I’m a digital media theorist and practitioner who teaches at the University of Tampa. My work explores place and community identity, technologies of inscription, cultural memory practices, and Derridean hauntology.
I live in Tampa with my husband, Thomas Cohen, and our cat, Hermes. Before returning to my native Florida in 2009, we lived for six years in Memphis and for two years in Peru, a small farming community in upstate New York.
This site features summaries of my research interests, samples of my digital media work, and descriptions of courses I have designed and taught at the University of Tampa, SUNY Plattsburgh, the University of Florida, and Rhodes College. If you would like to share your comments on this site or my work, you can contact me here.
Tampa Tarot is a web-based multimedia project that generates tarot readings steeped in Tampa’s history and mythology. The first phase of the project, a gallery version using a Flash-based interface, debuted in Chicago in 2012 at the University Film and Video Association annual conference. Phases under development include an interactive online version in HTML5 and an augmented reality application. Learn more at the project's fan page on Facebook.
Shedding Light (www.sheddinglightproject.com) is a project commissioned by The City of Tampa for the 2011 Lights on Tampa celebration (www.lightsontampa.org). The project, a collaboration with Juliet Davis, asked Tampa residents to “shed” (release) traditional notions of public spectacle and shed light on their own diverse communities by capturing images of light in their neighborhoods. Photos submitted for the project were edited together with still images and video by the artists to reflect Tampa’s geographical and cultural diversity. The video premiered at the Lights on Tampa festival at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in February 2011 and is available on YouTube.
Sticks of Fire
A long-term multimedia project that centers on the name given by the indigenous peoples of West Central Florida to what is now the region’s largest city: Tampa. A popularly accepted translation of “Tampa” is “sticks of fire,” which has been associated in local lore with everything from the early abundance of good kindling to the area’s current reputation as the lightning capital of North America. The first phase of the project, Sticks of Fire: Fire in the Sky explores the Tampa Bay area’s violent electrical storms and its title of “lightning capital” by translating storms into art. Users are invited to select from a menu of seven dates on which lightning storms occurred in the Tampa Bay area. Clicking a button launches a database-driven audio-visual program that creates abstract representations of the number and intensity of lightning strikes during the storm on the selected date.
Staging Hauntology belongs to a larger scholarly and artistic project that addresses the function of poiesis at the limits of the human. The work invites users to reflect upon poiesis as a collaboration among many creative actors, living and dead, machine and animal, spontaneous and algorithmic. Users may navigate through several simulated 3-D environments assembled in Adobe Flash. The spaces combine recognizable representations, such as Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, with more fantastic scenes based on cultural mythology. The scenes are inspired by Jacques Derrida’s Specters of Marx and his reflections on global media, cultural and intellectual inheritance, and the West’s preoccupation with the end of history.
Thinking About the Pyramid
An online collaborative research and art project that I developed with Laura Sullivan and Michael Laffey. Plans for the project were presented in February 2007 at Imaging Place, a conference sponsored by the Florida Research Ensemble. The project focuses on the Pyramid, a public arena in downtown Memphis that once hosted the city’s NBA team. Since a new arena opened downtown, city officials have been trying to find a new use for the Pyramid and are contemplating a sale to private interests. By initiating the “Thinking About the Pyramid” project, we hoped to create a forum for voices not typically sanctioned by the planning protocols of urban development (i.e., the development board meeting, the zoning hearing, the chamber of commerce luncheon) and, in doing so, to insist that the Pyramid is a very public space whose fate should not be ceded uncritically to elite business and government interests. You can learn more about the project at its web site, www.thinkingaboutthepyramid.org.
