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Transmedia Frictions: The Digital, the Arts, and the Humanities

Official Book Companion Site

Marsha Kinder, Tara McPherson, Andrew Myers, Authors

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Editor and Author Bios


Marsha Kinder began her career as a scholar of eighteenth-century English literature before moving to the study of transmedial relations among narrative forms. In 1980 she joined USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, where she taught international cinema, narrative theory, children’s media culture, and digital culture. Having published over one hundred essays and ten monographs and anthologies, she is best known for her work on Spanish media culture, including Blood Cinema (1993, with a companion CD-ROM, the first interactive scholarly work in English-language film studies), Refiguring Spain (1997), and Bunuel’s The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1998); and on children’s media culture, including Playing with Power in Movies, Television and Video Games (1991), and Kids’ Media Culture (1999). She was founding editor of innovative journals, such as Dreamworks (1980–87), winner of a Pushcart Award, and The Spectator (1982–present), and since 1977 has served on the editorial board of Film Quarterly. In 1995, she received the USC Associates Award for Creativity in Scholarship, and in 2001 was named a University Professor for her innovative transdisciplinary research.

In 1997, she founded The Labyrinth Project, a research initiative on database narrative (a concept she introduced), producing database documentaries, archival cultural histories, and other new models of digital scholarship in the humanities. In collaboration with media artists Rosemary Comella, Kristy Kang, and Scott Mahoy, and with filmmakers, scholars, scientists, and cultural institutions, Labyrinth combined cultural history and theory with the sensory language of cinema. Presented as transmedia networks (websites, museum installations, DVD-ROMs, and digital archives), these award-winning works have been featured at museums, film and new media festivals, and conferences worldwide and have been supported by grants from the Annenberg, Casden, Ford, Getty, Haas, Irvine, NEH, Righteous Persons, Rockefeller, and Skirball Foundations and from AHRQ (The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality). In collaboration with documentary filmmaker Mark Jonathan Harris and Scott Mahoy, she recently launched a video-based website called Interacting with Autism, and she is writing a book called The Discreet Charms of Database Narrative: Tales of Neurodiversity in the Light of Neuroscience.

Tara McPherson is an associate professor of Critical Studies and Media Arts + Practice at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. Her research engages the cultural dimensions of media, including the intersection of gender, race, affect, and place. She has a particular interest in digital media. Here, her research focuses on the digital humanities, early software histories, gender, and race, as well as the development of new tools and paradigms for digital publishing, learning, and authorship. She is author of Reconstructing Dixie: Race, Gender, and Nostalgia in the Imagined South (Duke University Press, 2003), coeditor of Hop on Pop: The Politics and Pleasures of Popular Culture (Duke University Press, 2003), and editor of Digital Youth, Innovation, and the Unexpected (MIT Press, 2008). She is the founding editor of Vectors ( and a founding editor of the MacArthur-supported International Journal of Learning and Media (launched by MIT Press in 2009). She is the lead principal investigator on a new authoring platform, Scalar, and for the Alliance for Networking Visual Culture (


N. Katherine Hayles teaches and writes on the relations of literature, science, and technology in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Her book How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics won the Rene Wellek Prize for the Best Book in Literary Theory for 1998–99, and her book Writing Machines won the Suzanne Langer Award for Outstanding Scholarship. Her most recent book is How We Think: Digital Media and Contemporary Technogenesis, along with How We Think: The Digital Companion, available at She is presently at work on a book on finance capital and literary theory.

Lev Manovich is the author of Software Takes Command (Bloomsbury Academic, 2013), Soft Cinema: Navigating the Database (MIT Press, 2005), and The Language of New Media (MIT Press, 2001), which has been described as “the most suggestive and broad ranging media history since Marshall McLuhan.” Manovich is a professor at The Graduate Center, CUNY, a director of the Software Studies Initiative, and a visiting professor at the European Graduate School.

