Constellations – Speaker Bios

PATRICIA CICCONE, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Patricia Ciccone is currently a PhD student and Annenberg Fellow in Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Southern California. Drawing from a wide variety of theoretical fields, her research is concerned with the visual and discursive organization of affect in social environments, and explores how different screens operate to construct and distribute different forms of power. She holds a MA in Film Studies from Concordia University and a MLIS degree from UCLA. Ciccone also curates moving image events in Montreal and Los Angeles and performs as Patty Booboo in the art collective Donzelle.

DEBJANI DUTTA, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Debjani Dutta is a doctoral candidate in Cinema and Media Studies at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, and holds the Andrew W. Mellon Humanities in a Digital World Fellowship (2018-20). She received graduate training in Sociology and Film Studies from the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, and has previously worked for the Korean Cultural Centre India as a film programmer. Her current research connects the aesthetic and philosophical concerns raised by the movement of the earth to the visual and avisual movements of cinema and media. Her work places the scientific instrument of the seismograph within the late 19th century landscape of media technologies that transformed sensory and spatio-temporal perception.

YASMINE ESPERT, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

Yasmine Espert is from Columbia University’s Department of Art History and Archaeology, where she recently defended her dissertation The Cinema of Social Dreamers: Artists and Their Imaginations Return to the Caribbean. For this conference, she will present new work on the scholar-artist, archives and cartography. Yasmine was the former editor of sx visualities, a Small Axe Project and co-curator (with Holly Bynoe) of Metanoia: Practices of Exhaustion. She was the Graduate Fellow for the Digital Black Atlantic Project, a working group supported by the Center for the Study of Social Difference at Columbia University. Her research and writing has been commissioned by the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Museum of Modern Art’s Museum Research Consortium, and Self-Knowledge: A History. Support for her work includes a Mellon Humanities International Travel Fellowship and a Fulbright research grant. Yasmine is Visiting Professor of Art History in the Department of Art & Visual Culture at Spelman College.

ANASTASIA HOWE BUKOWSKI, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Anastasia Howe Bukowski is a doctoral student at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Her research interests attend to the relationships between public access television, artists’ use of television, community video practices, and HIV/AIDS activism, all with an emphasis upon the regional context of Los Angeles. Her writing has been published in The FADER, Canadian Art, GARAGE Magazine, KAPSULA Magazine, and Celebrity Studies (forthcoming), among other outlets.

JENNIFER JEONG, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Yu Jin (Jennifer) Jeong is a second-year student pursuing a masters degree in cinema and media studies at the University of Southern California, School of Cinematic Arts. She received a bachelor’s degree in media studies and economics from University of California, Berkeley with a minor in History of Art. She is interested in global television and musical films, and has presented her paper “The Greatest Showman: The Musical as the Greatest Genre in the Formation of Audience Expectations” at the 2019 Music and the Moving Image conference.

ENNURI JO, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

AARON KATZEMAN, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, IRVINE

Aaron Katzeman is a Ph.D. student in Visual Studies with an emphasis in Global Studies at the University of California, Irvine, where he recently helped form the Climate Futures Collective graduate reading group. His research interests include modern and contemporary art, infrastructure, land art, cultural geography, climate change, socially engaged art, postcolonialism, and environmental justice. He has presented his work both locally and internationally at conferences held by the California American Studies Association, the College Art Association (forthcoming), and at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Aaron has worked in numerous capacities at a number of art institutions, including the Honolulu Museum of Art and the Orange County Museum of Art. He graduated with a B.A. in Art History and a certificate in Environmental Studies from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in 2018.

DAN LARK, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Dan Lark is a PhD student in cinema and media studies in the School of Cinematic Arts at The University of Southern California. He received his B.A. in anthropology from SUNY Buffalo in 2013. Dan’s research interests include web platforms and video games, digital media theory, ethnography, and the social production of media. His proposed dissertation topic is an ethnography of video game designers.

KANIKA LAWTON, UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO

Kanika Lawton is a MA student at the University of Toronto’s Cinema Studies Institute, where her thesis focused on corporeality, subjectivity, and female doubles in psychological horror films. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a Minor in Film Studies from the University of British Columbia, where she was an editor with the UBC Undergraduate Film Student Association. Outside of film, she is the Editor-In-Chief of L’Éphémère Review, a multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, and a 2018 Pink Door fellow.

