The School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication welcomed two new tenure-track faculty members this fall.
Assistant professors Dr. Juan Llamas-Rodriguez and Dr. Hong-An (Ann) Wu add their expertise to the areas of critical media studies and game studies. Llamas-Rodriguez studied film and media studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Wu studied art education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
“Both Dr. Llamas-Rodriguez and Dr. Wu are assets to our school,” said Dr. Anne Balsamo, dean of the school. “ATEC is a destination for artists, designers, scholars, researchers and reflective practitioners who seek to collaborate on intentional future-making through the creation of new cultural forms, the design of new technological experiences, the production of new knowledge, and the transformation of cultural industries. Their work aligns perfectly with the ATEC philosophy to inspire students, faculty, staff, colleagues and the public to think critically about the entanglement of technology and culture.”
Llamas-Rodriguez’s research focuses on transnational media distribution, digital labor, border studies, infrastructure studies, and Latin American film and television.
His current book project examines how fictional media and digital technologies shape the popular conception of illicit underground tunnels and, subsequently, create avenues for reimagining transnational borders.
Llamas-Rodriguez, an assistant professor of critical media studies, has published articles in Feminist Media Histories and the edited collections Geoblocking and Global Video Culture and Arrow and Superhero Television. His articles also are forthcoming in journals Film Quarterly, Jump Cut and Cinema Journal, and in the Routledge Companion to Risk and Media collection. He serves as co-editor of the Media Fields Journal special issue on digital distribution.
“Dr. Llamas-Rodriguez’s work engages important questions about the practices and materialities of media distribution, popular culture, the precarity of creative labor and the politics of media,” Balsamo said. “His research addresses how media help us make sense of the world, including how we see ourselves and others and how we respond to social issues.”
Wu’s research investigates the intersection of critical pedagogy and play. Wu also joins the school as an assistant professor of arts, technology and emerging communication.
Her work focuses on developing pedagogical approaches that activate civic engagement through the creation and use of digital and interactive technologies, such as video games, for social justice. She is working on research involving critical pedagogy, game and play studies, games and learning, feminist science and technology studies, and new media arts education.
Wu has presented her research at regional, national and international conferences, such as Games+Learning+Society, and published in Visual Arts Research, among other journals.
“Dr. Wu raises questions about games and play through community-based education, new media art and interdisciplinary research,” Balsamo said. “Her work investigates ways to facilitate pedagogical approaches that provide students with agency when interacting with technology, thus creating openings to transform our digitally mediated material reality.”
The school offers four degrees in arts, technology and emerging communication: a bachelor of arts, a master of arts, a master of fine arts and a PhD. ATEC serves more than 1,500 students, including 100 master’s students and 40 doctoral students.