Edward Branigan is professor emeritus in the Department of Film and Media Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the coeditor with Warren Buckland of The Routledge Encyclopedia of Film Theory (2013). He is the author of Projecting a Camera: Language-Games in Film Theory (2006); Narrative Comprehension and Film (1992); and Point of View in the Cinema: A Theory of Narration and Subjectivity in Classical Film (1984). With Charles Wolfe, he is the general editor of the American Film Institute Film Readers series.

Yuri Tsivian is William Colvin Professor in the Humanities at the University of Chicago, where he teaches art history, Slavic studies, comparative literature, and cinema and media. A native of Riga, he studied film at the Institute for the History of Arts in Moscow and received a PhD in film studies from the Institute of Theater, Music, and Cinema in Leningrad. Before joining the University of Chicago in 1996, he worked as a senior research fellow at the Latvian Academy of Sciences in Riga and taught at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. In addition to English and his native Russian and Latvian, he speaks Polish, French, and German.

In addition to many journal articles on Russo-Soviet and world cinema, Professor Tsivian has published several books, including Silent Witnesses: Russian Films, 1908–1919 (1989), Early Cinema in Russia and Its Cultural Reception (1994), Ivan the Terrible (2002), and Lines of Resistance: Dziga Vertov and the Twenties (Pordenone, 2004). He is also involved in restoring and video-mastering silent films. You can hear his voice on the DVD version of Dziga Vertov’s Man with the Movie Camera (Image Entertainment, 1995), on the audiovisual essay on the DVD of Eisenstein’s Ivan the Terrible (Criterion Collection, 2001), and, both in English and in Russian, on his own CD-ROM, Immaterial Bodies: Cultural Anatomy of Early Russian Films (USC, 2000), which won the 2001 British Academy Award for best interactive learning project. He is also the recipient of the prestigious Jean Mitry Award for his contribution to film history.

Professor Tsivian’s latest interest is in digital methods of film studies. He is the creator of Cinemetrics ( In 2007–08, Cinemetrics won the ACLS Digital Innovation Fellowship. From 2010 through March 2013, it was awarded the National Endowment for Humanities Start-up Grant in Digital Humanities; in February 2013, a collaborative research project of Cinemetrics data has been selected for the Faculty Fellows funding by The Neubauer Family Collegium for Culture and Society for the years 2013–14.

Steve Anderson is an associate professor and founding director of the PhD program in Media Arts + Practice at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, where he teaches classes in Critical Studies, Interactive Media and Games, and Media Arts + Practice. He is coeditor of the interdisciplinary electronic journal Vectors and creator of Critical Commons, a fair-use advocacy site and online media archive. He is a co–principal investigator on the Mellon-funded electronic authoring platform Scalar and creator of numerous works of electronic media that blur the boundaries between scholarship and media art. His research focuses on the intersection of media, history, and technology and emerging forms of scholarly expression. His book Technologies of History: Visual Media and the Eccentricity of the Past (Dartmouth, 2011) investigates the emergence of experimental history across a broad range of visual media, including TV, film, and digital games. He is currently completing a critical public archive and print supplement examining the computational imaginary in American media titled Technologies of Cinema.

Stephen Mamber is the head of the Cinema and Media Studies Program in the Department of Film, Television, and Digital Media at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of the ClipNotes app, available in the Apple App Store. His most recent web project is “Who Shot Liberty Valance?”, an experiment in forensic film analysis. Links to these and other projects are at

Grahame Weinbren’s interactive cinema installations have been exhibited since the mid-1980s in museums, galleries, and festivals worldwide. His practice ranges from artists’ cinema works to television documentaries as well as writing about cinema, media art, and the philosophical issues generated by emerging technologies. He is the senior editor of the Millennium Film Journal and a member of the graduate faculty of the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Visit and

Caroline Bassett researches and teaches at the University of Sussex, where she is professor of Digital Media and codirector of the Centre for Material Digital Culture. Her work explores new media/digital media as a material cultural form. She has published widely on critical theories of new media, gender and new media, feminism and technology, mobile media and sense perception, and narrative and digital media. Recent work includes digital humanities–based research into science fiction and innovation. She is currently completing a book on anticomputing for Manchester University Press.

