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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.

Student Funding Opportunities

Graduate Students

Maddie Alan-Lee is a doctoral candidate in Screen Cultures at Northwestern University and the 2022-2023 Graduate Assistant for the Office of Fellowships. Her dissertation focuses on contemporary genres of networked video and imagery, including Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR), slime videos, and #oddlysatisfying, placing them in conversation with digital media artworks that engage and critique these popular aesthetic forms. She holds an MA in Screen Cultures from Northwestern University and a BA in Media Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.

Tatiana Anoushian is interested in the ways in which “Armenian-ness” is constructed through various media technologies (film, video, photography, and digital/social media) and how these constructions complicate our ideas of world cinema and nationalism, particularly through the complex relationship between diaspora and stateside expressions of Armenian-ness. Her broader interests include experimental/avant-garde media, critical theory, archival studies, and activist media in the Global South.

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.

Madison Brown studies amateur media cultures through theories of affect, domesticity, and everyday life. Her dissertation analyzes enactments of agency and identity in the familial home video archive as alternative modes of history-making and self-inscription in personal and cultural memory. Her research and pedagogy privilege the personal as a site of inquiry, mode of investigation, and discursive framework for sharing lived experience. 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 is a cultural historian of film, television, and literature, with an emphasis on genre, gender and sexuality, and critical theory. Her dissertation examines how late 20th and early 21st century depictions of friendship in visual and literary texts evolved alongside movements for women’s and LGBTQ rights. She has presented at SCMS and MLA, among other places, and her work has appeared in Polygraph: An International Journal of Culture and Politics, Persuasions: The Jane Austen Journal On-Line, The Journal of Popular Television, and the anthology Screening American Nostalgia. She also writes essays on her research interests for sites like Vulture, The Los Angeles Review of Books, 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.

Kate Erskine’s research focuses on the politics and aesthetics of madness and trauma in contemporary television and digital culture. From 2021-22, she held a research assistantship with the Buffett Institute for Global Affairs, and she is currently the research assistant for a Buffett Catalyst Grant Group, as well as a guest lecturer for the Pritzker Pucker Studio Lab. Erskine received her BA at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University and holds a masters from The London School of Economics and Political Science. She is currently based in Paris, where she is a fellow with the Paris Program in Critical Theory.

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.

Diana Funez focuses on questions of media obsolescence, embodied spectatorship, home video nostalgia, and material cultures. Through her work on analog video collections and representations of spectatorship in streaming TV, she aims to rethink the legacy of obsolete or “useless” formats in contemporary digital spectatorship. Diana holds a dual B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and French from the University of Chicago and an M.A. in Screen Cultures from Northwestern University.

Demetrius Green is a first year doctoral student from Cairo, Illinois. His research interests include the intersection of hip-hop, race, identity, audio and visual production and digital media. He earned his BA in Radio-Television & Digital Media with a specialization in audio production from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and his MA in Film and Media Studies from the University of Kansas. Alongside his academic career, Demetrius has extensive experience in audio production as a hip-hop DJ & producer having worked with notable brands and names such as Sirius XM Radio, SXSW and Adidas.

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.,

Imani Harris studies Black iconicity, primarily as it relates to Black women and Black queer hip-hop artists in the twenty-first century. Her research interrogates how these artists create and curate aesthetics, self-adornment practices, subgenres, and other aspects of performance to disturb notions of respectability and ideal citizenship. Her research interests also include comic studies, digital Black feminisms, DIY culture, fan studies, platformization, and queer of color critique. Imani graduated from The Ohio State University with a BA in English and a concentration in Creative Writing. She also held dual minors in Film Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. In addition to her academic work, Imani is a spoken word poet and emcee with audio and visual production experience.

Peter Kragh Jensen’s interests include contemporary political comedy, right-wing nationalism 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, the Northeast Modern Language Association and Screen. His research has appeared in Continuum, Trump Fiction and The Comedy Studies Reader. He has served as a peer reviewer for Continuum and Interactions. Before coming to Northwestern, he interned at The Danish Film Institute and worked for a Copenhagen media agency.

Rita Rongyi Lin is a doctoral candidate whose research explores the intersection of gender, spectatorship, and urban space in cinema through the figure of the flâneuse as both a subject of representation and a mode of female spectatorship. Working across divergent national, historical, and theoretical contexts as well as tropes of the flâneuse including the fallen woman, the sleepwalker, and the (im)migrant, her dissertation considers the structures of desire and identification for gendered and ethnicized subjects, and other ways of relating to an image than rapture, such as distraction, disorientation, and disavowal. She also writes about spatial production, “new” media, and transcultural exchanges more broadly, with an article forthcoming in the December 2021 issue of tba: Journal of Art, Media, and Visual Culture. In her spare time, she likes to watch kpop and think about plastic orientalism and affective economies in the age of digital globalization. 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.

