What Are We Working On?

Before I launch into links, commentary, and dissertation-related musings, I figured it might be helpful (for you and me both) to give a quick overview of what I’ve been doing that’s relevant to this blog.

Comics stuff: I wrote a few course papers on comics in my first couple years at Annenberg. The first two were basically two parts of the same argument, analyzing creators’ and fans efforts to save what many consider a threatened industry and medium, though visual experimentation and grassroots activism, respectively. I also wrote a paper about political cartooning that needs a major overhaul before I can do anything with it. I’m hoping to clean up the first two a bit and submit them for publication somewhere this summer.

Video game stuff: Again, two of my course papers on video game papers were covering different aspects of the same larger argument. One focused on state legislatures’ attempts to regulate the sale of games to minors, and the other focused on legislative and other efforts to overhaul the ESRB. I’ve attempted to blend these into one paper to submit soon to a new academic journal. I’m also presenting a paper about gameplay and interaction in arcades this May at ICA. Now that my coursework is complete, I’m also working on a couple of video game papers on the side, including one about narrative structure and another about visual aesthetics. I’ll probably post some thoughts here in the coming weeks.

General geek stuff: I wrote a course paper on geek culture and markets in the fall semester of 2005 which was too large in scope for a single paper. I revised the paper for a 2006 summer project after conducting additional interviews at the San Diego Comic Con and the Penny Arcade Expo. (That was the version of the paper I recently sent out to my interviewees.) Since then, I have been working on a paper on geeky t-shirts for an upcoming conference at MIT (which I’ll be sure to link to it from here when they post it on their site). I’m also currently working on my dissertation proposal, which I’m sure I’ll be blogging about in greater detail soon. This is the document where I explain why this project is relevant, how it fits into existing academic literature, and how I’m going to go about studying it.

Other stuff: I wrote a couple papers on concepts of media literacy that I’ll have to do something with. I hear various iterations of “media literacies” applied to geeky media (computer literacy, comics literacy, etc.) that I suspect I’ll have to address this in my dissertation somehow.

I’m also curious to hear what anyone on this site may be working on, hence the title above. So, whenever you happen to stumble across this post, I welcome you to comment about whatever academic, professional, or personal projects you feel like sharing.

2 thoughts on “What Are We Working On?

  1. Academically I’m working on computer simulations of bacterial cells. Basically, we write a bunch of equations that describe chemical reactions going on in a cell, and automatically solve those equations using computers. Then, we study how changing the forms of those equations and the values of contants in them affects the ability of the computer cell to “live” or “die”.

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