Department Chair

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Inna Arzumanova's research interests include racial and gender performances, popular culture and aesthetics, and global media and arts industries. She has published on the usage of race in dance films, fashion and gender on television, gender production within digital culture, and the aesthetics of race in works of visual art.

  • PhD in Communication, University of Southern California
  • BA, University of California, San Diego

Full-Time Faculty

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Professor Danny Plotnick roared into the underground film world in the 1980s. Fueled by his love of alternative culture, his films were infused with the DIY spirit of the times. His films have been shown at the MOMA in NYC, and on the Independent Film Channel and MTV.

As an educator, he was the director of education at The Film Arts Foundation for seven years, and he taught at the esteemed high school arts program California State Summer School For the Arts from 1995-2007. He was chair of the...

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Bernadette Barker-Plummer received her PhD from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, her MA from the University of Texas at Austin, and her BA from Edinburgh University in Scotland. Her research interests are in media, social movements, and social change. Some of her work can be found in Critical Studies in Media Communication, Feminist Media Studies, Journalism Quarterly, Journalism Monographs, and Peace Review. She teaches Gender and Media, Introduction to...

  • BA, Edinburgh University in Scotland
  • MA, University of Texas at Austin
  • PhD, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania
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Vamsee Juluri received his PhD in Communication from the University of Massachusetts in 1999. His research interest is in the globalization of media audiences with an emphasis on Indian television and cinema, mythology, religion, violence and Gandhian philosophy. He is the author of four books:

  • Becoming a Global Audience: Longing and Belonging in Indian Music Television (Peter Lang, 2003/Orient Longman, 2005) 
  • The Mythologist: A Novel (Penguin India, 2010)
  • Bollywood Nation: India through...
  • PhD, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 1999
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Professor Kidd graduated with a PhD from the School of Communications at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, with a specialization in international development. Her research agenda is broadly concerned with the role of grassroots communicators and movements in social change, and she worked as a popular communicator, trainer, and advocate in community radio, documentary film and video, and social justice communications.

Her research has been circulated in academic and non-academic...

  • Simon Fraser University, PhD Communication, 1998
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Professor Pedro Lange Churión is both an academic and a visual artist. He has written and directed various films, including Crocodile (USA, 2000). Based on a short story by Felisberto Hernández. This film received a Remmy Bronze award for best dramatic adaptation at the Houston International Film Festival (2001). He also wrote and directed Visitas (Colombia, 2005), a full-feature narrative film that explores violence in Colombia. This film has garnered recognition as "Official Selection" in...

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Part-Time Faculty

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She is a former teaching fellow at Stanford's Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity and her scholarly interests include media studies, journalism, creative non-fiction, and critical race theory. A former music writer for both Rolling Stone and Spin magazines, she is the author of three books on rock music, "Route 666" (St. Martin's), "Punk in the Present Tense" (St. Martin's) and "Exile In Guyville" (Bloomsbury, forthcoming.) A former Division One NCAA athlete, in her spare time...

  • Stanford University, PhD in Modern Thought and Literature
  • UC Berkeley, BA in Communications
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Xandra Maria Castleton, MFA, is a screenwriter and independent film and television producer whose scripts have served as the basis for award-winning documentary, television and narrative film projects. Her films have premiered at festivals such as Sundance, Tribeca, AFI and Rotterdam, and her feature dramatic comedy, Full Grown Men, was the winner of the 2007 Sundance Channel Audience Award prior to a critically successful theatrical release by Emerging Pictures. Full Grown Men starred Judah...

Adjunct Professor Michael Edward Lenert has 25 years’ experience teaching law, communications, and journalism at the University level, including to MA and PhD-level students. He is a licensed attorney in California with 30 years’ experience and has taught communications law and other classes at the University of San Francisco since 2009. He is a graduate of UC Berkeley and earned his Ph.D. from The University of Texas and his law degree from Georgetown Law School. From 2005-2009, he held the...

  • BA, University of California, Berkeley
  • PhD, University of Texas at Austin
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Natacha is an award-winning storyteller, media producer, and educator. She strives to use text, film, sound, and live performance to deepen our understanding of the world we live in and foster action.

Her documentary work has appeared at the MoMA and the Whitney Museum of American Art, as well as on National Geographic, NBC NY, and Link TV. Her radio work has appeared on public radio affiliates nationally and locally. She is currently the showrunner for Adonde Media’s acclaimed Duolingo...

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Mark Taylor is an experimental filmmaker and visual artist, whose work has been screened and exhibited in festivals, galleries, and museums around the globe. His artist books have been collected by the Library of Congress, New York Public Library, the San Francisco Legion of Honor, Stanford University, and the New York Museum of Modern Art, among others. Taylor has worked in independent film and public media in various roles since 1989.

  • MFA, California College of the Arts
  • Multimedia production
  • Visual art
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Jeremy Troy is an award-winning broadcast creative with 20 years of expertise crafting promotional content for television, films, and live events for major brands like CBS, PBS, Google, Amazon, and Showtime. His work has been honored across multiple disciplines including creative direction, producing, editing, and motion design by the Emmys, Tellys, IFTA, and Golden Trailer Awards.

As an educator, Mr. Troy believes sharing his experience and expertise is an investment in the next generation...


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Tim Redmond has won more than 40 national and local awards in a four-decade career as an investigative and political reporter, much of that time at the San Francisco Bay Guardian. His work has also appeared in more than a dozen local and national publications. He teaches Journalism, Investigative Reporting, Political Reporting, and The Economics of Social Justice, among other courses. He has a second-degree black belt in Taekwondo.

  • Wesleyan University, BA, Economics, 1980
  • Investigative reporting
  • Political reporting
  • Environmental journalism

Faculty Emeritus

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Susana Kaiser teaches at the Media Studies Department. She earned her PhD from the Institute of Latin American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, her MA from the Department of Communication at Hunter College of the City University of New York, and her BA in Advertising from the Jesuit University of El Salvador, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, her country of origin. Before coming to USF she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research focuses on...

  • BA, Advertising, The Jesuit University of El Salvador, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • MA, The Department of Communication, Hunter College of the City University of New York
  • PhD, The Institute of Latin...