Future Tripping Biographies

Alex Champlin studies spectator videogaming as an emergent media phenomenon. His work focuses on the conjunction of televisual broadcast production and videogame play, particularly the way play and game cultures shift as games become broadcast texts. He focuses on esports, videogame livestreaming, and Let’s Play media. Alex is a PhD candidate in the Department of Film and Media Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara

Alenda Y. Chang is an Assistant Professor in Film and Media Studies at UC Santa Barbara. With a multidisciplinary background in biology, literature, and film, she specializes in merging ecocritical theory with the analysis of contemporary media. Her writing has been featured in Ant Spider Bee, Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, Qui Parle, Sustainable Media, and electronic book review, and her current book project Playing Nature develops ecological frameworks for understanding and designing digital games. She also maintains the Growing Games blog as a resource for researchers in game and ecomedia studies and the environmental humanities.

Danielle Christianson is a postdoctoral fellow in Earth & Environmental Sciences and Computational Science at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. She completed her Ph.D. at UC Berkeley in the Energy & Resources Group, studying microclimate: how vegetation responds to it; how it may occur in a warmer future; and how it scales up to climate represented at coarser spatial and temporal scales that are commonly used in models. She seeks new techniques to illustrate often-forgotten, yet fundamental dependencies between human society and the natural world, as well as new techniques to explain complex science concepts. One such technique is terrestrial laser scanning (also known as LIDAR), which she used to create a 3-D model of her ecological study site in the Sierra Nevada. Before studying at Berkeley, she worked at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory designing miniature chemical sensors for extraterrestrial life detection on Mars and Europa. She then studied natural history with retired UC Riverside herbarium founder, Oscar F. Clarke, and later worked in the Marin Headlands for Laurie Koteen on effects of invasive grasses on carbon and water cycling. Christianson also co-authored “Flora of the Santa Ana River and Environs,” an innovative field guide to the plants occurring in the major Southern Californian watershed.

Jeremy Douglass is an Assistant Professor of English at University of California, Santa Barbara, where he directs Transcriptions, a center for research in literature, culture, media, and the digital humanities. Douglass currently conducts research on interactive narrative, electronic poetry, and games, with a particular focus on applying the methods of software studies, critical code studies, and information visualization to the analysis of digital texts. Douglass been supported by agencies including the NEH Office of Digital Humanities, MacArthur Foundation, Mellon Foundation, ACLS, Calit2, HASTAC, and NERSC.

Elaine Gan is a Mellon Fellow in Digital Humanities at University of Southern California and is affiliated with Media Arts + Practice, Anthropology, and Visual Studies. She recently co-edited an anthology, Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet: Ghosts and Monsters of the Anthropocene (Minnesota, 2017); convened a seminar series, Feral Technologies for Anthropocene Curriculum on the Technosphere at HKW Berlin (2016-7); and co-curated an artscience exhibition, DUMP! Multispecies Making and Unmaking at Kunsthal Aarhus (2015). Gan is interested in mapping worlds otherwise. Her transdisciplinary practice combines methods from art, science, and digital/environmental humanities to study the timing and temporal coordinations of more-than-human socialities.

Summer Gray is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at UC Santa Barbara, where she teaches courses on infrastructure, adaptation, and the environment. She is also a founding member of the Climate Justice Project at UC Santa Barbara and a DIY filmmaker. Prior to joining the Environmental Studies Program in 2017, she was a UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at UC Santa Cruz. Summer’s research is focused on connecting practices of shoreline stabilization with the emerging and uneven geographies of sea change, especially in low-lying countries and island nations. Her work highlights the lived experiences of coastal communities throughout the world facing the threat of sea change and the unintended consequences of coastal development and sand mining.

Daniel Grinberg is completing his PhD in the Department of Film and Media Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Beginning in August, he will be the Postdoctoral Fellow at the Annenberg School for Communication’s Center for Media at Risk at the University of Pennsylvania. His research concerns the intersections of documentary media and Freedom of Information Act disclosures, and how these archival forms negotiate histories of war, security, and surveillance. His writing has appeared in journals such as Studies in Documentary Film, Jump Cut, Surveillance & Society, and the Journal of War and Culture Studies, and is forthcoming in Media, War and Conflict; Media, Culture & Society; and Cinema Journal.

