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

Karen Tongson

Karen Tongson is an associate professor of English and Gender Studies at the University of Southern California. She is the author of “Relocations: Queer Suburban Imaginaries.” She is an expert in queer theory, women and pop music and queer and racial representations and stereotyping in popular culture. Tongson is currently the series editor for the Postmillennial Pop series at NYU Press and an associate editor of the Journal of Popular Music Studies.

Associate Professor of English and Gender Studies at the University of Southern California

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Contact Information:

Phone: (323) 687-2574

Email: Tongson@usc.edu

Twitter: @inlandemperor

Hear her on All Things Considered:

Travis Gosa

Dr. Travis L. Gosa is Assistant Professor of Africana Studies at Cornell University and faculty associate at Cornell’s Center for the Study of Inequality. He serves on the advisory board of Cornell’s Hip-Hop Collection, the largest archive on early hip-hop culture in the United States. Gosa is an expert on race, new politics, hip-hop culture, and education. He is also the co-editor of The Hip-Hop & Obama Reader, the first hip-hop anthology to center on contemporary politics, activism, and social change, and is finishing his manuscript School of Hard Knocks: Hip-Hop and the Fight for Equal Education  a book that explores how schools fail black students and why hip-hop can help fix education in America.  He can speak about the role of youth voters and race in national politics and the 2016 presidential election.

Travis Gosa

Assistant Professor of Africana Studies at Cornell University

Areas of expertise: Race, new politics, hip-hop culture, education, popular culture.

Location: Ithaca, NY

Contact Information:

Email: tlg72@cornell.edu

Twitter: @basedprof

Linda Glaser, Cornell University Writer/Publicist

Email: lbg37@cornell.edu

607-255-8942 (office)

973-650-8172 (cell)

Heard on NPR

Heard on 88.9FM, WEAA Public Radio: “Obama’s Relationship With the Hip-Hop Community.” First Edition with Sean Yoes.

Added October 2015

Last Verified: October 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

Ana Lopez

Ana Lopez is the Director of the Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute, and an Associate Professor of Communication at Tulane University. She has worked extensively with Latino cultural production in the U.S. Her work has been widely published in film and Latin American studies journals.Her scholarship and publications are focused on Latin American film, media, television, and popular culture.

As director of the Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute, she oversees the Summer in Cuba program, the Summer in the Dominican Republic program, and academic and cultural programming aimed at promoting a true Cuban and Caribbean presence on Tulane’s campus.

ana lopez.jpg

Professor at Tulane Stone Center of Latin American Studies

Areas of Expertise: Latin America, Mass Communication, Latin American Film, Cultural Studies, Popular Culture

Location: New Orleans, LA

Contact:

Tulane’s PR for Dr. Lopez’s department: Valerie J McGinley, Office (504) 865-5164, Cell (504) 717-9775.

Phone: (504) 562-3034

Email: lopez@tulane.edu

Here is Lopez on member station WWNO, on Cuba Policy

Added January 2015

Last Verified: January 2015

Eboni K. Williams

Eboni K. Williams is a talk radio personality, political commentator/strategist, and trial attorney based in L.A. She covers national legal and political issues with a pop culture perspective. Her commentary can be seen on Fox News’ The O’Reily Factor, Hannity, Your World with Neil Cavuto and CNN.

Williams hosts a talk radio show on KTLK AM1150 bringing insightful commentary on the latest headlines and celebrity justice stories. She began her legal career specializing in family law and civil litigation, providing legal consult on high-profile divorce, spousal support, and child custody cases. As a solutions-oriented attorney, she later made the transition into practicing as a public defender, as well as a private defense lawyer in North Carolina and throughout the greater Los Angeles area. She has represented clients in criminal matters including murders, rapes, high volume drug cases, sex crimes and federal offenses.

While in private practice, Eboni has represented professional athletes during employment and sponsorship contract negotiations. Additionally, she has defended NFL and NBA players against drug, property and assault charges. She has worked for various politicians, including New Orleans City Council Members, supporting efforts to rebuild the city of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.


Trial Attorney, Talk Radio Host on KTLK AM1150

Areas of Expertise: Gay Marriage, Supreme Court Cases, Affirmative Action, Immigration, Gun Violence, Elections, GOP/Minority Relations, Women’s Issues, High Profile Trials, Constitutional Law

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Contact Information:
Email: ebonikwilliams@gmail.com
Phone: (919) 923-1181

 

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Jason Johnson

Jason Johnson teaches politics and journalism at Morgan State University. He is also a political contributor at MSNBC and is a politics editor at The Root.

Johnson’s academic research focuses on political communication and campaign strategy. He has worked on both Democratic and Republican legislative campaigns in South Carolina, Maryland, and Virginia. His latest book, Political Consultants and Campaigns: One Day to Sell, analyzes modern-day campaigns and the political consultants who run them.

Johnson also has experience in international politics. According to his website, he was a campaign advisor for Frank Dobson in the 2001 London mayoral race and was an honored guest of the Independent Electoral Commission in South Africa in 2007. Recently, he was an international elections observer in Mexico and went on a two-week speaking tour throughout Germany.

Johnson is a frequent television commentator on networks such as Al Jazeera English and CNN, and he has been on NPR member stations MPR, WCPN, and WHYY.

Professor of Politics and Journalism at Morgan State University, Politics Editor at The Root

Areas of Expertise: Politics, Campaign Strategy, Elections, Political Rhetoric, Journalism, Pop Culture, Interest Groups, Hip-Hop Politicians, Political Communication, Comparative Politics, International Election Monitoring

Location: Cleveland/Akron, OH

Contact Info:

Business Mobile: 540-207-6745

Email: johnsonJA@hiram.edu

Heard on Minnesota Public Radio (MPR): For a full list, click here.

MPR News: Midmorning Live From Des Moines

Heard on WKSU: For a full list, click here.

Election 2012: Young voters still support Obama

Heard on NPR: For a complete list, click here.

Tell Me More: Unrest Boils Over Ohio Collective Bargaining Law

Wesley Morris

Wesley Morris is a staff writer for Grantland, an ESPN-affiliated sports and pop culture website. He won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for criticism for his work as a film critic at The Boston Globe. Morris has written film reviews and essays for the San Francisco Examiner and the San Francisco Chronicle.

Staff Writer for Grantland

Areas of Expertise: Pop Culture, Film

Location: Boston, MA 

Contact Info:

Mobile: (617) 216-0006    

Email: wesleymorris@mac.com

Twitter: @Wesley_Morris

Heard on WBUR: For a complete list, click here.

Radio Boston: Wesley Morris On The Value Of Trashy Movies

Heard on NPR: For a complete list, click here.

Tell Me More: ‘Think Like A Man’ Gets At Games By Men, Women