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New scholars join the School of Communication faculty

As more young people see the value of communication skills in the new information economy, the School of Communication continues to grow. The School hired five tenured or tenture-track faculty in 2009, and eight in 2010. In the fall, when our new—larger than ever—freshman class arrives, a new class of “freshmen faculty” will be ready to teach them.

The new tenure-track faculty arriving this fall are:

Thomas Bradshaw joins the Department of Radio/Television/Film from Medgar Evars College in New York, where he was an assistant professor. Bradshaw is a playwright, the recipient of a 2009 Guggenheim Fellowship and the 2010 Prince Charitable Trust Prize. He is the author of Mary, which premiered at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre in 2010; The Ashes; The Bereaved, which was named one of the Best Plays of 2009 by Time Out New York and was a New York Times Critic’s Pick; and Southern Promises and Dawn, both listed among the Best Performances of Stage and Screen for 2008 in The New Yorker. His other works have included Prophet, Strom Thurmond Is Not a Racist, Cleansed, Purity, and Job. Bradshaw has been featured as one of Time Out New York’s ten playwrights to watch, as one of Paper Magazine’s Beautiful People, and as Best Provocative Playwright in the Village Voice.

Joshua Takano Chambers-Letson comes to the Department of Performance Studies from the University of Cincinnati where he was an assistant professor in the department of English and Comparative Literature.  He was an Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Wesleyan University Center for the Humanities for a year after completing his Ph.D. in performance studies at New York University. His book manuscript, A Race So Different: The Making of Asian Americans in Performance and Law, studies the relationship of law and performance to the production of modern and contemporary Asian American subjectivity. Areas of teaching interest include performance studies, Asian American diasporic and ethnic American performance, contemporary dramatic literature, critical race studies, legal theory, Marxist, queer of color, and feminist theory.

Jasmine Nichole Cobb comes to the Department of Communication Studies following a postdoctoral fellowship at the Africana Research Center and Department of Communication at Pennsylvania State University. She earned her Ph.D. in Communication from the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on both historical and contemporary representations of race, class, gender, and sexuality in visual cultures with published works on sexuality in popular music, Black filmmaking, and race on television. For her book manuscript, Picturing Freedom: Black Visuality in the TransAtlantic Home, 1780-1850, she explores inter-racial and intra-racial visual cultures as they were transformed by African American emancipation during the era of slavery.

Miriam Petty joins the Department of Radio/Television/Film from Rutgers University-Newark, where she was an assistant professorship in media studies. Petty received her Ph.D. in American Studies from Emory University’s Institute of the Liberal Arts. A 2006-2009 Fellow of Princeton University’s Society of Fellows, Petty’s recent projects include Race.Place.Space., a documentary film festival in Trenton, New Jersey, that she curated on behalf of Princeton’s Center for African American Studies. She was also a Geraldine R. Dodge Fellow at Rutgers-Newark’s Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience, for which she developed and implemented Watching Carefully, a two-year city initiative geared toward the improvement of media literacy among adults and children. Her forthcoming book, Stealing the Show: African American Performers and Audiences in 1930s Hollywood (University of California Press), explores the complex relationships between black audiences and black performers in the classical Hollywood era.

Dassia N. Posner comes to the Department of Theatre from the University of Connecticut, where she was assistant professor-in-residence in the Department of Dramatic Arts as well as dramaturg at the Connecticut Repertory Theatre. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard in 2009. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Drama at Tufts University. Her interests include dramaturgy, history of directing, women in theatre, Russian and European avant-garde theatre, women in theatre, popular entertainment, and world puppetry history and performance.

Ozge Samanci, comes to the Department of Radio/Television/Film from an Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Art Practice Department of the University of California, Berkeley. Samanci, who has an extensive background in comics and media arts, is a published comics artist. Her interactive-digital media installations and other collaborative works have been exhibited in numerous venues. Her digital video work has been screened in international film festivals and the Sonic Generator Concert series. Samanci earned her Ph.D. in Digital Media from the School of Literature, Communication, and Culture at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She authored the book Animasyonun Onlenemez Yukselisi (The Irresistible Rise of Animation), published by Istanbul Bilgi University Publications in Istanbul. She is working on her autobiographical graphic novel, Dare to Disappoint.

C. Riley Snorton comes to the Department of Communication Studies following an Andrew W. Mellon postdoctoral fellowship in the media studies department at Pomona College in Claremont, California. He earned a Ph.D. in Communication from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University in Pennsylvania. His academic and teaching interests include transgender and queer theory, media anthropology, Africana studies, cultural studies, performance studies, and popular culture. Snorton has published numerous book chapters and his articles can be found in the International Journal of Communication, Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy, and Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society.  He is currently completing his monograph, The Glass Closet: Black Sexuality and Panoptical Imagination.