Professor McPherson teaches courses in television, new media, and popular culture in USC's School of Cinematic Arts. Before arriving at USC, Tara taught at MIT. Her Reconstructing Dixie: Race, Gender and Nostalgia in the Imagined South (Duke UP: 2003) received the 2004 John G. Cawelti Award for the outstanding book published on American Culture and was a finalist for the Katherine Singer Kovacs Book Award from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies. She is co-editor of the anthology Hop on Pop: The Politics and Pleasures of Popular Culture (Duke UP: 2003). Her writing has appeared in numerous journals, including Camera Obscura, The Velvet Light Trap, Discourse, and Screen, and in edited anthologies such as Race and Cyberspace, The New Media Handbook, The Visual Culture Reader 2.0, Virtual Publics and Basketball Jones. She is currently co-editing two anthologies on new technology (including one for the MacArthur Foundation), working on a book manuscript on racial epistemologies in the electronic age, and editing Vectors, a multimedia publishing project sponsored by the Institute for Multimedia Literacy.
Co-organizer of the 1999 conference, Interactive Frictions, Tara is among the founding organizers of Race in Digital Space, a multi-year project that has included conferences and art exhibits at MIT, USC and MOCA. The initiative is supported by the Annenberg Center for Communication and the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations. Her new media research focuses on issues of convergence, gender, race, and representation, and multimedia literacy and authorship. She is also exploring the film, television and multimedia work of Charles and Ray Eames. She is a member of the Academic Advisory Board of The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Archives, has served as an AFI juror, and is on the boards of several journals.
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