Visiting Scholars and Postdoctoral Associates

CMS/W takes pride in welcoming young and established scholars and helping them advance their own work by pairing them with one of our research groups. Past visitors have played key roles in our speaker series, contributed to masters student theses, and established long-term ties between MIT and other institutions.

If you yourself are interested in joining us for a semester or longer, here is how to join CMS/W as a visiting scholar or postdoctoral associate.

Ivan Abarca
Visiting Scholar
photo 7 e1375451126399 150x150 Visiting Scholars and Postdoctoral Associates Ivan Abarca's research focuses on media, cognition and politics and analyzes the way in which society constructs a model of democracy. He has been exploring, most recently, how fiction cognitively impacts behavior and how different genres of television fiction frame and influence real life politics and, in particular, presidential elections. He uses nontraditional empirical data to analyze the construction of meaning reflected in the social and political practices of the social organization of society.

Ivan has worked as a consultant and researcher in the Middle East, France and Mexico. He holds a Ph.D. and a master's degree in Language Sciences with a specialty in Cognitive Linguistics from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. His dissertation is titled "The Construction of Fiction and Reality in Political Image and Discourse: Analysis of the Telenovela El Candidato and the Mexican Presidential Campaign of 2000". He holds an undergraduate degree from the Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana-Xochimilco in Mexico City. Ivan has worked in diplomacy and also holds an Executive Certificate in Homeland Security Studies from the Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Lauder School of Government, Israel, as well as a certificate in Contemporary Criminal Threats from the University of Paris II Assas, Paris.
Khalid Al-Quradaghi
Visiting Scholar
 Visiting Scholars and Postdoctoral Associates
Karim Ben Khelifa
Open Documentary Lab Artist in Residence
Karim Ben Khelifa 150x150 Visiting Scholars and Postdoctoral Associates Karim Ben Khelifa is a photojournalist who freelances regularly for Time, Vanity Fair, Le Monde, Stern, GEO, and dozens of others. He is also the co-founder of, an online platform that connects audiences and freelance journalists in order to create global communities and alternative funding models for visual storytelling. He is currently the 2013 Carroll Binder Fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University.
Noel Braganza
Interaction Designer
Noel 150x150 Visiting Scholars and Postdoctoral Associates Noel Braganza, is currently working at the MIT Mobile Experience Lab as an Interaction Designer and has recently graduated with a Master degree in Interaction Design from Domus Academy, Milano.

He has with him over 7 years of work experience in digital advertising as a Creative Partner (Copy) and over the years has learned to understand the tiny nuances of human behaviour, communications and interactions. He has conceptualised, prototyped and developed many unique systems for various projects across different genres of interaction design.

Having started out as a copywriter with a keen interest in design, he successfully made a career not just as a creative director but as a digital strategist with a keen sense of social trends, markets and digital possibilities. His varied interests in multiple creative disciplines helped him understand not just how to copy write but also design, strategize, manipulate digital media, understand user interface & interaction design and other related aspects of digital advertising. His expertise has always centered around highly conceptual design & communication strategies that stem from a deep understanding human behaviour and intuition.

His skills are varied & the diverse experience he has gathered over the years has helped him innovate & understand Interaction Design with a perspective that is slightly different from other designers. His background in copy and communication helped him better understand how people read & understand visual design.
Steve Chan
Research Fellow
Steve Chan Visiting Scholars and Postdoctoral Associates Dr. Steve Chan is a big data Scientist, investigating those analytical methodologies and tools that will facilitate transforming big data into big insights. To advance these explorations, he has co-founded several research centers within academia, such as the MIT E-Lab, where he serves as a Research Fellow and Chief Technology Officer. He also serves as a Research Fellow at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and as a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School. His publications on big data have been presented at the 8th IEEE International Conference on Collaborative Computing: Networking, Applications and Worksharing (CollaborateCom), 7th IEEE International Conference on Digital Ecosystems and Technologies (DEST): Smart Planet and Cyber Physical Systems as Embodiment of Digital Ecosystems, and the 3rd International Conference on the Analysis of Mobile Phone Datasets – Data for Development (D4D) Challenge at MIT (where his team won Best Visualization Award).
Katerina Cizek
MIT Visiting Artist
Katerina Cizek 150x150 Visiting Scholars and Postdoctoral Associates Director of the National Film Board of Canada’s multi-year HIGHRISE project, Katerina Cizek is an Emmy-winning documentary-maker working across multiple media platforms. Prior to HIGHRISE, she worked as the NFB’s Filmmaker in Residence. Her work has documented the digital revolution and has itself become part of the movement.