Lisa Han is a PhD candidate in Film and Media Studies at UC Santa Barbara. Her research interests revolve around the intersections between the environmental humanities, STS, and media infrastructure studies. Her dissertation examines the mediation of seabed landscapes in relation to extraction and excavation, and the shared data and media infrastructures between scientists, industry contractors, and community members. This includes, in particular, sonar-based imaging, simulation, and sampling done in the service of drilling, mining, and nautical archaeology

Intae Hwang is a researcher and product designer. He holds an MFA in sculpture, and an MFA in Art and Technology Studies and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Media Arts and Technology at UCSB. His dissertation research uses virtual reality technology to analyze the painting style of the 18th-century Korean painter, Jeong Seon. He also works as a lab assistant and game developer in the Wireframe studio.

 Elizabeth Losh is an Associate Professor of English and American Studies at William & Mary with a specialization in New Media Ecologies. Before coming to William and Mary, she directed the Culture, Art, and Technology Program at the University of California, San Diego.  She is a core member and former co-facilitator of the feminist technology collective FemTechNet, which offers a Distributed Open Collaborative Course, a blogger for Digital Media and Learning Central, and part of the international organizing team of The Selfie Course.  She currently serves on the Executive Council of the Modern Language Association.

She is the is the author of Virtualpolitik: An Electronic History of Government Media-Making in a Time of War, Scandal, Disaster, Miscommunication, and Mistakes (MIT Press, 2009) and The War on Learning: Gaining Ground in the Digital University (MIT Press, 2014). She is the co-author of the comic book textbook Understanding Rhetoric: A Graphic Guide to Writing (Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2013; second edition, 2017) with Jonathan Alexander. She published the edited collection MOOCs and Their Afterlives: Experiments in Scale and Access in Higher Education with the University of Chicago in 2017.

She is co-editor of a forthcoming volume on feminist digital humanities from the University of Minnesota Press and author of a forthcoming book on the hashtag as a cultural object from Bloomsbury. Her current work-in-progress focuses on ubiquitous computing in the White House in the Obama and Trump administrations. She has also written a number of frequently cited essays about communities that produce, consume, and circulate online video, videogames, digital photographs, text postings, and programming code in journal articles and edited collections from MIT Press, Routledge, Springer, University of Chicago, Minnesota, Oxford, Continuum, University of Alabama, University of Pittsburgh, and many other presses. Much of this body of work concerns the legitimation of political institutions through visual evidence, representations of war and violence in global news, and discourses about human rights.

Christina McPhee’s work is in the museum collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New Museum-Rhizome Artbase, and International Center for Photography, New York; Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City; and Thresholds New Media Collection, Scotland. Solo museum exhibitions include the American University Museum, Washington, D.C., and Bildmuseet, Umeå, Sweden. She has participated in group exhibitions, notably with documenta 12 (Magazine Project), Bucharest Biennial 3, Museum of Modern Art Medellin, Bildmuseet Umea, Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive, California Museum of Photography/Digital Studio, and the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), London. Born in Pomona, California in 1954, she studied at Scripps College, Claremont and Kansas City Art Institute (BFA); she was a student of Philip Guston during his last year of life and teaching, at Boston University (MFA painting 1979).  She has taught at Kansas City Art Institute and the University of California-Santa Cruz in the Digital Arts and New Media MFA program. In 2012, she won a MAP Fund for Performance grant with Pamela Z, for the production of Carbon Song Cycle, which premiered at Berkeley Art Museum / Pacific Film Archive and at Roulette, Brooklyn, in 2013.  She lives and works in California.

Christina McPhee: A Commonplace Book is a new book, published in October 2017 by Punctum Books. As ‘commonplace book’ this monograph contains essays and interviews from international critics, art historians, curators and artists, including Ina Blom, Judith Rodenbeck, Frazer Ward, Melissa Potter, James MacDevitt, Esztar Timár, and Phil King.

