Gendering Robots: A Class Discussion

The next research project I hope to work on looks at how people make sense of robots. I am particularly interested in how people apply gendered assumptions and attributions to robots or artificial agents, and how apply those assumptions then impact how people engage with robots. In a sense, robots have become another medium as […]

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Making Sense of Cinema Anthology

Edited by Christopher Olson (Seems Obvious to Me) and myself, Bloomsbury Academic will release Making Sense of Cinema: Empirical Studies into Film Spectators and Spectatorship on February 25, 2016. Making Sense of Cinema is an anthology collecting empirical studies that display different methods for studying real film spectators engaging with real films. Film studies has […]

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My Philosophy of Media Reception Studies

Along with my thoughts on the encoding-decoding-recoding model, what follows comes from my dissertation on gendered media engagings and describes how I consider the fundamental elements of media reception and audience studies. What are media products?       Media products are the technologies, channels and contents that constitute our understanding of what is ‘the media’. They are […]

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Problems with Perceptions in Fandom

Part of the process of understanding the phenomenon of fractured fandom is to gather stories that thematically reveal its nature, such as my ongoing analysis of how My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fans reacted to the feature film Equestria Girls and its soon-to-be sequel Rainbow Rocks.  The more stories we can gather, then the more […]

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The Oddness of Old Comic Books

(This post originally appeared on Clearance Bin Review.  I am reposting it here given my interest in studying the morality of superheroes as well as my interest in understanding how people make sense of texts as they engage with them.  I also believe there is something to be said about the importance of the nature of the […]

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Men and Their Engagements with Stereotypically Feminine Media Products

The following is an excerpt from the paper I will be presenting at the 2014 Central States Communication Association Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  This paper presents a new analysis from the data collected for my dissertation on gendered media engagings.  With the help of my undergraduate research assistant, Kevin Miller, we were able to conduct […]

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Exploring the Trauma of the Spanish Civil War at the Intersection of Fantasy and Reality

Guillermo del Toro — when he isn’t thrilling us with hellboys or kaiju — has given us some of the most intensely personal and fantastically dark films to explore how we cope with living.  In The Devil’s Backbone and Pan’s Labyrinth, according to Christopher Olson’s interpretation, del Toro is utilizing fantasy tropes to illustrate how […]

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