Faculty Research & Creative Works

Profiles of new books written by COMS Faculty Scholars

Author: Jinah Kim

In Postcolonial Grief, Jinah Kim explores the relationship of mourning to transpacific subjectivities, aesthetics, and decolonial politics since World War II. Kim argues that Asian diasporic subjectivity exists in relation to afterlives because the deaths of those killed by U.S. imperialism and militarism in the Pacific remain unresolved and unaddressed. Kim shows how primarily U.S.-based Korean and Japanese diasporic writers, artists, and filmmakers negotiate the necropolitics of Asia and how their creative refusal to heal from imperial violence may generate transformative antiracist and decolonial politics. She contests prevalent interpretations of melancholia by engaging with Frantz Fanon's and Hisaye Yamamoto's decolonial writings; uncovering the noir genre's relationship to the U.S. war in Korea; discussing the emergence of silenced colonial histories during the 1992 Los Angeles riots; and analyzing the 1996 hostage takeover of the Japanese ambassador's home in Peru. Kim highlights how the aesthetic and creative work of the Japanese and Korean diasporas offers new insights into twenty-first-century concerns surrounding the state's erasure of military violence and colonialism and the difficult work of remembering histories of war across the transpacific.

Author: Dr. Melissa Brough Ph.D

Does youth participation hold the potential to change entrenched systems of power and to reshape civic life? In Youth Power in Precarious Times Melissa Brough examines how the city of Medellín, Colombia, offers a model of civic transformation forged in the wake of violence and repression. She responds to a pressing contradiction in the world at large, where youth political participation has become a means of commodifying digital culture amidst the ongoing disenfranchisement of youth globally. Brough focuses on how young people's civic participation online and in the streets in Medellín was central to the city's transformation from having the world's highest homicide rates in the early 1990s to being known for its urban renaissance by the 2010s. Seeking to distinguish commercialized digital interactions from genuine political participation, Brough uses Medellín's experiences with youth participation—ranging from digital citizenship initiatives to the voices of community media to the beats of hip hop culture—to show how young people can be at the forefront of fostering ecologies of artistic and grassroots engagement in order to reshape civic life.

Globalizing Intercultural Communication: A Reader introduces students to the dynamic, interconnected and complex nature of intercultural relations in the world today communication using empirical case studies and personal narratives. 

Co-edited by Dr. Kathryn Sorrells with contributing authors Amer Ahmed, Dr. Melissa Curtin, Dr. Antonieta Mercado, Dr. Sheena Malhotra, and Dr. Gust Yep.

The Prayer Box is a charming and deceptively simple story that illuminates for children some hard-to-grasp ideas like the benefits of time, nurturing, private thoughts, hopes and conversations with God.

Publication 2017 by Jennifer Berry

Authors: Sakile Camara, Angela Cooke-Jackson, Ronda R. Picarelli, Kathy Beasley

A Field Guide to Internships: An Interactive Resource for Discovering Your Career 2018 by Sakile Camara, Angela Cooke-Jackson, Randi Picarelli Kathy Beasley AND guest writer Gina Giotta motivate students to: (1) explore myths and benefits of internships, (2) prepare for internships through deep self-work, (3) become familiar with labor laws and internships, (4) develop relationships through mentoring, (5) build networks online and on ground, and (6) troubleshoot workplace interactions. This comprehensive guide includes 30 workbook exercises that can be submitted for grading and feedback. The guide provides free access to Bravofolio, an online e-portfolio solution featuring Indeed job search, a forum discussion board, intern storyboarding, a to do list creator, career coaches, employer notifications and a host of other features.

Authors: Sakile K. Camara, Mark P. Orbe, Kohzi Makai and Lea Gilinets

Communication Training and Development by Sakile K. Camara, Mark P. Orbe, Kohzi Makai and Lea Gilinets 2017 is packed with training and development content needed to become a successful trainer. From this book readers will learn how to train. In addition, readers will learn what communication skills they can add to their training repertoire, how to design training modules, how to use storytelling as a critical component of the training proces, and how to set up contracts for clients. The book includes the itraine toolkit, which help users plan and design training packets, create and disseminate surveys with real-time results and keep up with client information.

Authors: Aimee Carrillo Rowe with Sheena Malhotra and Kimberlee Perez

Answer the Call, co-authored by Communication Studies faculty member Aimee Carrillo Rowe with Sheena Malhotra and Kimberlee Perez, explores the daily, psychic journeys Indian call center agents undergo as they virtually migrate between India and the U.S. A thin cable that runs half way around the globe bridges the “here” and the “there,” connecting agents to faraway customers in real time. The new time-space relations generated by this virtual contact create conditions for these workers to undergo a global “migration” from India and to America, even as their bodies remain bounded within the national homeland. To accommodate the U.S. American workday, Indian agents often work the nightshift and sleep during the day, leaving them little time for family, friends, and cultural events. This temporal arrangement displaces them from the daily rhythms of Indian life, generating a sense of loss, longing, and nostalgia for “India.” Further, while agents experience a sense of distance from India, they also experience a movement toward “America.” Agents’ accounts suggest a feeling of living between worlds, yet their movement is decoupled from physical migration. Call center agents migrate not through space, but through time. While virtual migration has no geographically distant point of arrival, the experience of moving between India and America is not merely imagined. Something is happening to agents’ sense of place and time, and yet this something falls somewhere, as agents explain, in-between: between India and America, migrating and remaining within the homeland, diasporic subject and Indian citizen; between experience and imagination; between class mobility and consumption; between here and there, then and now, past and future, tradition and modernity. Call center agents live and work between these multiple cracks of material culture. Our detailed investigation of their stories unpacks the dense cultural lives agents live as they dwell in the potentiality of virtual migration that affords them spatio-temporal, class, and citizenship mobility.

Authors: Bernardo Attias, Anna Gavanas, Hillegonda Rietveld

The DJ stands at a juncture of technology, performance and culture in the increasingly uncertain climate of the popular music industry, functioning both as pioneer of musical taste and gatekeeper of the music industry. Together with promoters, producers, video jockeys (VJs) and other professionals in dance music scenes, DJs have pushed forward music techniques and technological developments in last few decades, from mashups and remixes to digital systems for emulating vinyl performance modes. This book is the outcome of international collaboration among academics in the study of electronic dance music. Mixing established and upcoming researchers from the US, Canada, the UK, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Australia and Brazil, the collection offers critical insights into DJ activities in a range of global dance music contexts. In particular, chapters address digitization and performativity, as well as issues surrounding the gender dynamics and political economies of DJ cultures and practices.

Author: Stephen J. Heidt

(Michigan State University Press, forthcoming 2020)

Ending war is one of the most complex challenges presidents face. Beyond diplomatic and battlefield concerns, rationalizing the end of hostilities with an established enemy poses a rhetorical challenge. Revealing the decisive role presidential communication strategies have on postwar outcomes, Resowing the Seeds of War argues that presidents articulate new metaphors at the end of war to describe the enemy, displacing resonant savage representations, facilitating the transition to peace, and justifying massive financial investment in reconstruction. Yet, even as these rhetorical maneuvers shift war to peace, they incur unexpected consequences that ensure national engagement in the next conflict.

Authors: Sakile Kai Camara, Darlene K. Drummond

Prejudice is a significant social issue that the human race continues to face in the world today, and it is destructive and costly for social encounters. The increase of these social obstacles suggests that an intervention or collection of strategies are needed and necessary to break down prejudice barriers that divide communities of people. This is the first edition of this book.

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