Myrna Moretti researches the intersection of emerging technology, gender, and everyday life in popular culture of the 1980s and 1990s. She has presented her work at SCMS, Screen, Console-ing Passions, and the Society for the History of Technology, among other conferences in the US and Canada. Myrna is also a filmmaker with a focus on documentary and experimental video. At Northwestern, she has worked as one of the Gender & Sexuality Studies Teaching Assistants and as a Graduate Fellow at the Writing Place. She is one of the grad reps for SCMS’ Media, Science, and Technology Studies Scholarly Interest Group. She holds an MA from the University of Toronto and a BFA from Toronto Metropolitan University.

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’s dissertation imagines ecological collapse through destabilizing notions of media as human- centered and technological, offering the concept of “media encounter” as a useful tool for understanding environments as ruinous. She is the Graduate Coordinator of the Kaplan Environmental Humanities Research Workshop and holds an MA in Screen Cultures from Northwestern and a dual BA in Communication Arts and International Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Golden Marie Owens is a PhD candidate in the Screen Cultures program at Northwestern University and the recipient of a 2022 Ford Dissertation Completion Fellowship and 2022 MMUF Dissertation Grant. Her research interests include artificial intelligence, popular memory, and representations of race and gender in American media and popular culture. Her dissertation, “Mechanical Maids: Digital Assistants, Domestic Spaces, and the Spectre(s) of Black Women’s Labor,” examines how intelligent virtual assistants such as Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa evoke and are haunted by Black women slaves, servants, and houseworkers in the United States.

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

Rita Rongyi Lin researches transnational cinemas, new media aesthetics, spatial practices, affect, gender studies, and critical race theory. Her dissertation examines feminine spectatorship in/of cinema as dysfunctional elsewheres through tropes like the fallen woman and the sleepwalker with a focus on the Sinophone world. Since the start of the pandemic, she has also taken to watching and writing about K-pop. She is a teaching assistant in the Gender and Sexuality Studies program at Northwestern for academic year 2022-2023. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in tba: Journal of Art, Media, and Visual Culture and the Velvet Light Trap. Rita received her BA in English from Bryn Mawr College and MA in Screen Cultures from Northwestern University.

Sarah Sachar is interested in filmic encounters with the obsolete and their potential to rattle and reconfigure contemporary forms of image consumption. Her undergraduate honors thesis considered how surreal traces in film disrupt the alienated experience of looking in late-stage capitalism. She holds a BA in Comparative Literature, Spanish, and the College Scholar Program from Cornell University.

Kim-Anh Schreiber is a doctoral candidate whose research interests include histories and theories of emerging media and diasporic aesthetics. She is the author of the cross-genre novel Fantasy (Sidebrow 2020), and her interdisciplinary writing has been published or exhibited in outlets such as Feminist Media Histories, Literary Hub, BitchThe Brooklyn Rail, and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. She holds an MFA in Writing from UC San Diego, and was a 2017-2018 participant in Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Workspace residency. She currently serves on the programming committee of the San Diego Asian Film Festival and is a 2021-2022 Global Impacts Graduate Fellow at the Buffett Institute for Global Affairs.

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.

Tayler Scriber is interested in the exploration of critical race theory and the rhetoric of televised violence.  Her previous research projects have touched on the history of Blackness and film in the United States as well as the critical engagement of black film audiences and the effects that their minoritarian position can have on their viewing experiences. She wants to continue this critical exploration by looking more deeply at the function of depictions of black trauma in the context of American storytelling in film. In addition to that, she is also interested in the historical exploration of public policies that have created the conditions of the relationship between media and race in the United States. While having a vested interest in these topics she is also interested in exploring horror, science fiction, film theory and criticism, and sexuality and gender studies. She received her Bachelors in Sociological Perspectives on Film from Whittier College.

Jennifer Smart is a fourth-year doctoral candidate in the Screen Cultures program. She works at the intersection of media studies, experimental music, and visual art. Her dissertation project, “Sound in Art: Museum Audio in the Age of Ubiquitous Sound,” examines the variety of ways in which sound and music have been exhibited in the visual art museum.

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.

Kylie R. Walters is interested in the visual-cultural analysis of petroleum. More generally she is interested in media and the environment, architecture, and cultural theory. She holds an MPhil in Film and Screen Studies from the University of Cambridge and a BA in German Studies and Global Studies with a minor in Creative Writing from Colby College.

Ana Yoo’s research focuses on issues of spectatorship and digital cultural flow in South Korean television, media, and popular culture. She is especially interested in how digital streaming and web comic platforms have influenced cultural production in East Asia. Her past projects have examined parasociality and metatextuality in the Korean drama, Search: WWW, and some current projects include a comprehensive survey of the history of Korean television dramas and a study on the dynamics between global and local OTT (over-the-top) services in Korea. Ana received her BA in Film Studies from Emory University and MA in Cinema and Media Studies from The University of Chicago.