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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 researches the ways in which “Armenian-ness” is constructed through various media technologies (film, video, photography, and public access tv) and how these constructions complicate our ideas of world cinema and nationalism. She is particularly interested in the global diaspora formations from the late 19th/early 20th century to today, taking into consideration the Armenian Genocide and the current crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh. Her broader interests include Marxist theory, experimental/avant-garde media, and all things Cher.

Livia Maia Arantes is a Ph.D. student in Screen Cultures at Northwestern University. She writes about Brazilian Media Industries focusing on digital distribution and streaming stories. She is interested in studying who is telling Latin American stories to the world, on which terms and why, and who or what decides what a good story is. She got a master’s degree from the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil. Livia worked as a journalist for the last nine years at a public TV station in Brazil, producing and directing newscasts, talk shows, and documentaries.

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 (she/ella) is a PhD candidate at Northwestern’s Screen Cultures program in the Department of Radio/Television/Film. Her research explores Latinx representation at the intersections of television theory, language ideologies, and critical race and ethnic studies in U.S. English- and Spanish-language television. Her dissertation – Televising Latinidad, Hearing Racial Difference, Translating Whiteness – examines how television forms and aesthetics represent and translate Spanish over time. She has been published in the Journal of Cinema and Media Studies (JCMS), Flow, SCMC +, and the University of Georgia Press through an open-access textbook on Latinx Media Studies. Crystal has presented her work at the Society of Cinema and Media Studies, Latina/o Studies Association, Flow, Literature/Film Association, and Queertopia and Backward Glances Student Conferences. She served as a graduate student representative for the SCMS Latinx Caucus and has participated in the JCMS historical inequities publishing initiative. She received her BA in International Studies, Spanish Language and Literature, and Gender and Women’s Studies from the University of Denver and her MA in Screen Cultures from Northwestern. She has completed a teaching certificate from Searle Center and held a year-long competitively awarded teaching appointment with the Latina/o/x program at Northwestern from 2020-2021. She is currently a Comparative Race and Diaspora as a Mellon Cluster Fellow in Interdisciplinary Studies, an affiliate with the NU Latinx Digital Media Center, and a 2023-2024 Kaplan Scholar Graduate Assistant for the Kaplan Alice Institute for the Humanities.

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.

Kate Erskine’s research focuses on the politics and aesthetics of madness and trauma in contemporary television and digital culture. From 2021-2023, she was the research assistant for an interdisciplinary Buffett Catalyst Grant Group, and she co-organized the 2023 international conference, “Media and Mental Health: Exploring Contemporary Representations of Madness, Melancholy, and Trauma in Film and Television.” Kate is a guest lecturer with the Pritzker Pucker Studio Lab, and she has presented her work at SCMS, Visible Evidence, and Migrant Belongings, among other conferences. She holds a BA from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University and an MSc from The London School of Economics and Political Science. Kate is an alum of the Paris Program in Critical Theory and based in Paris.

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.

Kaiwen Huang explores the changing notions and ecologies of “screen” in pre-cinematic spectacles, contemporary world cinemas, and media as environment. His interests also revolve around the spatio-corporeality and gender/racial dynamics in pop cultures such as Marvel franchise, anime, K-pop, and video games. He holds an MA in Film Studies with Distinction from University College London, UK, and a Bachelor of Law in Sociology from Nankai University, China. Before coming to Northwestern, he worked for an edtech company in China.

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 a PhD candidate in the Screen Cultures program at Northwestern University with an interest in race, gender, sexuality, and the intersections of these identity categories with the category of the human. Her research focuses on representations of nonhuman women in horror and science fiction film, tv, and music video, and aims to rethink the parameters of who (and what) comes to be included under the umbrella of humanity. At Northwestern, Nicola serves as a Writing Fellow in the Graduate Writing Place and is currently the Graduate Assistant for Northwestern University Press. Nicola holds a BA in Psychology from Boston College and an MA in Screen Cultures from Northwestern University.

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 is a doctoral candidate and the 2023-2024 Office of Fellowships Graduate Assistant. Her dissertation explores how spectacles and screens materially, discursively, and historically intersect with nature and the environment. From 2021-2023, she was the Graduate Coordinator of Kaplan’s Environmental Humanities Workshop, and she is currently a Writing Fellow at The Writing Place. She holds an MA in Screen Cultures from Northwestern and a BA in Communication Arts, International Studies, and Digital Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Rachel Pittman’s research interests include nontheatrical and amateur media, subculture studies, gender and sexuality studies, fashion studies, and material cultures. She holds a B.A. in Multimedia Journalism from the University of South Carolina and an M.A. in Film Studies from the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Emmanuel Ramos-Barajas (he/him) is a doctoral student whose research delves into the impact of evolving imaging technologies and film conventions on portrayals of history on screen. His investigations focus specifically on 19th-century exploration narratives and 20th-century action-adventure films and travelogues, shedding light on how these visual mediums shape our understanding of the past. Beyond his specific research areas, his academic pursuits span a spectrum of themes including environmental media, critical theory, and visual culture studies. Moreover, his creative endeavors bridge the realms of academia, remix culture, and the digital humanities. As a research-based image maker, he navigates the intricate connections between cultural production and landscape representation, underlining the pivotal role of images in shaping collective perceptions of nature and history. Ramos-Barajas earned his BA in Film Production from The School of Theater, Film and Television at UCLA and holds an MFA in Art from the University of Illinois Chicago.

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.

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 fifth-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.

Latina Vidolova is a PhD candidate in Screen Cultures interested in industry-fan relationships, transcultural streaming, and digital cultures. Her dissertation work examines the implications of US SVODs producing and distributing Japanese anime. She holds a Masters degree from University of Texas at Austin.

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.