Department Chair

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Inna Arzumanova received her PhD in Communication from the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California and her BA from the University of California, San Diego. Her 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...

Education:
  • BA, University of California, San Diego
  • PhD is from the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, at the University of Southern California

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...

Education:
  • 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...
Education:
  • 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...

Education:
  • 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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Regina Arnold holds a PhD in Modern Thought and Literature from Stanford University and a BA in Communications from UC Berkeley. 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...

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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...

Shani Heckman (she/her/hers) is an award-winning filmmaker, activist, and educator whose work focuses on social justice issues, often through a LGBTQ lens. Her films have screened around the world and are used in Universities to promote social justice issues. Her photos are used in news media around the world to support activism and social justice causes. Her work has been funded by the NEA, The Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation, The Zellerbach Foundation, Grants for the Arts, California...

Education:
  • SFSU, MFA, Cinema, 2011
  • UC Santa Cruz, BA, Global Economics, 1995
  • Bocconi University, Study Abroad, Economics, 1994
Expertise:
  • Activist cinema
  • Social media
  • LGBTQ rights

Professor Higgins teaches courses involving storytelling, technologies, pop culture, grassroots alternative media, history, research, and production. For over three decades, he has been involved in commercial and community-based radio and TV and video, as well as the Internet and social media. He has served as the President of the non-profit organization managing the city and county of San Francisco’s public access cable TV channels and facilities. His background includes thirty years as a...

Education:
  • PhD, Communications, Ohio State University

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...

Education:
  • BA, University of California, Berkeley
  • PhD, University of Texas at Austin

Madeleine Lim is an award-winning filmmaker with 25 years of experience as a producer, director, cinematographer and editor. Her films have screened at sold-out theaters at international film festivals around the world, featured at museums and universities, and broadcast to millions on PBS. She holds a BA in Cinema from San Francisco State University, where she was awarded Outstanding Cinema Student of the Year. She is the founding Executive Director of Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project...

Education:
  • BA, Cinema, San Francisco State University
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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.

Education:
  • MFA, California College of the Arts
Expertise:
  • Multimedia production
  • Visual art

Elizabeth Travelslight is an artist with a research background in the history of math, science, and technology.

Education:
  • UC Santa Cruz, MFA in Digital Arts/New Media, 2010
  • European Graduate School, MA in Communication, 2008
  • UC Santa Cruz, BA in Mathematics, 1999
Expertise:
  • Feminist
  • Postcolonial histories
  • Futures of math, science, and technology
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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...

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...

Education:
  • 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...