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Screen Cultures Graduate Student Association (SCGSA)

The Screen Cultures Graduate Student Association (SCGSA) is a group of graduate students who are committed to creating and sustaining a productive, supportive, and rewarding graduate student experience in our program. We provide a discussion forum amongst PhD students and faculty in RTVF. We have established professional development opportunities, including organizing graduate student conferences and self-led pedagogical workshops. Our mission is to create and foster a community for academic and professional growth. We are dedicated to providing opportunities for organizing, leadership, and service—not only to Screen Cultures graduate students, but also to graduate students across the university, with events that appeal to the interdisciplinary nature of our field and department.

Graduate Students

Madison Alan-Lee‘s research interests include affect, embodiment, and excess in science fiction, television, and new media. Most recently, her projects have examined the role of nostalgia and the archive in The Twilight Zone and the representation of anxiety through slime in film and on YouTube. Madison has presented work at the Gender and Women’s Studies Conference at the University of Kentucky, and at the Midwest Popular Culture Association. She holds a BA in Media Studies from the University of California, Berkeley and an MA in Screen Cultures from Northwestern University.

Benjamin Aspray’s research interests include: rhetorics of explicitness, politics of gender and sexuality, censorship, film history and criticism, game studies, comedy, and animation. He writes about popular music for Popmatters, a cultural webzine based in Evanston. He received his BA in Film and English from the University of California, Berkeley.

Simran Bhalla’s dissertation focuses on development and modernity in state and institutional films from India and Iran. Her research interests include experimental documentary media and global modernisms. Her article “Video Sensations” was published in Iran Namag. Simran has curated multiple film series, and is the interdisciplinary graduate fellow at the Block Museum of Art for 2019-2020. Previously, she worked as an editor at Elle magazine (India) and Time Out Delhi, and has contributed writing on arts and culture to various publications. She holds an MA in Screen Cultures from Northwestern and a dual BA in Film & Media Culture and Political Science from Middlebury College.

Madison Brown is primarily interested in domestic media and the politics of the personal. Soft on the autoethnographic approach, Madison uses her own home videos and family photography to theorize the relationships between contingency, familial memory, and domestic power relations. Madison holds a dual BA in English and Cinema Studies, and an MA in Cinema Studies from the University of Toronto.

Crystal Camargo research explores Latina/o representation at the intersections of television theory, linguistics, as well as critical race, ethnic, and gender studies. Her dissertation- Televising Latinidad, Hearing Racial Difference, Translating Whiteness– examines the ways that television forms, aesthetics, and style constructs and translates Latinidad on the small screen. Crystal has presented her work at Literature/Film Association, Latina/o Studies Association, Flow, as well as Queertopia and Backward Glances Student Conferences. She received her B.A. in International Studies, Spanish Language & Literature, and Gender & Women’s Studies from the University of Denver and M.A. in Screen Cultures from Northwestern. She is also a Mellon Fellow in the Comparative Race and Diaspora Cluster Program at Northwestern.

Marisela Chavez is interested in sports media and culture. Her primary research focuses on sports television, with emphasis on race, performance, and television theory. Some of her other research interests include television criticism and 1970s television, particularly work produced by Norman Lear. Marisela has presented her work at Console-ing Passions. She received a BA in Rhetoric and Media Studies from UC Berkeley and an MA in Screen Cultures from Northwestern.

Esra Cimencioglu’s research interests include transnational media, cinema of displacement, architectural theory, urban and postcolonial studies. Her dissertation focuses on the relationship between space, gender and everyday life in post-revolutionary Iranian women cinema. She received her BA in Urban and Regional Planning from Istanbul Technical University with honors, and MA in Film and Television from Istanbul Bilgi University. She worked in production and media companies in Istanbul as a production assistant and produced several short films and documentaries. She has presented her work at the conferences including Society for Cinema and Media Studies, Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa and Middle East History and Theory. She has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for her doctoral study in the United States.