John Hess is a coeditor of Jump Cut. He has taught film studies as a contingent faculty member at Sonoma State University, San Francisco State University (SFSU; fourteen years), the University of Maryland, and American University. Along the way, he taught as an associate professor on the tenure track at Ithaca College. While at SFSU, he participated in the successful effort to unionize the faculty in the California State University system. Thereafter, he worked to organize the contingent faculty (full- and part-time temporary) and served in several elected and appointed leadership positions in the California Faculty Association (CFA). After returning to California from the East Coast in the late 90s, he worked as a staff member for the CFA for seven years and was responsible for organizing the contingent faculty. He is now retired but remains active in the Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor (COCAL) and other political projects. In his role as film scholar and teacher, he specializes in the fiction and documentary cinemas from Latin American and other Third World cinemas.

Patricia R. Zimmermann is a professor in the Department of Cinema, Photography and Media Arts at Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York. She is also codirector (with Tom Shevory) of the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival ( She has also held endowed chair appointments as the Shaw Foundation Professor of New Media in the School of Communication and Information at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and the Ida Beam Professor of Cinema and Comparative Literature at the University of Iowa. She is the author of Reel Families: A Social History of Amateur Film (Indiana, 1995) and States of Emergency: Documentaries, Wars, Democracies (Minnesota, 2000). She coedited Mining the Home Movie: Excavations in Histories and Memories (California, 2008) and, with Erik Barnouw, The Flaherty: Four Decades in the Cause of Independent Cinema (Wide Angle, 1996). Her current book project on digital arts, Reverse Engineering: Documentary Migrations across Platforms, analyzes the relationship between historiography, political engagements, and digital art practices. She has published many scholarly research articles and essays on film history and historiography, documentary and experimental film/video/digital arts, amateur film, political economy of media, and digital culture theory in a wide swathe of international journals, including Screen, Genders, Journal of Film and Video, Afterimage, Framework, Asian Communications Quarterly, Cinema Journal, Wide Angle, Cultural Studies, DOX, Film History, Socialist Review, Journal of Communications Inquiry, and The Moving Image. Her blog, Open Spaces, explores openings, closings, and thresholds in international public media, especially documentary.

Herman Gray is a professor of sociology at the University of California at Santa Cruz. He is the author of numerous books and articles, including Producing Jazz: The Experience of an Independent Record Company (Temple University Press, 1988), Watching Race: Television and the Sign of Blackness (1995), and Culture Moves: African Americans and the Politics of Representation (2005). He teaches courses in cultural studies, media studies, and cultural politics.

David Wade Crane produces critical and creative work, in collaboration with others and on his own.

Eric Gordon is a game designer and scholar who studies mediated civic engagement, location-based media, and serious games. He is a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University and an associate professor in the department of Visual and Media Arts at Emerson College, where he is the founding director of the Engagement Game Lab (, which focuses on digital games and playful systems that foster civic engagement. In addition to many articles, he is the author of two books: Net Locality: Why Location Matters in a Networked World (2011, with Adriana de Souza e Silva) and The Urban Spectator: American Concept-cities From Kodak to Google (2010).

Cristina Venegas is chair and associate professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The focus of her research is on international film and media, with an emphasis on Latin America, Spanish-language media in the United States, and digital technologies. She is the author of Digital Dilemmas: The State, the Individual, and Digital Media in Cuba and has written about film and political culture, “revolutionary” imagination in the Americas, telenovelas, contemporary Latin American cinema, and coproductions. Since 1999, she has also been curator of numerous film programs on Latin America in the United States and was cofounder and artistic director (2004–10) of the Latino CineMedia International Film Festival, part of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

John T. Caldwell is a professor of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. A scholar and a filmmaker, he has authored several books, including Production Culture: Industrial Reflexivity and Critical Practice (Duke University Press, 2008), Televisuality: Style, Crisis, and Authority in American Television (Rutgers University Press, 1995), Production Studies: Critical Studies of Media Industries (Routledge, 2009, coedited with Vicki Mayer and Miranda Banks), and Electronic Media and Technoculture (Rutgers University Press, 2000). He is also the producer/director of the award-winning feature documentaries Freak Street to Goa: Immigrants on the Rajpath (1989) and Rancho California (por favor), which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2002.

