Media Studies Colloquium

Media Studies Colloquium

Designed to expose students to the diversity of media studies scholarship, the Radio-Television-Film (RTF) department's Media Studies Colloquium enables advanced graduate students to present work related to their dissertation projects, provides models for research presentations, and offers a platform for discourse.

The Colloquium’s programming also includes presentations from RTF faculty and visiting scholars.

All RTF faculty and graduate students are encouraged to attend, while others are welcome as well.

These talks will be held from 3:30–4:45 pm CT in DMC 5.208, unless otherwise noted. A Q&A session will follow each 40-minute presentation. Check back in the coming weeks for more event details.

Spring 2023


Jesse H. Jones Fellowship research presentation.
"Take A Byte: Queer Black Futures and Fleshy Grammars in the Visual Life of Black Feminisms"
Held over Zoom, Meeting ID 92707232209.

Abstract: This project explores the relationship between performances of Black female subjectivity and Black feminist futures in three multimedia projects from Beyoncé, Solange, and Janelle Monáe. I pull together three seemingly disparate visual albums to resituate them as emotion pictures - an elastic nomenclature to identify and theorize Black feminist experimental cinema at the edge of embodiment, visuality, and emotion, and investigate how their articulations and reimaginations of Black feminist present and futures attends to the co-constitutive logics of time, space, and the intimate felt life of Black women. The sonic, visual, poetic, and textual landscapes as seen in Lemonade, When I Get Home, and Dirty Computer respectively create a conceptual opening to theorize why the (im) possibilities of Black feminist time, space and place are necessary to think through new ways of feeling, being, and knowing. These works, I argue, put these artists in conversation with a genealogy of Black women’s artistic mediations of visibility and dispossession and signal an affective shift in their work to locate the intimate sites of Black womanhood as a text of fugitivity. Further, I explore how their cultural production uses the paradoxical hyper-visibility of Black female subjectivity to explore registers, scales, and sites of feeling, return, and future worlds. Building on Black queer theories of the politics of care and embodied pleasure, Black feminist theories of the human, and a genealogy of Black feminist creative works, I ask a central question - what does it mean for a Black feminist to think about, consider, or concede the concept of futurity? 


PhD Candidate will present portions of her dissertation.
Held over Zoom, Meeting ID 92707232209.

"Destrúyelo todo: The women behind the Mexican feminist movement"

In March 2020, the protest to commemorate International Women’s Day gathered 80,000 women in Mexico City’s historic center. The water of public fountains was dyed red, historic monuments were vandalized and demonstrators set wood platforms on fire. The purpose of this study is to explore the microstructures and the labor performed by the women of the Mexican feminist movement. This research explores street protest from different angles and interventions including the role of news media, social media, and activist leadership to provide a better understanding of how these operate in the context of a history of gender violence, public policy aimed at improving women’s lives, and political activism. Latin American feminist activists have been organizing under the hashtags #NiUnaMenos, #NiUnaMas, and #VivasNosQueremos to protest feminicide and misogynistic and patriarchal criminal systems. This study centers particularly in Mexico City as it is one of the biggest epicenters for feminist protest across Latin America. This study analyzes three cases as they illustrate the clashes between the feminist movement and the state, the role social media plays in organizing and mobilizing sympathizers, and the labor activists undertake to gain visibility.

Melissa Santillana is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Radio-Television-Film at the University of Texas at Austin. She is a Fulbright Student Research at Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. Melissa’s work has been published in First Monday, International Journal of Communication, New Media and Society, Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture, and the Journal of Public Opinion Research. She is a co-author of From telenovelas to Netflix: Transnational, transverse television in Latin America (Palgrave, 2021). Her research focuses on international media flows, activist movements, feminist activism, digital media, and digital inequality.


Director of the Moody College's Latino Media Arts and Studies program will give a talk about Chicana Filmmaker Josey Faz.

"Latinas and Film Authorship: The Case of Chicana Film Pioneer Josey Faz"

Latina filmmakers are severely underrepresented in the film industry, and they are too rarely afforded the opportunity to direct feature films. Their marginalization in the industry has been reproduced in the writing of film history as a result of many factors, including (but not limited to) male-centered notions of history and dominant models of authorship that center the director as the principle creative force behind a film. This investigation of Chicana filmmaker Josey Faz’s career aims to recover her history as a pioneer who served in a variety of capacities on the first three features that are considered to be the formative works of Chicano filmmaker Efraín Gutiérrez’s career: Please, Don't Bury Me Alive! (1976), Chicano Love is Forever (1977), and Run, Tecato, Run (1979). Faz, who was also Gutiérrez’s romantic partner at the time, worked on these historic films with Gutiérrez and his filmmaking teams in Texas during the 1970s. She has largely remained little more than a footnote to their history, however. Motivated by an investment in securing Chicanas’ and Latinas’ place in film history, this study challenges conventional notions of authorship and suggests instead a “symbiotic” model that facilitates the recognition of filmmakers who fill various roles, in addition to that of the director, as key figures in the filmmaking process.

