News & Updates

Ph.D. Candidate Mike LaRocco hired as Assistant Professor of Digital Media at Bellarmine University!!!

A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Ph.D. Candidate Mike LaRocco, who has been hired as Assistant Professor of Digital Media at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky!! Mike will defend his dissertation, “Video Camera Technology in the Digital Age: Industry Standards and the Culture of Videography,” next week and will begin teaching at Bellarmine in Fall 2018. We could not be more proud of you Mike!!

Mike Photo

Click here to read Mike’s bio and find out more about his incredible work!!

Ph.D. Candidate Emma Ben Ayoun receives VSRI Summer Grant; Eszter Zimanyi receives Research Enhancement Fellowship!

BIG CONGRATULATIONS to Ph.D. Candidates Emma Ben Ayoun and Eszter Zimanyi, who received the Visual Studies Research Institute Summer Grant and the 2018-2019 USC Research Enhancement Fellowship respectively!


Emma Ben Ayoun (pictured) will use her funding to conduct research in the United Kingdom this summer. Her dissertation bridges film studies and critical disability studies by thinking through illness and/as metaphor in global cinema. Click here to find out more about her brilliant work!

Eszter Zimanyi will use her fellowship year to conduct research in Europe. Her dissertation considers how Europe’s internal divisions during and after the Cold War have impacted the contemporary European migrant / refugee “crisis.” Click here to read her bio!

Ph.D. Candidates Stefania Marghitu and Debjani Dutta awarded Annenberg Summer Research and Travel Grants!

Congratulations to Ph.D. Candidates Stefania Marghitu and Debjani Dutta who both won USC Annenberg Summer Research and Travel Grants from the Graduate School!


Stefania will use her two Annenberg travel grants to explore the Gertrude Berg Papers at Syracuse University’s Special Collections Research Center. She will then present her findings at the Trailblazing Women On and Off Screen Conference at University of Greenwich, London. Stefania was also selected to present her work in the annual Annenberg Symposium this year, where she won another award! Her dissertation is titled “The Television Showrunner: Authorship, Agency & Identity in American Television.” Click here to read more about her incredible work!


Debjani will use her summer funding to do research in the United Kingdom. Her dissertation is titled “Tremulous Media: Nature, Technology, and the Seismic Imagination.” Click here to find out more about Debjani’s tremendous work!

Ph.D. Candidate Peter Labuza wins multiple fellowships and awards!


CONGRATULATIONS to Ph.D. Candidate Peter Labuza, who received the John E. Rovensky Fellowship in U.S. Business and Economic History, the Everett Helm Visiting Fellowship from The Lilly Library at the University of Indiana, Bloomington, and the Friends of the Libraries Award from the University of Wisconsin, Madison this year! Peter was also the first student from a Cinema Studies department since Douglas Gomery – all the way back in 1979 – to be invited to participate in the University of Illinois Business History Conference Dissertation Colloquium. Incredible!!

Click here to read more about Peter’s work

Ph.D. Candidate Şebnem Baran hired as Visiting Assistant Professor at Smith College!


A GIGANTIC CONGRATULATIONS to Ph.D. Candidate Şebnem Baran, who has been hired as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Television Studies at Smith College! Şebnem will defend her dissertation, “Whose Quality Is It?: Transnational TV Flows and Power in the Global TV Market,” in May and will join Smith’s faculty in the department of Film and Media Studies this upcoming fall. We couldn’t be prouder of you, Şebnem!!

Click here to read Şebnem’s bio and find out more about her work!

Professor Priya Jaikumar receives USC’s Mentoring Award



A VERY BIG CONGRATULATIONS to Cinema and Media Studies Associate Professor Priya Jaikumar, who just received USC’s Mentoring Award in the “Faculty Mentoring Graduate Students” category!!! Professor Jaikumar is an invaluable source of support in our department; her careful and critical reading of student work, generosity of time and encouragement, and wealth of knowledge have made a lasting impact on all of us who have the privilege of working with her. This award could not go to a more deserving person! Congratulations again, Professor Jaikumar – we are so
appreciative of all you do!!