- Traditions of Digital Media
This upper-level course teaches theories of digital media from an aesthetic perspective. Spring 2012
- Interactive Journalism Production
This course combines technical training in HTML5, CSS, jQuery, and web-based multimedia software with instruction in journalism and digital storytelling. 2010-present
- Multimedia Journalism: The Digital Toolkit
This foundations course teaches the basics of capturing and editing sound, photographs, and moving images from a journalist’s perspective. Spring 2012
- Writing for Interactive Media
This course explores practice and theory in several fields of writing for interactive media, including copywriting, e-journalism, social media, and experimental “net narrative” writing. 2010-present
- Mobile Interactivity Design
This course teaches students to create web-based interactive applications for mobile devices. Fall 2012
- Information Technology and Human Values
This upper-level course raises fundamental questions about the relationship between science and the humanities. It analyzes the role of technology in modern life with special emphasis on the impact of new information technologies. Spring 2011-present
- Media Writing
This foundations course covers the basics of writing for print and online media. Spring 2010
- Frontiers of Communication
This upper-level course explores the politics, economics, and technologies of the information age. 2009-present
- Web Design
A comprehensive course that includes instruction in HTML, CSS, and interactive scripting. The course emphasizes the importance of standards-compliant design and accessibility across browsers and platforms. 2009-present
- Visual Literacy
This foundations course draws on the discourses of cultural criticism, art history, and media studies to analyze images in both high art and popular culture. Fall 2011-present
- Interactive Journalism
This course combined technical training in Adobe Flash with instruction in journalism and digital storytelling. Fall 2008
- Advanced Web Design
The course trained students to integrate Cascading Style Sheets, basic programming, and rich media into Web site design, and it focused on following industry best practices and strong design fundamentals. Spring 2009, Spring 2008
- Digital Media Practicum: Machinima in Second Life
In this upper-level course, students created their own machinima—animated video produced in virtual worlds—set in Second Life. Students wrote their own scripts, customized their actor “avatars,” created virtual 3-D costumes and props, and captured and edited the virtual scenes they produced. Spring 2009
- Digital Media Practicum: Designing Second Life
This upper-level seminar studied the online virtual environment Second Life and explored its possible applications in higher education. Spring 2008
- Advanced Digital Animation
Students learned advanced animation techniques using Flash, non-linear video editing, and other applications. Spring 2008
- Multimedia Production Design
The course introduced students to digital photography, digital image editing and compositing, basic Web design, digital animation, and other features of multimedia design. Fall 2007-Spring 2009
- Introduction to Human Communication
The course provided an overview of the theories and history of communication study, as well as survey of contemporary scholarship and research methodologies. Fall 2007
- Digital Still Images
The course, taught in conjunction with photographer Rebecca Blume Rothman, introduced students to producing still images through photo compositing, 3-D modeling and other techniques. It included instruction in Photoshop and Carrara Professional. Spring and Fall 2005
- Critical Thinking and Writing: Cyberculture Interfaces
The course introduced students to college writing by focusing on changes in writing technologies taking place in their college and in the culture at large. Students learned the basics of researching and writing traditional academic essays; they also explored the implications of college writing in the digital age, including the rise of Wikipedia and other Web-based sources, the complexities of copyright law, and the use of networked collaborative environments. 2002-2006
- Advanced Business Writing
A professional communications class for graduate students of UF’s Warrington College of Business Administration. 2000-2001
- Writing Through Media
A series of introductory courses focused on producing hypermedia. 1996-2000
- Writing About the News
A special topics writing class that treated media studies in the digital age. It explored the function of news as public discourse, entertainment, and popular mythology. 1997-98
- Writing About Literature
A series of themed courses designed to introduce college students to the literary essay in its print and digital form. Course themes included Gothic literature and postmodern approaches to literature. 1995-99
A series of courses that introduced students to traditional college writing and possible alternative methods for writing in the digital age. 1994-99
- British Literature
Survey course covering British Literature from the Romantic period through the twentieth century. 1996-98
- World Literature
A survey course covering the period from 1650 to the present. 1999
- PhD in English, University of Florida, December 2006
- MA in English, University of Florida, May 1996
- BA, University of Tampa, May 1983
- University of Tampa, assistant professor of communication, August 2009-present
- State University of New York, Plattsburgh, assistant professor of communication, August 2007-August 2009
- Rhodes College, part-time faculty, 2002-2006
- University of Florida Department of English, graduate teaching assistant, 1994-2001
- University of Florida College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, instructional technology specialist, summer 2000
- The Tampa Tribune, reporter, 1986-1993
- The Ledger, Lakeland, Florida, reporter, 1983-1986
- “From TVTV to YouTube: A Genealogy of Participatory Practices in Video.” Journal of Film and Video 64.1 (2012).
- “Thinking About the Pyramid: An (Un)Called-for Proposal.” Imaging Place. Ed. Craig Saper, W.F. Garrett-Petts, and John Craig Freeman. Textual Studies in Canada. Kamloops, BC: Thompson Rivers University Press, 2009.
- “Thinking About the Pyramid: An (Un)Called-for Proposal.” Rhizomes: Cultural Studies in Emerging Knowledge 18 (2009).
- “The Philosophy Behind the VT-Y Image” (brief artist’s statement). Fast Capitalism 3.1 (2007).
- “Haunting in the Age of Electronic Post-Literacy.” Visual Media and the Humanities: A Pedagogy of Representation. Ed. Kecia D. McBride. Tennessee Studies in the Humanities 42. University of Tennessee Press, 2004.
- “From Utopianism to Weak Messianism: Electronic Culture’s Spectral Moment.” The Politics of Information: The Electronic Mediation of Social Change. Ed. Marc Bousquet and Katherine Wills. Alt-X Press, 2003.