Kelly Coyne studies twentieth and twenty-first century literature, film, and TV, with a focus on autofiction, gender & sexualities, trauma, and genre. Her research on these subjects has been published in Polygraph: An International Journal of Culture and Politics, Persuasions: The Jane Austen Journal On-Line, and The Journal of Popular Television. Kelly has presented her work at conferences including the Society for Cinema and Media Studies and the Northeast Modern Language Association. She also writes essays on her research interests for sites like The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Millions, Literary Hub, and The Atlantic. She holds an MA in English from Georgetown University and a dual BA in English and psychology from Bates College.

Cara Dickason’s research explores the intersection of surveillance, spectatorship, and gender in contemporary girl’s and women’s television and media. Her work on surveillance in teen girl TV has been published in the collections Mediated Girlhoods and ABC Family to Freeform TV. She previously taught English and composition at Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies, Trinity Washington University, and Prince George’s Community College. She earned her B.A. in Cinema-Television and English from the University of Southern California, and her M.A. in English from Georgetown University. She is a Mellon Cluster Fellow in Gender and Sexuality Studies and currently serving as GSS TA. She previously served as president of the Screen Cultures Graduate Student Association, and is the current Graduate Student Organization representative to the SCMS Board of Directors.

Ilana Emmett is currently working on her dissertation on the aesthetics of American daytime soap operas on radio and television from 1930 to today, with a focus on sound aesthetics. Additional research addresses the history of television programming for deaf audiences. Research interests include: sound studies, disability studies, women’s popular media, teen media, and religion and media. She has presented her work at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies and Console-ing Passions. She has a B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies from the University of Chicago and an M.A. in Film and Television Studies from the University of Warwick in the U.K. She has also worked in film and television production.

Kate Erskine. After graduating with a BA from New York University, Kate Erskine completed her MSc in Gender, Media and Culture at the London School of Economics. Kate’s research and interests are in the critical analysis of visual culture, and specifically representations of madness and themes of nationalism, surveillance and migration in contemporary television. Kate received a distinction on her graduate thesis, “Gendered States of Insecurity in Homeland.” Previously, she worked in film development for production companies based in New York, London and Shanghai.

Samantha Freeman’s dissertation examines depictions of sexual assault in contemporary television, specifically focusing on representations of race, gender and sexuality. Her dissertation aims to understand how serialized rape narratives operate under specifically gendered and racialized cultural logics in our contemporary moment which has seen a recent proliferation in these types of stories. Some of her other research interests include narratology, genre, adaptation, and feminist film theory. She has presented her work at the University of Chicago Cinema and Media Studies graduate student conference on Trauma & Melodrama and at Console-ing Passions. She received her BA in Film and Media from the University of California Berkeley and an MA in Screen Cultures from Northwestern.

Julia Peres Guimarães holds an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, an M.A. in International Relations from the Pontifical Catholic University in Rio, Brazil, and a BSc in International Relations & History from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Julia’s research investigates how cinematic texts address the fictional reproduction of patterns of normalcy, standards of deviant behavior and the medicalization/institutionalization or punishment of individuals. Her objective is to unsettle understandings of mental illnesses and their conceptual implications to the legitimization of notions of “normality” associated with local/global citizenship, and to explore the philosophical boundaries pushed by extended levels of consciousness experienced within manic episodes. Her additional research interests include feminist media, critical theory, affect studies and photography.,

Leigh Goldstein is a feminist media theorist and historian. Her dissertation, When Women Were Media, examines the relations between feminist intellectualism and network television in the mid-twentieth century US. This project has benefited from grants and fellowships from Smith College, Cornell University, UCLA and the Sexualities Project at Northwestern. Her publications include an article on sexting for Jumpcut and an analysis of TV news discourse, domesticity and affect for Critical Studies in Television. Leigh has a M.A. in Radio-Television-Film from the University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. from Columbia University in Art History.