For more information on the MIT Visiting Artists Program, visit Arts@MIT.
Mine Gencel Bek
Visiting Fulbright Professor
IMG 6310 150x150 Visiting Scholars and Postdoctoral Associates Mine Gencel Bek is a professor at the Department of Journalism, Faculty of Communication, Ankara University. She completed her Ph.D. at Loughborough University in 1999 with the thesis Communicating Capitalism: A Study of the Contemporary Turkish Press. This analysis included the structural elements of the changing industry, news as texts, and the role of journalists in the news-production process. For that thesis, she conducted interviews with journalists and editors and investigated the news production process.

Her publications have a wide range of issues: the political economy of Turkish media; the media policies in the European Union and Turkey; media professionals and textual analysis of news in press and TV on the issues such as tabloidization and representation of women and children. Common to all of her work is criticism of unethical practices of irresponsible media and the call for the democratization of societies for freedom and equality, and the democratization of the media, with a special focus on journalism.

Her current research is on the comparative media systems, journalism practices, and technological innovations.
Todd Harper
Postdoctoral Associate
 Visiting Scholars and Postdoctoral Associates Researcher at the MIT Game Lab. Focuses on qualitative, ethnomethodological work in gender/queer representation in games and competitive gaming/e-sports. Fan of JRPGs, fighting games, and volleyball. Blogs infrequently, tweets too frequently.
Suvi Andrea Helminen
Open Documentary Lab Artist in Residence
suvi andrea helminen 150x150 Visiting Scholars and Postdoctoral Associates Suvi Andrea Helminen is an interactive and documentary filmmaker from Denmark, currently based in Boston. She graduated from The National Film School of Denmark’s documentary department. Her first interactive documentary 48 Hour Games was released in December 2012. It is currently touring and it has been showcased at panels and live events at SXSW Interactive, CPH:DOX (Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival), Game Developers Conference San Francisco, and the Nordic Game Conference a.o.
Marisa Jahn
Open Documentary Lab Artist in Residence
Marisa Jahn 150x150 Visiting Scholars and Postdoctoral Associates Of Chinese and Ecuadorian descent, Marisa Jahn is an artist, writer, and activist. Jahn is the Executive Director of REV-, a nonprofit studio whose public art projects combine creativity, bold ideas, and sound research to address critical issues impacting low-wage workers, immigrants, and teens. A graduate of, and Visiting Scientist at, MIT, her work has been presented at venues such as The White House, Studio Museum of Harlem, Museum of Modern Art, Walker Art Center; received grants and awards such as Tribeca Film Institute’s New Media Fund, Rockefeller Cultural Innovation Fund; and received reviews in media such as Artforum, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC, and more.
Jesper Juul
Visiting Assistant Professor
2013 04 22 WNYC Brian Lehrer show 150x150 Visiting Scholars and Postdoctoral Associates Jesper Juul has been working with the development of video game theory since the late 1990′s. His book Half-Real on video game theory was published by MIT press in 2005. His most recent book "The Art of Failure: An Essay on the Pain of Playing Video Games" was published in the Spring of 2013. He maintains the blog The Ludologist on “game research and other important things”.
Nikolaus Koenig
Postdoctoral Fellow
 Visiting Scholars and Postdoctoral Associates
Kelley Kreitz
Visiting Scholar
2d4b6a9 150x150 Visiting Scholars and Postdoctoral Associates Kelley Kreitz's research combines media studies, the history of journalism, cultural studies, and U.S. and Latin American literary studies. She is completing a book called Electrifying News: A Hemispheric History of Newspapers, Novels, and Media Change. Kelley has served as a radio journalist and as the director of the Idea Lab at Root Cause. She received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Brown University.
Andrew Lowenthal
Open Documentary Lab Research Affiliate
Andrew Lowenthal 150x150 Visiting Scholars and Postdoctoral Associates Andrew Lowenthal is Co-Founder and Executive Director of EngageMedia, an Asia-Pacific human rights and environmental non-profit exploring the intersection of video, technology, and social change. EngageMedia harnesses the advocacy potential of video and online technologies via the development of open source technologies, the creation of strategic networks and experimentation with new distribution tactics. In 2013-2014, Andrew will be a Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.
David Nieborg
Postdoctoral Associate
 Visiting Scholars and Postdoctoral Associates David B. Nieborg is a Dutch journalist and consultant and affiliated as a postdoc fellow with the University of Amsterdam. He graduated cum laude at Utrecht University, and holds a PhD from the University of Amsterdam. He published on digital culture and games and has a particular interest in the political economy of the game industry. Nieborg publishes regularly for the leading Dutch newspapers NRC Handelsblad and In 2013 he was awarded a three-year postdoctoral grant by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) to investigate app economics.

