Hello, everyone! I apologize for making my way over here so slowly. I'm in the final semester of my coursework in my program, and have both comp exams and dissertation prospectus and defense to get done before Thanksgiving, so I've been pretty much consumed by that. I'll be far more around and active after that. :-)
I'm a Ph.D. student at Virginia Commonwealth University in the PhD Media, Art and Text program. I got my B.A. from Florida State in English and Theater, then my M.A. here in Richmond at VCU. M.A. in hand, I headed to the West Coast and L.A./Hollywood. I adjuncted at Loyola Marymount and UC Irvine to pay the bills while I took classes and went to auditions and did extra work. I found it all rather intellectually dull, much as I love to perform, so I went back to school--this time to law school at University of San Diego.
I loved law school--the concepts, the debates, all of it. I hated being a lawyer, though. (One of my professors told me when I graduated that I would, and he laid odds that I'd be back in academia within a decade. It took half of that. He laughed for quite some time when I called him to ask for a letter of rec for Ph.D. apps.) It was during my time in law school that I discovered media and fan studies, and I was a blown away by the mere idea that I could actually do scholarly work in things that really excite me. The lack of a research area was what had kept me from applying to PhD programs instead of law school--I love Byron, but I didn't want to commit my life to him.
Leaving the law and coming to the MATX program has been amazing--personally and professionally fulfilling. My main research areas are in cultural studies and fandom studies. I'm very interested in gender and sexuality issues within media texts and how they are then interpreted or altered by active audiences. My various work done in the past few years has included sense of ownership of media texts by fans, fan/producer relationships, narratives constructed in opposition to the text particularly in fan videos, examinations of the representation of different sexualities in media texts, representation of self and sellf-as-fan in online narrative role-play games, and examinations of the way sex and relationships are coded and represented in various YA texts.
I'm still playing around with my dissertation questions--I thought I had it down, and then found it not really working, so I've been reconsidering my scope, angle and focus. I'll have something worked out in the next 19 days.
I'm really excited to be part of the HASTAC community and to get to know others doing related work in media and storytelling. I love my program, but we're a pretty small program, and it's always exciting to get to work with and learn from others in a wider scope. I'm looking forward to this year, and engaging more deeply here after the next couple of weeks, but I wanted to say hello!