An Xiao Mina

An Xiao Mina works on program strategy and operations at Meedan, a technology non-profit that builds software for newsrooms and NGOs to improve the quality of information online. She’s an expert on digital creative culture and how memes influence protest movements and politics.

Internet memes have gone from silly image macros to salvos in cultural and political struggles. And that trend continues with the ongoing movement for racial justice following George Floyd’s death — see the memeification of arresting the cops who killed Breonna Taylor or the widespread use of Karen as a negative term for a privileged and racist white woman.

As the author of the 2019 book Memes to Movements: How the World’s Most Viral Media is Changing Social Protest and Power, Mina can provide context on the ways internet memes are shaping pop culture, politics, protest and propaganda.

Before joining Meedan, Mina was a research fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society and a 2016 Knight Visiting Fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism. She’s the co-author of the upcoming Hanmoji Handbook, which uses emojis to teach Mandarin Chinese, and her work has appeared in The Atlantic, Foreign Policy and Hyperallergenic.

Mina has worked with The Civic Beat and China Residencies to create workshops and art exhibitions in spaces including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Museum of the Moving Image in New York City and the Center for Media at Risk at the University of Pennsylvania.

Credit Jan Chipchase/Studio D Radiodurans (©)

Expertise: Digital creative culture, how memes influence protest movements and politics

Contact information:

Email: anxiaomina-berkman@protonmail.com 

Listen to An Xiao Mina speaking at the Data & Society Research Institute:

Last updated July 14, 2020

Bernard Powers

Dr. Bernard Powers is the founding director of the College of Charleston’s Center for the Study of Slavery in Charleston and a professor emeritus of history at the university. He’s an expert on African American history and culture and the role of slavery in American history.

Charleston — the city where the civil war started and where 40% of all enslaved Africans brought to the United States entered the country — has long been a center of African American history and culture. And like many American cities, it also has public Confederate monuments and statues of historical figures who supported slavery and advocated white supremacy.

As of last week, the city has one less monument. The statue of vice president and slavery advocate John C. Calhoun in Marion Square — located just a block from Mother Emanuel AME, the site of the 2015 terrorist attack by white supremacist Dylan Roof — was removed on June 24 after a unanimous city council vote.

In a recent op-ed, Powers advocates for a new monument honoring Civil War-era African Americans — such as Charleston native Robert Smalls — as a replacement for the White Point Gardens Confederate memorial.

Over his 40-year academic career, Powers has published numerous books and articles including 1994’s Black Charlestonians:  A Social History 1822-1885, which examines the socioeconomic history of the city’s vibrant free Black population and the changes caused by emancipation after the Civil War. Most recently, he co-authored the 2016 book We Are Charleston: Tragedy and Triumph at Mother Emanuel.

Powers has also appeared in several documentaries, including the PBS series African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross and 2019’s Emanuel: the Untold Story of the Victims and Survivors of the Charleston Church Shooting. His current research focuses on African Methodism in South Carolina.

Location: Charleston, South Carolina

Expertise: African American history and culture, the role of slavery in American history

Contact information:

Email (preferred): powersb@cofc.edu

Phone: 843-813-4871

Listen to Bernard Powers on South Carolina Public Radio:

Last updated June 29, 2020

Muhammad Khalifa

Muhammad Khalifa is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Administration at Michigan State University.  He has worked as a public school teacher and administrator in Detroit.

His research examines how urban school leaders enact culturally relevant leadership practices—which are leadership behaviors that most optimally help marginalized students in school and their communities.  More specifically, he looks at how school leaders can promote inclusive school environments, how they can effectively engage parents and neighborhood community contexts, and how they can confront racism in their own school buildings.

Khalifa has been published in the Teachers College Record, Educational Administration Quarterly, Urban Review, Urban Education, the Journal of Negro Education, and the Journal of School Leadership.  He is coeditor of the forthcoming “Rage, Love & Transcendence in the Emergence of Social Justice Scholars: Becoming Critical in Diverse Social Spaces” and “Handbook on Urban Educational Leadership.”

Khalifa has been engaged in school leadership reform in African and Asian countries.  Notably, he has developed the Nation’s first online equity audit equity audits to address achievement gaps and discipline gaps in school.  This online equity audit is currently being used to analyze and address inequity in U.S. schools.


Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Administration, Michigan State University

Areas of Expertise:  Education, Race, Culture, Leadership Practices, School Leadership

Location: East Lansing/Ann Arbor, MI

Contact Information:
Email:
mkhalifa@msu.edu
Phone: (734) 904-3458

 

Heard on WAMC:

The Academic Minute

 

Charlton McIlwain

Charlton McIlwain is an associate professor of media, culture and communication at New York University. His research interests, most recently funded by the Spencer Foundation, include issues at the intersection of race and media, particularly as it relates to how different forms of digital media have enhanced and/or inhibited political participation among people of color. Additionally, with race and class as starting points, he examines how political candidates can benefit or be hurt by race-based appeals.

McIlwain co-authored the report “Beyond the Hashtags: Ferguson, #BlackLivesMatter and the Online Struggle for Offline Justice” with Deen Freelon and Meredith Clark in 2016. His most recent book “Digital Movement: Racial Justice Activism from the AfroNet to Black Lives Matter was recognized by the American Library Association as one of the “Best Books” in 2012.

Associate Professor of Media, Culture and Communications, NYU Steinhardt

Location: New York, NY

Areas of Expertise: Digital media, social media, social movements, race and political participation, political campaigns

Contact Information:

E-mail: cdm1@nyu.edu
Phone: (212) 992-9495
Twitter: @cmcilwain

Sarah J. Jackson

Sarah J. Jackson is an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies and faculty affiliate of the Department of Cultures, Societies and Global Studies at Northeastern University. Her research and teaching interests include the use of media and technology to represent racial justice and social movements, with a particular focus on the role of social media in activism. Her research on the use of Twitter by journalists and activists has been funded by the Knight foundation.

Jackson is also a faculty affiliate of Northeastern’s Women’s Gender & Sexuality Studies program. Her most recent book, Black Celebrity, Racial Politics and the Press examines the relationship between race, celebrity protest and the media. Her commentary has been featured on PBS, Politico and NPR’s On Point with Tom Ashbrook.

Sarah Jackson
Assistant Professor of Communication Studies and Faculty Affiliate of Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Northeastern University

Areas of Expertise: Communications, Media Studies, Technology, Gender Studies, Social Media, Politics, Culture, Social Sciences

Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Contact Information:
E-mail: s.jackson@northeastern.edu
Phone: (617) 373-7874
Twitter: @sjjphd

Listen to Sarah Jackson here:

Silvia L. Mazzula, Ph.D.

Silvia L. Mazzula, Ph.D. is a Tenured Associate Professor of Psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice at City University of New York (CUNY). Her research focuses on the intersection of race, culture, and mental health, including racism and discrimination. She works in New York, New York.

Her research has been funded by the Robert Wood Johnson FoundationCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The Annie E. Casey Foundation, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institute on Drug Abuse, The City University of New York, and Research, Integration, Strategies, and Evaluation (RISE) for Boys and Men of Color.

silvia

   Tenured Associate Professor of Psychology 

Location: New York, New York

Contact Information:  

Email:  silviamazzula@gmail.com

Twitter@DrMazzula

Listen to Silvia L. Mazzula here:

 

Syreeta McFadden

Syreeta McFadden writes a monthly column for the Guardian US and does freelance writing work. Her work is largely focused on gender, politics, race, culture and the arts, as well as the exploration of overlapping cultural narratives between communities. Her writing has appeared in The Nation, BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post, NPR, and others.

McFadden co-curates Poets in Unexpected Places (PUP), a collective of New York-based writers and language arts educators that stages surprise poetry performances in hopes of promoting community and dialogue in public. Previous PUP collaborations include the Juilliard School and Urban Word NYC. She is also the managing editor of the online literary magazine, Union Station, which features work from emerging writers in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, as well as photo essays and interviews.

She has appeared on NPR’s Tell Me More, WNYC’s On the Media, and Sirius XM Radio’s Make It Plain. A former urban planner, she holds degrees from Columbia University and Sarah Lawrence College, and is an adjunct professor of English at the Borough of Manhattan Community College.

Syreeta McFadden

Columnist for the Guardian US and Freelance Writer

Areas of Expertise: Visual Art (Photography/Technology), Literature (Poetry), Study of Feminism/Intersectionality

Location: New York, NY

Contact Information:

Email: infosyreetamcfadden@gmail.com

Heard on WNYC’s On the Media: The Camera and the Color Line

Added June 2015

Rwany Sibaja

Rwany Sibaja (C-Bah-Ha) teaches modern Latin American history at Appalachian State University. The focus of his research centers on the impact and role of fútbol (soccer) on popular culture in mid-twentieth century Argentina, with a focus on the impact of fútbol on the formation and re-imagination of collective identities.