Catherine Harrington’s dissertation examines prison media from the 1970s forward and its participation in discourses of power, technology, and subjecthood. Her scholarly work engages critical ethnic, gender and cultural studies. She has presented her work at the annual conferences of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, the American Studies Association and Console-ing Passions. Catherine holds a combined B.A. in English and Human Rights from Barnard College and an M.A. in Gender and Cultural Studies from Simmons College.

Quinn Hartman‘s dissertation, Exotic Extensions: North American Anthropology, Media Theory, and Cyber-Utopianism considers the intertwined histories of cybernetics, Cold War anthropology, and the Toronto school of media theory. It tracks how cultural anthropologists’ studies on communication influenced the work of media theorists like Marshall McLuhan, subsequently shaping the cultural ideals of technological imaginaries of American cyber-utopianism. The dissertation uncovers how the institutional, political, and cultural imperatives of the Cold War academy made their way into theories of electronic media, and thus how perilously outmoded ideas of ethnicity, nationality, cultural difference, and democracy underwrote the apparently liberatory ideals of cyber-utopianism. Quinn’s broader research areas include histories of computing and digital games; histories of American social science; queer theory and history; and critical theory. She received a BA in Cinema Studies and French from New York University and an MA in Screen Cultures from Northwestern. Quinn has presented her work at SCMS, The Society for the History of Technology, the Game History Annual Symposium, and the Historical Materialism Conference.

Lauren Herold studies LGBTQ television history in relation to the politics of race, gender, and sexuality. Her dissertation chronicles the rise of public access programming made by and for LGBTQ people and considers this programming as a televisual archive that offers insight into the structures of feelings circulating in queer communities in the 1970s-1990s. Her article “Televisual Emotional Pedagogy: AIDS, Affect, and Activism on Vito Russo’s Our Time” was recently published in Television & New Media. She has presented her work at Console-ing Passions, the American Studies Association, the National Women’s Studies Association, and the Society for Cinema & Media Studies. She holds an MA in Screen Cultures from Northwestern University and a BA in Women’s and Gender Studies from Columbia University.

Jelena Jelušić’s interests include transnational and global media, gender studies, and postcolonial theory. Her research focuses on representations of gender, nation, and history on television, with emphasis on socialist and post-socialist television cultures and industries. Jelena has presented her work at Society for Cinema and Media Studies, Film & History, and Midwest Pop Culture Association Conference. She holds a dual BA with honors in Modern Culture and Media and Comparative Literature from Brown University, and an MA in Screen Cultures from Northwestern University.

Peter Kragh Jensen’s interests include contemporary political comedy, globalization and digital culture. He holds a BA from Aarhus University in Media Studies, an MA from the University of Copenhagen in Film & Media Studies and was a visiting student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has presented his work at the annual conferences of the Cultural Studies Association and the Northeast Modern Language Association, and his research has appeared in Continuum, Trump Fiction and The Comedy Studies Reader. He has served as a peer reviewer for Continuum and Interactions. While living in Denmark he interned at The Danish Film Institute and worked for a Copenhagen media agency.

Evelyn Kreutzer is primarily interested in music on screen; TV and video history; archival and museum studies; and videographic scholarship. Her dissertation investigates uses of European classical music in American TV and video art of the Cold War era, and the taste and media discourses that surround(ed) them. She holds an M.A. in Screen Cultures and a Mellon cluster certificate in Rhetoric & Public Culture from Northwestern University. She graduated with a B.A. in American Studies and German Literature from Freie Universität Berlin and was a visiting student at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She was also a fellow at the Block Museum of Art, Evanston and has interned for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Her written and videographic work has been published or is set to appear in journals like [in]transition; NECSUS; Music, Sound, and the Moving Image; Research in Film and History Journal, and The Cine-Files. She is the winner of the 2019 Claudia Gorbman Student Writing Award, granted by the Sound & Music SIG of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies. She has presented her work at SCMS, Screen, Music & The Moving Image, among others.