LAUREN LEVITT, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Lauren Levitt is a PhD candidate in Communication at the USC, where she is pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Gender and Sexuality Studies. Lauren in interested in the relationship between politics and culture, both broadly defined, and her ethnographic dissertation project examines the alternative kinship structures and economic practices of sex workers and sex workers’ rights activists in New York and Los Angeles. Lauren has published an article on Paris Is Burning and RuPaul’s Drag Race in Interventions Journal, the journal of Columbia University’s Graduate Program in Modern Art, and a chapter on Batman and the aesthetics of camp in the anthology Sontag and the Camp Aesthetic: Advancing New Perspectives. She also has a chapter comparing sex work and gig work in the forthcoming anthology Gig Economy: Workers and Media in the Age of Convergence and a chapter on the Hunger Games and the dystopian imagination in the forthcoming anthology Pop Culture and the Civic Imagination: Case Studies of Social Change.

ISABELLE LYNCH, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA

Isabelle Lynch is a doctoral candidate in History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania where she is specializing in contemporary time-based art including film, video, dance, and performance. Previously, she studied Art History at McGill University and Philosophy at the University of Ottawa and has worked at numerous arts institutions including Vancouver’s Presentation House Gallery, the Art Museum at the University of Toronto, the National Gallery of Canada, and the Icelandic Art Center. 

ROSE ROWSON, BROWN UNIVERSITY

Rose Rowson is a PhD student in the Modern Culture and Media department at Brown University. She has a BA from the Slade School of Fine Art and a research MA in Media Studies from the University of Amsterdam, where she wrote her thesis on magical writing practices in digital culture. Rowson’s research is broadly concerned with moments of clash and cohesion between modes of data collection/processing and narrative formation. She is currently working on projects about modern astrology in digital culture, and the personal computer and/as baby. Her book chapter “Repost or Die: Ritual Magic and User Generated Deities on Instagram” in Believing in Bits: Digital Media and the Supernatural (eds. Simone Natale and Diana Palsulka) is forthcoming from Oxford University Press.

KUN XIAN SHEN, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES

Kun Xian Shen is currently a PhD student at the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at UCLA. Previously, he studied at UC Berkeley as an exchange student, and graduated from National Taiwan University with a master’s degree. He is now interested in the media environments during the late Cold War period, with a focus on film, popular music, and dancehall in Sinophone communities across Asia (China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore). His recent projects include the transmission of disco music from the US to Taiwan, the postcolonial discourses in Taiwan’s film community in the 1990s, and the role of Asia Pacific Film Festival in the construction of various national film industries in Asia.  

MAGGIE WANDER, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA CRUZ

Maggie Wander is a PhD Candidate in Visual Studies at the University of California Santa Cruz. Her dissertation project looks at contemporary artists in Oceania who interrogate the representation of colonized peoples and places of the region in the context of ecological devastation. She has presented her work internationally at conferences including the College Art Association and the European Society of Oceanists. Her writing has been published in The Contemporary Pacific, Commonwealth Essays and Studies, and Media Fields Journal (forthcoming). Maggie is also the Assistant Managing Editor of Refract: An Open Access Visual Studies Journal

LINGYU WANG, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY

Lingyu graduated from University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in Film Studies and B.S. in Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, and he is currently pursuing M.A. in Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University. His current research examines digital media as archives and as socio-political—especially bio-political—apparatuses to construct public memories, accounts of the past, and senses of truth and justice. Focusing mainly on public issues in China, he hopes to further discuss possibilities of constructing public sphere over the digital infrastructure in an “illiberal” and scarred society. Besides research works,Lingyu also works on creative theory-practice projects that discuss similar topics while reflecting on visual culture and politics of visibility.

JESSICA YANG, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Jing Xian (Jessica) Yang is a second year Masters student in the Cinema and Media Studies department at the University of Southern California. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of British Columbia, double majoring in Psychology and Film Studies. Her research interests include fandom, YouTube, and audience research.