Mark B. N. Hansen is Professor of Literature at Duke University. He is author of Embodying Technesis: Technology beyond Writing (University of Michigan Press, 2000), New Philosophy for New Media (MIT Press, 2004), and Bodies in Code (Routledge, 2006), and the upcoming book Feed Forward: On the “Future” of 21st Century Media (University of Chicago Press, forthcoming), as well as numerous essays on cultural theory, contemporary literature, and media. He has coedited The Cambridge Companion to Merleau-Ponty (with Taylor Carman; Cambridge University Press, 2005), Emergence and Embodiment: New Essays on Second-Order Systems Theory (with Bruce Clarke; Duke University Press, 2009), and Critical Terms for Media Studies (with W. J. T. Mitchell; University of Chicago Press, 2010). His current projects include The Politics of Presencing, a study of embodied human agency in the context of real-time media and computing; Becoming-Human, an ethics of the posthuman; and Fiction after Television, a study of the novel in the age of digital convergence.

Holly Willis is chair of the Media Arts + Practice Division within the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California (USC), where she teaches, organizes workshops, and oversees academic programs designed to introduce new media literacy skills across USC’s campus and curriculum. She is also the editor of The New Ecology of Things (Art Center College of Design, 2007), a collection of essays, words, images, and fiction that grapples with the potential and design challenges of pervasive computing, and she is the author of New Digital Cinema: Reinventing the Moving Image (Wallflower Press, 2005), which chronicles the advent of digital filmmaking tools and their impact on contemporary media practices. The former editor of RES magazine, she has written extensively on experimental media practices for a variety of publications. She holds a PhD in Critical Studies in Cinema–Television from USC.

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer was born in Mexico City in 1967. In 1989, he received a BSc in physical chemistry from Concordia University in Montréal, Canada. Using robotics, projections, sound, Internet and cell-phone links, sensors, and other devices, his installations aim to provide “temporary antimonuments for alien agency.” His work has been commissioned for events such as the Millennium Celebrations in Mexico City (1999), the Cultural Capital of Europe in Rotterdam (2001), the United Nations’ World Summit of Cities in Lyon (2003), the opening of the Yamaguchi Centre for Art and Media in Japan (2003), and the Expansion of the European Union in Dublin (2004). His work in kinetic sculpture, responsive environments, video installation and photography has been shown in two dozen countries and is in public and private collections. He has also won numerous prestigious awards for his work, given many workshops and conferences, and been widely published.

Performance artist Guillermo Gómez-Peña was born and in Mexico City in 1955 and raised there. He came to the United States in 1978 and has been exploring cross-cultural issues and North–South relations ever since. He works in a wide variety of media, including performance art, bilingual poetry, journalism, radio, television and video, and installation art. From 1983 until the mid-1990s, Gómez-Peña lived in San Diego/Tijuana, where he was a catalyst for the reinterpretation of American culture from the point of view of the contested terrain along the border between the United States and Mexico. His art focuses on the exotic and folkloric stereotypes of Mexico still popular in the United States and on the cultural nationalism often associated with politically charged Chicano art. He was a founding member of the Border Art Workshop/Taller de Arte Fronterizo and the editor of the experimental arts magazine The Broken Line/la Linea Quebrada. He has been a contributor to the national radio magazine Crossroads and the radio program Latino USA, and a contributing editor to High Performance and The Drama Review, two of the leading magazines dealing with performance art. In 1991, he was the recipient of the prestigious John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship.
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