is structured around examples from the Communication faculty, whose academic and public works demonstrate the wide range of professional writing. It also emphasizes writing as a form of communication itself, and a number of issues concerning the politics of writing and research. The primary goal of this class is to advance your critical thinking and reading skills, and to provide instruction in the research and composition techniques that are important for Communication majors. This includes familiarity with argumentative strategies and the ability to form compelling arguments; the ability to gather and properly document information that supports your points; experience with composing a well-organized, persuasive research paper; and comfort with the language and ideas that inform the discipline of Communication. You will also practice important peer review skills, and several in-class freewrite exercises.

Served as Teaching Assistant

Social Influence and Persuasion, Fall 2014
Undergraduate seminar, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Course Description:
This course examines theories and key research findings in the field of persuasion and social influence through the lens of communication. We will examine theories in social psychology to understand the underlying process of persuasion and apply this knowledge to explain how attitudes and behaviors are spread through interpersonal and mass communication.

Introduction to Media and Culture, Fall 2014
Undergraduate lecture course, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Course Description:
An introduction to the social role of mass media in advanced industrial Western societies, focusing on how relationships between mass communications and the surrounding economic framework affect cultural, political, and ideological processes in society. An examination of social and historical contexts within which newspapers, radio, and television developed and how they are structured with attention to both the domestic and international implications of treating mass media as just another industry.

Communication Inquiry, Spring 2013
Undergraduate seminar, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Course Description:
This course is designed to allow you to engage with the methods of qualitative and quantitative research, to examine the possible research questions different methods allow, to understand both the limits and the potential of various methods, to be able to conceptualize and execute a research project and apply its methods, and also to reflect on the role of Communication research and the ways it helps us to know ourselves and to know the world. 

Media History and Communication Policy, Fall 2012
Undergraduate lecture course, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Course Description:
The purpose of this course is to examine media development and communication policies that have influenced their use.  Students will:   (1) Explore the technical, political, economic, and cultural approaches that have influenced theemergence and growth of electronic media, (2) Broadly examine their social force, and (3) Historically situate different electronic forms from the telegraph and telephone, to broadcast technologies, satellites, cell phones, and the Internet.