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

zhaddai@gmail.com
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

kalquradaghi@qnrf.org
empty avatar Visiting Scholars and Postdoctoral Associates
Karim Ben Khelifa
Open Documentary Lab Artist in Residence

karim_bk@mit.edu
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 Emphas.is, 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

noelb@mit.edu
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

s_chan@mit.edu
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

kcizek@yahoo.com
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.
Ta-Nehisi Coates
MLK Visiting Scholar

tanehisi@mit.edu
TaNehisi img popup 150x150 Visiting Scholars and Postdoctoral Associates Ta-Nehisi Coates is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle. Born in 1975, the product of two beautiful parents. Raised in West Baltimore—not quite The Wire, but sometimes ill all the same. Studied at the Mecca for some years in the mid-'90s. Emerged with a purpose, if not a degree.
Giuliana Cucinelli
Postdoctoral Associate

gcucinel@mit.edu
giuliana 150x150 Visiting Scholars and Postdoctoral Associates Giuliana Cucinelli is a researcher and media creator whose expertise is in digital media, with an emphasis on youth culture, teacher education, community/cultural/media activism, emergent media practices, and digital humanities.

Her creative work involves web-based interactive documentaries, location-based/locative documentaries, websites, sound/audio soundscapes, graphic design, transmedia/cross-media, and social media. Through interdisciplinary approaches her research merges theory and practice.

She is also a research associate for the Mobile Media Lab in the Department of Communication Studies at Concordia University.
Mine Gencel Bek
Visiting Fulbright Professor

minegencelbek@gmail.com
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.
Arnau Gifreu
Open Documentary Lab Research Affiliate

agifreu@mit.edu
Arnau Gifreu 130x150 Visiting Scholars and Postdoctoral Associates Arnau Gifreu is a Professor of Communication Studies at Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) and the Universitat de Vic (UVIC), directing Final Grade Projects in the multimedia field. He is the Director of UVIC_Lab, the Digital Content Laboratory at UVIC. He is a Doctor in Communications and has a master’s degree in digital arts from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF).

Gifreu has published various book chapters and articles in his research area, interactive and transmedia non-fiction, and specifically on interactive documentaries. He is part of the i-docs Group, of the i-docs Lab and the i-docs Conference (DCRC, University of the West of England). In terms of research stays, he has been a research lecturer at Harvard University (Harvard Metalab) and York University (Future Cinema Lab). He has worked and collaborated in direction tasks for television stations such as 25TV and TVC (Televisió de Catalunya) and production companies such as Tasmania Films and MediaPro.
Todd Harper
Postdoctoral Associate

tlharper@mit.edu
 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

mail@suvi.dk
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.
Chun-Cheng Hsu
TUSA Visiting Scholar & Fulbright Fellow

cchsu1@mit.edu
Chun Cheng Hsu 130x150 Visiting Scholars and Postdoctoral Associates Dr. Chun-Cheng Hsu is an Associate Professor of Design in the Department of Communication & Technology as well as Institute of Applied Arts, National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan.

His media design works received many competition awards and his fifty more papers are published by peer review journals in design or HCI realms.

His research focuses for the past five years can be summarized in three aspects: (1) design strategies and multiple criteria decision-making; (2) interaction science & design thinking; (3) affective engineering, user experience, and interface design. The research topics are mainly involved with the relationship of human emotions, visual characteristics and decision-making for designs in HCI and communication technology, and apt to combine academic research and practical design.

His current the research project in MIT deals with how the characteristics of new media interfaces affect modes of behaviors in social network interaction and their corresponding design strategies. He uses behavioral economics, user experience and design methodology to examine diverse issues concerning social interaction by ways of cross-cultural studies.
Marisa Jahn
Open Documentary Lab Artist in Residence

mjahn@mit.edu
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

jesperj@mit.edu
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”.
Anastasia Kavada
Visiting Scholar

A.Kavada@westminster.ac.uk
Anastasia Kavada 150x150 Visiting Scholars and Postdoctoral Associates Anastasia Kavada is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Journalism & Mass Communication at the University of Westminster. Her research focuses on the links between online tools and decentralized organizing practices, democratic decision-making, and the development of solidarity among participants in collective action. Anastasia’s case studies include, among others, the Global Justice Movement, Avaaz, and the Occupy movement. Her work has appeared in a variety of edited books and academic journals, including Media, Culture & Society and Information, Communication & Society. Anastasia is currently undertaking research on the role of the internet in economic justice activism as part of a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship. You can find her project blog at digitalprotest.net.
Kelley Kreitz
Visiting Scholar

kkreitz@mit.edu
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

alowenth@mit.edu
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.
Piotr Marecki
Visiting Fulbright Scholar

marecki@mit.edu
marecki1 150x150 Visiting Scholars and Postdoctoral Associates Assistant Professor in the Department of Contemporary Culture at the Institute of Culture at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, lecturer at the Polish National Film, Television and Theater School (PWSFTviT) in Łódź and the Kraków School of Screenwriting. He has studied at the Jagiellonian University (film studies, media studies, cultural studies) and Andrzej Wajda Master School of Directing in Warsaw (Creative Producing). He holds a PhD in cultural studies from The Jagiellonian University. He has been visiting fellow at universities and cultural centres in Europe and the United States, including MIT (USA), The University of Bucharest (Romania), Institute of Arts (Czech Republic). Since 1999 he is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of "Ha!art" magazine, website newspaper and the Publishing House and charmain of the board at Korporacja Ha!art Foundation. His interests include Polish literature after 1989, independent culture, new media literature, experimental writing, cultural margins, film adaptations, and screenwriting.
David Nieborg
Postdoctoral Associate

david@gamespace.nl
 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 Nrc.next. 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 http://www.gamespace.nl.
Alexander Reben
Open Documentary Lab Research Affiliate

alex@areben.com
 Visiting Scholars and Postdoctoral Associates Alexander Reben is a kinetic engineer and interactive artist who designs robots and novel interfaces to experimentally explore humankind’s evolving relationship with technology. His work has been shown at Ars Electronica, MIT, Axiom, EYEBEAM, The Whitney Biennial, and has been featured in New Scientist, Fast Company, BBC, CBC, Hack a Day, and other news outlets. Following his MIT thesis “Boxie”, he was invited to speak at TED and several universities.

Alexander’s recent interactive installation, “Robots-in-Residence: The World’s First Documentary Shot And Directed Entirely By Robots” premiered at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam’s Doclab, and showcased at the 2013 Tribeca International Film Festival’s Storyscapes Competition.
Nelly Rosario
Visiting Scholar

rosarion@mit.edu
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

gtrepan@mit.edu
 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

csweaver@mit.edu
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.
Zizhong Zhao
Visiting Scholar

zhaozizhong@vip.sina.com
empty avatar Visiting Scholars and Postdoctoral Associates