Mirasol Enríquez is the Director of Moody College's Latino Media Arts and Studies program and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Radio-Television-Film at the University of Texas at Austin. As a film and media scholar and an arts administrator, she has devoted her career to community building through film and the arts. Her scholarship focuses on U.S.-based Latina filmmakers, media production culture, Chicana/o film, and representations of race and gender in media. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Cinema and Media Studies and Feminist Media Histories.


Assistant Professor, Department of Media Arts, University of North Texas
Sponsored by the Global Media Industries Speaker Series, the Center for Entertainment & Media Industries, & the Department of Radio-Television-Film

“Media Industry Disruption: Past and/is Present”

In this talk, Porst will discuss the research for her book Broadcasting Hollywood: The Struggle Over Feature Films on Early TV, which explores the disruption of the film industry by television in the mid-twentieth century and allows an understanding of the ways that economic, political, legal, social, and cultural institutions mediate and shape the media industries. The lessons from those struggles allow researchers and industry professionals insight into not only the challenges faced by the media industry in that earlier period, but also provide important insight into contemporary issues at the heart of the looming writers’ strike, regulation of media content in the digital age, and even legal disputes over Scarlet Johannsen’s contract with Disney.

Jennifer Porst is an assistant professor of media industries and television studies at the University of North Texas. She recently published Broadcasting Hollywood: The Struggle Over Feature Films on Early TV and co-edited Very Special Episodes: Televising Industrial and Social Change (both Rutgers 2021). Her work has also appeared in Television & New Media, The Routledge Companion to Media Industries, Hollywood and the Law, and Film History, and she is Co-Chair of the Media Industries SIG.


"'A Whole Different Sex': Barbette and the Art of Drag Performance in Some Like It Hot"

During the early days of production on Some Like It Hot, writer-director Billy Wilder purportedly brought in the Texas-born drag artist Barbette (né Vander Clyde Broadway), whom he knew from their acclaimed performances in Berlin and Paris in the late 20s and early 30s, to work with Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon. This talk aims to chronicle the story of the Round Rock native, whose work as a cross-dressing vaudeville and circus artist became an international sensation, catching the discerning eye of young “Billie,” then working as a reporter and budding screenwriter in Weimar Berlin. In 1969, Barbette was made the subject of a The New Yorker profile, “An Angel, a Flower, a Bird,” written by Jean Cocteau biographer Francis Steegmuller (Cocteau had been quite obsessed with the drag performer, writing a tribute “Le numéro Barbette” in the mid 1920s and hiring photographer Man Ray to immortalize her on film, and then casting her in his debut experimental film Le Sang d’un Poète of 1930). Drawing on the research conducted at the Harry Ransom Center, and at other archives across the globe, this lecture will zero in on an untold story within the larger context and production history surrounding the great American sex comedy.

Noah Isenberg is the George Christian Centennial Professor and Chair of the Department of Radio-Television-Film. He is the author, most recently, of We’ll Always Have ‘Casablanca’: The Life, Legend, and Afterlife of Hollywood’s Most Beloved Movie (W.W. Norton, 2017), which was a Los Angeles Times bestseller. His anthology, Billy Wilder on Assignment (Princeton, 2021), which he edited and introduced, was selected by Tom Stoppard as a TLS 2021 Book of the Year and was longlisted for the 2022 Kraszna-Krausz Moving Image Book Awards. Among his other books are: Edgar G. Ulmer: A Filmmaker at the Margins (California, 2014), selected by Huffington Post as a Best Film Book of 2014; Detour (British Film Institute Film Classics, 2008); and, as editor, Weimar Cinema: An Essential Guide to Classic Films of the Era (Columbia, 2009), named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title. His current projects include a book on Some Like It Hot and the Great American Sex Comedy for Norton and a short interpretive biography of Billy Wilder for the Yale Jewish Lives series.

Fall 2022


Sponsored by the Global Media Industries Speaker Series.
Kevin Sanson is Professor of Media Studies and Head of the School of Communication at Queensland University of Technology. His research focuses on the implications of industrial change for film and television workers

"Disrupted Paydays: Rethinking Compensation Norms for Film & TV's Digital Era"

In this talk, Sanson will outline how a particular configuration of macroeconomic conditions in Australia have shaped the contours of change within its national television industry and have raised troubling questions about the effectiveness of its existing support mechanisms for the sustainability of local cultural production. Against this backdrop, Sanson will then move into a more specific conversation about creative compensation—a significant point of concern for producers and talent not only in Australia but also in the US and UK. From a local standpoint, there is confusion, conflation, anxiety, and even some excitement about the impact of “US-style” deals on the sector’s viability. But, even those “US-style” norms are struggling to accommodate fundamental shifts in the industry’s business model. Amidst all of the anxiety about who should be paid what and how, it’s clear that the historical origins of compensation norms are not well remembered or adequately understood. Accordingly, Sanson will reframe compensation as a complex and historically specific amalgamation of collective bargaining efforts, copyright and labor law, and employee contracting practices, arguing compensation packages have never been “natural” or “inevitable” but always evolving to accommodate the distinctive characteristics of particular film and television industries. Now, as some of those core characteristics evolve, dissipate, or converge on a global scale, it affords researchers an opportunity to recast and reconsider how well those core logics can appropriately reward and value labor in the digital era.