Sibaja is also the director of history at Appalachian State. His work has appeared in the journal Soccer & Society, the four-volume Sports Around the World: History, Culture, and Practice, and on Teachinghistory.org.

Rwany Sibaja

Assistant Professor of History and Director of History/Social Studies Education at Appalachian State University

Areas of Expertise: Soccer, 20th-century Argentina, Popular Culture, Social Studies Education

Location: Boone, NC

Contact Info:

Email: sibajaro@appstate.edu

Phone: 704-221-8264

Twitter: @rwanysibaja

Website: http://rwany.sibaja.net

Heard on NPR Source of the Week: Rwany Sibaja on FIFA Reform After Sepp Blatter’s Resignation

Nilanjana Bhattacharjya

Nilanjana Bhattacharjya is an ethnomusicologist and popular music scholar who focuses on South Asian popular music and film in India, as well as in the South Asian diaspora. She currently teaches interdisciplinary courses on the humanities, Asian Studies, music, and film at Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University. She has been researching how respective communities use music to define their identities, and how the meaning of that music changes as it travels one location to another since she began her doctoral research in 1999. Her research has focused on topics including the transnational career of the early 20th century dancer Uday Shankar in the United States and Europe, British popular musicians of South Asian descent in London during the mid 1990s through early 2000s, and Hindi film music sequences’ role in popular Hindi films. She is particularly interested in how the song sequence— once the distinctive marker of an Indian popular film— is evolving to respond to developments in the film and music industries, as well as changing tastes.

Her publications appear in the journals Asian Music, South Asian History and Culture, andSouth Asian Popular Culture, and the books Global Bollywood: Travels of Hindi Music and Dance, and South Asian Transnationalisms: Cultural Exchange in the Twentieth Century. 

Most recently, she has been working closely with other scholars who focus on the South Asian diaspora in the United States as a member and current co-chair of the Academic Council of the South Asian American Digital Archive <https://www.saadigitalarchive.org/>, which aims to raise awareness about South Asian American history by preserving historical documents and making them available to the public.

Nilanjana Bhattacharjya
Honors Faculty Fellow at Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University

Areas of Expertise: Ethnomusicology, South Asian popular music, Music and migration, South Asian popular culture, South Asian popular culture in the diaspora, South Asian American history, South Asian immigration

Location: Tempe, AZ

Contact Information:
Email: nilanjana.bhattacharjya@asu.edu
Phone: 480-727-6642

Heard on NPR Morning Edition: How The ‘Kung Fu Fighting’ Melody Came To Represent Asia

Added May 2015

Anthony Jack

Anthony Abraham Jack is a PhD. Candidate in Sociology and an Associate Doctoral Fellow in the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality & Social Policy at Harvard University.

His work examines the present-day experiences of lower-income undergraduates at elite colleges and universities in the context of more expansive race- and class-based affirmative action measures. His dissertation, Same Folks, Different Strokes: Culture, Class, and the “New” Diversity at Elite Colleges and Universities, explores the experiences of lower-income undergraduates who enter college after graduating from boarding, day, and preparatory schools, those who he calls the Privileged Poor, and compares their experiences to their lower-income peers who travel the traditional path from local high schools to college, those who he calls the Doubly Disadvantaged.

Although they share similar origins with respect to family and neighborhoods, he documents how they live ever-more divergent lives before entering college which, then, influences their transition and integration into college. In outlining this overlooked diversity, he sheds new light on how class and culture matter in college. His research also examines how African Americans respond to racism and discrimination in their daily lives. His work appears in the Du Bois Review and Sociological Forum and has been featured in the New York Times, Boston Globe, and American RadioWorks. He holds fellowships from the Ford Foundation and the National Science Foundation, and is a 2015 National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellow.

Mather House resident tutor Tony Jack, is a first-generation college student now writing a dissertation on the same topic, which he says is more about class than race. Here he is seen in Mather House and the dining hall where he informally meets with students at meals at Harvard University. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer

PhD Candidate in Sociology and Associate Doctoral Fellow in the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality & Social Policy at Harvard University

Areas of expertise: (Higher) education, New diversity at elite colleges, Culture, Cultural capital, Race, Urban poverty, Inequality, Youth

Location: Boston, MA

Contact Info:

Email: aajack@fas.harvard.edu

Phone: 617-496-5889

Twitter: @tony_jack

Heard on American RadioWorks: The First Gen Movement

Added May 2015