For more information see
Nelly Rosario
Visiting Scholar
NAR TX 150x150 Visiting Scholars and Postdoctoral Associates Nelly Rosario, author Song of the Water Saints (Pantheon, 2002), a PEN/Open Book Award winner. Born in Santo Domingo, DR; raised in Brooklyn, circa its era of affordability. MIT alumna (Course 1, '94), MFA from Columbia University—her writing aims to desegregate genres and the disciplines. On faculty at Texas State University's MFA Program, in the greenest part of that republic. During her time as a Visiting Scholar at Comparative Media Studies/Writing she will be writing and researching a speculative novel on vision/medicine + buried in archives as researcher for the Blacks at MIT History Project.
Gabrielle Trépanier-Jobin
Postdoctoral Associate
 Visiting Scholars and Postdoctoral Associates Gabrielle Trépanier-Jobin is a SSHRC postdoctoral fellow whose main research interests include media, gender and game studies. She holds a Ph.D. in Communication from Université du Québec à Montréal (Canada). Her thesis explores the possibility of using parodies as a playful means to denaturalize gender stereotypes, to raise consciousness and to empower people. Gabrielle is also the author of a book about alternative representations of femininity in women’s cinema, as well as the author of several book chapters about cheating in videogames, gender representations in digital environments and machinima parodies. She taught the courses “Images of Women in Hollywood Cinema” and “Cinema and Society” at Université du Québec à Montréal. She is also a member of the HomoLudens Research Group, of the Gerse Research Group and of the Reliquaire Ludo-Club. Gabrielle is currently pursuing her work on gender parody in the fields of Internet and game studies. She is also working on the production of a machinima parody which criticizes video games’ gender stereotypes, with the collaboration of the MIT Game Lab.
Christopher Weaver
Visiting Scholar and Lecturer
Toshiro Mifune 150x150 Visiting Scholars and Postdoctoral Associates Chris Weaver teaches in Materials Science and Engineering and Comparative Media Studies/Writing. He received his S.M. from MIT and was the initial Daltry scholar at Wesleyan University, where he earned dual master's degrees in Japanese and Computer Science and a CAS Doctoral Degree in Japanese Ethnomusicology and Physics.

The former Director of Technology Forecasting for ABC and Chief Engineer to the Subcommittee on Communications to the US Congress, he founded Bethesda Softworks, a leading software company that is credited with the development of physics-based sports simulation and creating the original John Madden Football for Electronic Arts as well as the Elder Scrolls role-playing series. He has numerous patents in interactive media, security, broadband and telecommunications engineering.

A former member of the Architecture Machine Group and Fellow of the Research Program on Communications Policy, he is currently a Board Member of the Communications Technology Roadmap Group in the Microphotonics Center at MIT.
Chunhua Zhang
Visiting Scholar
Chunhua Zhang 150x150 Visiting Scholars and Postdoctoral Associates Chunhua Zhang is an associate professor at Nanjing University of Finance & Economics, China.She completed her Ph.D at Fudan University in 2009 with the thesis Research on U.S. Broadcasting System's Change.

In the last 5 years, her research focused on the relationship between media systems, media's social responsibility, and the public interest. In this field, she compared China with the United States.

Her research at CMS will pay more attention to the relationship between new media and society, from a comparative perspective.