Laura LaPlaca is an archivist and historian of American radio and television broadcasting. Her dissertation, “Show Rooms: Domestic Sitcom Architecture,” considers interrelationships between sitcom set design and the cultural history of American housing during the period 1929 – 1959. Laura is currently Director of Archives & Research at the National Comedy Center in New York, and has designed and implemented media preservation projects at The Library of Congress, The Warner Brothers Archives, The Paley Center for Media, and other institutions. From 2015 to 2017, she managed the Northwestern University Radio Archive Project and served on the board of the Radio Preservation Task Force. She has published and presented work on media archives, broadcast aesthetics, and the history of the sitcom genre, with her most recent work (“Radio Sitcoms: History and Preservation”) forthcoming in the Blackwell Companion to the History of Broadcasting.,

(Rita) Rongyi Lin’s research explores parallels between the figure of the flâneur and the cinematic spectator in relation to gender, public/private spaces, and modernity/postmodernity. She has written about posthumanity, transnationality, audiovisuality, and other deterritorializations across media genres including science-fiction and melodrama. Rita received her BA in English from Bryn Mawr College and MA in Screen Cultures from Northwestern University.

Nicola McCafferty is interested in examining the potential of film and music as routes to re-enchantment, with a particular interest in genres that exist at the margins of popular culture, including horror film and punk, metal, and noise music. With an eye toward affect, spectatorship, and psychoanalytic theory, she aims to study the particular types of engagement these genres invite and the ways in which the mixture of joy and disturbance they create can tap into the lost magic of the postmodern world. She is also interested in issues of identity within these genres and the inclusion/exclusion of groups and individuals within narrative, performative, and participatory spaces based on race, gender, class, and sexuality. Nicola holds a BA in Psychology from Boston College.

Carter Moulton researches media industries, fandom, and tourism. He has published on topics such as 3D cinema (CineAction), Blu-Ray “special features” (Media Fields Journal), “TV Everywhere” apps (The Popular Culture Studies Journal), midnight movies (The Routledge Companion to Cult Cinema), Hollywood’s cooption of cult fandom (The New Review of Film & Television Studies), and the convergence of nostalgia and speculation in promotional media (The International Journal of Cultural Studies). He previously taught composition and rhetorical analysis at the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee—where he received his M.A. in English and Media, Digital, and Cinema Studies. He is currently a Graduate Teaching Fellow and Teaching Consultant at the Searle Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching.

Myrna Moretti’s research interests include new media and cultural theory about consumer technology of the late 1970s to early 2000s—for example VCRs and personal computers. In particular, she is interested in the representation of this technology in media produced for women in and about the same era. Other research interests include AIDS representation and theories of memory and time. She has presented at conferences like the Society for Cinema and Media Studies and various graduate student conferences in the US and Canada. She holds an MA in Cinema Studies from the University of Toronto and a BFA in Image Arts: Film Studies from Ryerson University. She is also a documentary filmmaker with a new essay film forthcoming in Spring 2020.

Jason Nebergall studies the history and theory of alternative broadcast television in Chicago. His research focuses on artists, performers, and technicians working to produce experimental and activist television programming. He has presented his work at the SCREEN conference at the University of Glasgow, the Console-ing Passions conference at Bournemouth University, and SCMS conference in Seattle. He holds a BA in Cinema with a minor in Art History from The University of Iowa and an MA in the Humanities from The University of Chicago.

Clare Ostroski. Originally from the suburbs of Milwaukee, Clare graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with BAs in Radio-Television-Film and Culture in the Age of Globalization, with a certificate in Digital Studies. During her undergraduate career, she developed a pop culture fanaticism working as a production assistant and film programmer. Her research interests include the representation and consumption of feminine bodies in late capitalistic media, and how women exploit both masculine and post-feminist formalities to gain cultural legitimacy in media creation and criticism. She is also interested in the intersections of celebrity and text in contemporary media, and how readings of those relationships are inherently gendered.