Melody Jue is Assistant Professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research and teaching interests concern oceans & the environmental humanities, American literature, digital media & media theory, science fiction, science & technology studies, and the relation between theory and practice. She completed her Ph.D. in the Graduate Program in Literature at Duke University, where she was a recipient of the Katherine Goodman Stern Dissertation Completion Fellowship and James B. Duke Graduate Fellowship. Prior to this, she worked as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant at the Open University of Hong Kong. Melody has published articles in Grey Room, Animations: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Green Planets: Ecology and Science Fiction, and has forthcoming work in Size & Scale in Literature and Culture. Drawing on the experience of becoming a scuba diver (supported by two Summer Research Fellowships from the Duke Graduate School), her current book project concerns how the ocean shifts our understanding of critical terms in media theory through its conditions of movement, erasure, and dissolution, and how this new understanding might be brought to bear on questions of cultural preservation and environmental justice.

Marcos Novak holds a joint appointment in the Department of Art and the Media Art and Technology graduate program. He is a pioneer in the field of virtual architecture. His articles on virtual reality and the time-space digital continuum have been translated into numerous languages (Japanese, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, etc.). Prior to UCSB he taught at UCLA, University of Texas, Austin, Ohio State University and lectured internationally. He is the founder of the “TransArchitectures” events (conferences and exhibitions). He represented Greece at the Venice Biennale 2000 and has exhibited his work in numerous digital media exhibitions.

Giorgina Paiella is a second-year Ph.D. student in the English department at UCSB. Her research interests include the long eighteenth century, digital humanities, literature and the mind, science fiction, and gender studies, with a particular focus on the intersection of gender and automation and AI.

Susana Ruiz’s scholarly and creative work is concerned with how the intersection of art practice, game/playful design, and digital storytelling can enable new approaches to social activism, aesthetics, and public pedagogy. Ruiz’s work is collaborative, interdisciplinary, and takes the hybrid form of intertwined theory and practice. The cinematic and the playful drive their practice and the humanistic and the collaborative drive their process. Her research interests include “serious,” documentary, and “art” games; ubiquitous and locative experience design; animation; modes of transmedia storytelling, production and activism; game-based learning; empathic, value-centric and participatory design; and the artistic application of theories of social justice such as anti-oppression, intersectionalism, narrative power analysis, and ethical spectacle.

Much of Ruiz’s work takes place via the studio they co-founded, Take Action Games (TAG), which has an evolving portfolio situated at the confluence of game design, participatory culture, social justice, and transmedia storytelling. TAG’s accolades include the Games For Change Audience Award, the Adobe MAX Award for Social Responsibility, Honoree status in the Webby Award Activism Category, and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ prestigious Governors Award as part of the mtvU Sudan transmedia campaign.

Jamal Russell is a Ph.D student in the University of California, Santa Barbara’s Department of English, whose research interests include the study of electronic literature, interface and interaction design, software studies, and twentieth- and twenty-first century avant-garde poetics. He is currently writing a dissertation on digital poetic explorations of the sophistic mediation of interfacial knowledge

Laila Shereen Sakr is Assistant Professor in the Department of Film and Media Studies and Faculty Affiliate in the Feminist Studies Department at University of California, Santa Barbara. She is known as the creator of the data-body, VJ Um Amel, and the R-Shief software system. Shereen Sakr has shown in solo and group exhibitions and performances at galleries and museums including the San Francisco MoMA, National Gallery of Art in Jordan, Camera Austria, Cultura Digital in Brazil, DC Fridge Art Gallery, 100 Copies in Egypt, among other venues. Her journal articles appear across journals in Media Studies, Art and Technology, and Middle East Studies. Her current book project theorizes the “glitch” at the intersection of digital protocols (rules that seek standardization and stabilization) and exploits (interventions that seek to upstage/subvert protocols for their own agendas, most often associated with the realms of hacktivism and piracy).

Tyler Shoemaker is a PhD candidate in English and the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he works on theories of media and media history, textuality, sound studies, and the digital humanities. His dissertation examines machine reading in the 20th and 21st centuries, laying emphasis on where this history intersects, on the one hand, with developments in publishing, document standards, and large-scale digitization projects, and on the other, with experimental typography, visual poetry, and conceptual writing.