Keynotes ’13

Tara McPherson

Dr. Tara McPherson is Associate Professor of Critical Studies at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. She is a core faculty member of the IMAP program, USC’s innovative practice based-Ph.D., and also an affiliated faculty member in the American Studies and Ethnicity Department.She teaches courses in television, new media, and popular culture in USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. Before arriving at USC, she taught at MIT. Her book 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 the Founding Editor of Vectors,, a multimedia peer-reviewed journal affiliated with the Open Humanities Press, and is a founding editor of the MacArthur-supported International Journal of Learning and Media (launched by MIT Press in 2009.)




Dr. Angel David Nieves is an Associate Professor at Hamilton College, Clinton, N.Y.  He is currently Co-Directing Hamilton’s Digital Humanities Initiative (DHi), a $950,000. Mellon Foundation Grant funded project ( is also the Director of the American Studies Program there and is a founding member of the Cinema and New Media Studies (CNMS) minor.  He received his interdisciplinary Ph.D. in the History of Urban Development and Africana Studies from Cornell University in 2001.  His co-edited book (w/Leslie Alexander), ‘We Shall Independent Be:’ African American Place-Making and the Struggle to Claim Space in the U.S. (University Press of Colorado, 2008), examines African American efforts to claim space in American society despite fierce resistance.  Nieves has published essays in the Journal of Planning History; Places Journal: A Forum of Design for the Public Realm; International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics; Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies; and in several edited collections, including Places of Pain and Shame: Dealing With Difficult Heritage (2009).  He is also the Associate Editor, of Fire!!!: A Multimedia Journal of Black Studies, a new on-line only journal of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH).  He was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the Africa Network, a consortium of national liberal arts colleges that actively promote the study of Africa through scholarship and teaching.  He is also acting as an advisor for the permanent exhibit, The Power of Place, for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture scheduled to open in 2015, and is working with a team of undergraduate students from Middlebury College on the Soweto Historical GIS (SHGIS) Project under the aegis of Hamilton’s DHi.  Nieves’ scholarly work and community-based activism critically engages with issues of race and the built environment in cities across the Global South.