RTF Professor Charles Ramírez Berg.
University Distinguished Teaching Professor, Joe M. Dealey, Sr. Professor in Media Studies, Board of Regents' Outstanding Teacher, Distinguished University Lecturer
Department of Radio-Television-Film, The University of Texas at Austin

"Reflections on Teaching:

Good teaching is like a magic show—fun to watch, hard to do. In this talk I will discuss some ways I’ve tried to optimize my teaching effectiveness, ways that might help you improve your pedagogical magic. Looking back on my 40-plus years in the classroom as a high school teacher, college lecturer, doctoral student assistant instructor, assistant, associate, and full professor, I will share some of the key teaching principles I’ve discovered — and how I’ve combined them with some recently found insights.

I will:
• Discuss how to customize the 5 Keys to Good Teaching to you and your personality
• Remind you that the only reliable indicator of effective teaching is quality learning on the student end
• Help you find your sweet spot in the ongoing debate between the long lecture and active learning
• Help you confront and contend with the ultimate time management challenge of an academic career — balancing research, teaching, service, and living a life.

The Q&A invites participants to reflect on and share their teaching experiences, including what changes you made during your pandemic teaching.


Sponsored by the Global Media Industries Speaker Series.
Held both in person & via Zoom.
Assistant Professor, Department of Communication and Journalism, Texas A&M University, and a faculty associate, Texas A&M University Africana Studies Program

“Hip Hop Quilombos: Diasporic Media and Black Politics in Salvador da Bahia ”

Titled Emergent Quilombos: Black Life and Diasporic Cultures in Bahia (under contract with University of Texas Press), Dr. Henson's book analyzes how Black Brazilian youth operationalize diasporic media & popular culture within the Black radical tradition. It traces how Black hip-hop artists re-create quilombos (maroon communities) through Black diasporic identifications, critiques of structural racism, aesthetic politics, and non-normative socialities in their everyday lives and cultural representations. As a result, these artists build spaces of refuge for and with their marginalized Black communities; carrying on a centuries-long legacy of Black cultural and political resistance in the contemporary conjuncture.

Assistant professor in the Department of Communication and Journalism and a faculty associate in the Africana Studies Program at Texas A&M University, Dr. Henson received his PhD from the Institute of Communications Research with graduate certificates in cultural studies and Latin American & Caribbean Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is a co-editor of the book Spaces of New Colonialism: Reading Schools, Museums, and Cities in the Tumult of Globalization (2020). He is also an executive board member for the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora (ASWAD).


Jaeho Kang
Professor, Department of Communication, Seoul National University
“Siegfried Kracauer and Critical Theory of Political Communication”

Siegfried Kracauer (1889-1966), a German Jewish social and cultural critic, is widely regarded as one of the most original and perceptive film theorists of the twentieth century. Overshadowed by his famous books such as The Mass Ornament and Theory of Film, his extensive and provocative writings on propaganda and political communication have received a good deal less attention among Anglophone readers. Recent publication, Siegfried Kracauer, Selected Writings on Media, Propaganda, and Political Communication (Columbia University Press, 2022), brings together a broad section of Kracauer’s writings, many of which were previously unavailable in English, spanning more than two decades, from studies of totalitarian propaganda written in the 1930s to wartime work on Nazi newsreels and anti-Semitism to early Cold War examinations of American and Soviet political messaging. In his talk, Prof. Jaeho Kang, a co-editor of the volume, discusses how presciently his analyses illuminate the interplay between politics, mass culture and the media, and how relevant his texts are for understanding the current crisis of democracy, a crisis which is increasingly tied to the advancement of communication technologies and the rise of right-wing populism in the U.S. and around the globe in the age of post-truth.

Jaeho Kang is Professor in Department of Communication at Seoul National University. He was Senior Lecturer in Critical Media and Cultural Studies at SOAS, the University of London (2012-2018), Assistant Professor in Sociology of Media at The New School in New York City (2005-2012), and the Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow at Institut für Sozialforschung, the University of Frankfurt (2004-2005). He completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge in 2004. Kang is the author of Walter Benjamin and the Media: The Spectacle of Modernity (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2014) and a co-editor of Siegfried Kracauer: Selected Writings on Media, Propaganda and Political Communication (New York: Columbia University Press, 2022). He has tried to bring the theoretical contributions of Critical Theory to the development of East Asian media and cultural studies. He is currently writing a book with the working title, The Phantasmagoria of Techno-City: Seoul, Space and Spectacle.