- Tampa Tarot. Interactive multimedia installation. Aug. 6-11, 2012. Columbia College, Chicago. Exhibition in conjunction with the University Film and Video Association annual conference.
- Shedding Light (with Juliet Davis). Digital Video. Aug. 2-6, 2011. Emerson College, Boston. Exhibition in conjunction with the University Film and Video Association annual conference.
- Shedding Light (with Juliet Davis). Digital Video. Feb. 2011. Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, Tampa, FL. Commissioned by the City of Tampa for Lights on Tampa, 2011.
- Sticks of Fire: Fire in the Sky. Multimedia DVD-ROM. January 2011. Sacrosanct Exhibition, West Tampa Center for the Arts.
- Sticks of Fire: Fire in the Sky. Multimedia DVD-ROM. Nov. 6-10, 2010. IDEAS10 Exhibition, Emily Carr University, Vancouver, BC.
- Sticks of Fire: Fire in the Sky. Multimedia DVD-ROM. Aug. 10-14, 2010. Champlain College, Burlington, VT. Exhibition in conjunction with the University Film and Video Association annual conference.
- Thinking About the Pyramid. Web site and multimedia. Aug. 4-8, 2009. University of New Orleans. Exhibition in conjunction with the University Film and Video Association annual conference.
- Staging Hauntology. Multimedia DVD-ROM. Ideas in Mediation. Aug. 12-16, 2008. Cornerstone Arts Center, Colorado Springs, CO. Exhibition in conjunction with the University Film and Video Association annual conference.
- VT-Y. Digital Image. Fast Capitalism 3.1 (2007).
- Response to Expose, Intervene, Occupy by various artists, University Film and Video Association, August 2012
- “Algorithmic Filmmaking in Jeff Shore and Jon Fisher’s Cliffhanger,” Society for Cinema and Media Studies, March 2012
- “Sticks of Fire: Art, Place, and Algorithms,” University of Tampa Honors Symposium, September 2011
- “Shedding Light: Representing Tampa's Geographical Diversity,” University Film and Video Association, August 2011
- Response to Zoetrope by Charlotte Taylor, University Film and Video Association, August 2011
- “Blogging, Anonymous Posts and Defamation,” invited panel discussion, 2011 Florida Media Law Conference, Stetson University College of Law, April 2011
- “From TVTV to YouTube: A Genealogy of Participatory Practices in Video,” Society for Cinema and Media Studies, March 2011
- “The Posthuman Raconteur,” International Digital Media & Arts Association, November 2010
- Response to Draupadi by Leena Jayaswal, University Film and Video Association, August 2010
- “Political Journalism and Digital Media,” Technológico de Monterrey, guest lecture and discussion via radio chat, February 2010
- Response to Corridor by Art Nomura, University Film and Video Association, August 2009
- “What Hauntology Can Teach Us About Media Production and the Future,” International Digital Media & Arts Association, November 2008
- “So Much to Do, So Little Time: The Question of Core Skills for Digital Media Students,” University Film and Video Association, August 2008
- Presentation of Staging Hauntology (Multimedia DVD-ROM) with response by Kylos Brannon of American University, University Film and Video Association, August 2008
- “Thinking About the Pyramid: An (Un)Called-for Proposal,” Imaging Place, February 2007
- “Invading the Past! Genre and Anachronism in Destroy All Humans!” Videogames and the Alien Other, April 2006
- “Saving Yourself for Tenure: Intellectual Property and the Job Candidate's Dilemma,” Modern Language Association, December 2000
- “Ghosts Outside the Machine: From Magic Lantern to Electronic Phantasmagoria,” Society for Literature and Science, October 2000
- “(Fe)tisch: The Table as Subversive Element in HTML,” 16th Computers and Writing Conference, May 2000
- “From M. Dupin to Agent Mulder: Toward a Research Model for the Electronic Classroom,” 15th Computers and Writing Conference, May 1999
- “Notes Toward a Manifesto for Graduate Student Labor in the Electronic Classroom,” Modern Language Association, December 1998
- “Hard Copy: Transparent Gestures and the (Re)Production of Community,” Society for Literature and Science, November 1998
- “Writing and Distance: Derrida and ‘Spectral Writing’,” 14th Computers and Writing Conference, May 1998
- “Do Cyborgs Suffer From Archive Fever?: Knowledge, Corporeality, and Electronic Space,” Society for Literature and Science, October 1997
- “Mapping Private Space in Cyberspace: Pedagogy, Corporeality, and the Corporate,” Conference for College Composition and Communication, March 1997
- “From Heart to Head: Mapping Health onto the Body Politic,” Society for Literature and Science, October 1996