Golden Owens‘s research examines persistent negative imagery in film, television, and new media representations of African American women. Her dissertation will explore the ways in which the mammy archetype operates and is embedded within contemporary depictions and iterations of domestic servants. Additional research interests include articulations of race, gender and sexuality in reality television and in the simultaneous centrality and periphery of Blackness in American popular culture. She has presented her work at Northwestern University’s Queertopia conference. Golden holds a B.A. in English from Bowdoin College and an M.A. in Screen Cultures from Northwestern University.

Whitney Pow writes about queer games and queer and transgender histories of software and computing. Their dissertation examines the elided histories of queer and trans software designers, queer video games and interactive art, and the relationship between queer orientations and software interaction. Whitney’s research has been generously supported by The Presidential Fellowship at Northwestern, the Sexualities Project at Northwestern’s Dissertation Fellowship, The Strong National Museum of Play’s Research Fellowship, and a two-year Research Fellowship at the University of Chicago’s Game Changer Chicago Design Lab. Whitney is also a graphic designer and game designer who makes queer games and educational board games. Their work has been published in The Velvet Light Trap. Visit Whitney’s website at

Ben Riggs writes about science on television. He has degrees from the University of New Mexico and Teachers College, Columbia University.

Kim-Anh Schreiber researches spectatorship, affect, and diasporic memory, using the tools of fiction and performance to elasticize encounters with texts. She received a BFA in Photography and Imaging from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and an MFA in Cross-Genre Writing from UC San Diego, and was a 2017-2018 participant in Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Workspace residency. Fantasy, her first book, is a cross-genre text that uses Nobuhiko Obayashi’s horror film House to think through intergenerational haunting and haunted houses, and will be published in 2020 with Sidebrow.

Karly-Lynne Scott’s research focuses on corporeality, affect and ethics, with attention to the intersection of gender, sexuality, violence and disability. Her dissertation examines moving-image pornography in relation to the different ways the body and sexuality have been understood throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, analyzing how shifts in psychoanalytic, sexological, and medico-scientific conceptualizations of the body have altered how we imagine erotically engaging with media. She is an assistant editor of World Picture and holds an MA in Cinema Studies from the University of Toronto. Her essay “Orgasms without Bodies” is forthcoming in World Picture, spring 2015.

Jennifer Smart is a first year doctoral student in the Screen Cultures program. Her primary research interests include the intersection of popular music with visual culture and performance, digital culture and new media, fan/audience studies, and the politics of taste, with additional interest in media aesthetics, intertextuality, interdisciplinary artistic collaboration, and sound studies. Her MA thesis examined the work of the visual artist Dan Graham through his engagement with music and sound. Jennifer holds BAs in History and Communications and an MA in Art History from Southern Methodist University. Previously she worked as an editor and writer at several Texas-based arts and culture publications. She continues to contribute writing on the arts to a variety of media outlets.

Ashley R. Smith is an advanced doctoral candidate whose work and research focuses on the poignant (and often uncomfortable) intersections between horror cinema, critical race theory, and cultural studies. In particular, her dissertation examines the emergence of whiteness as a destabilized, fractured, and “Othered” identity in post-1960s American horror cinema, and the social, political, and cultural changes that occurred alongside this representational shift. In addition to her investment in the cinematic macabre, she has written and presented work on topics including body horror and decay in film and photography, and the authorial influence of directors such as Stanley Kubrick and David Fincher. Ashley currently serves as a co-chair of the Horror Studies Scholarly Interest Group in the Society for Cinema and Media Studies. She received a BA in English from Rider University and holds an MA in Cinema Studies from New York University where she was awarded a Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Fellowship and received the department’s William K. Everson Award for Academic Excellence.