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UW System Fellows

Black and White portrait of Jacquelyn Arcy
Jacquelyn Arcy
Communication, UW-Parkside
UW System Fellow (2018-2019)
Feminized Convergence: Women’s Television in the Digital Age

This book develops a theory of ‘feminized convergence’ to account for the gendered strategies, practices, and content that media institutions use to draw women to interactive media. By analyzing the online content designed for the female-targeted cable networks, Bravo, Lifetime, Oxygen, and WE, this book argues that interactive platforms invite participation through the socially constructed skills of femininity. Through close examinations of industry trade journals, interactive platforms, and social media, this book shows how television networks guide audience interactions to highlight the stereotypical qualities of their target market. This research shows that convergent media intensify gender inequalities by reinforcing the gender division of labor where women disproportionately provide emotional and domestic expertise.

Jacquelyn Arcy is an Assistant Professor of New Media in the Department of Communication. She has her Ph.D. in Critical Media Studies from the University of Minnesota, and her MA in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies from the University of Cincinnati. Her areas of specialization are television studies, digital media and culture, media industries, and feminist media studies. Her research has been published in Feminist Media Studies, Celebrity Studies, Screen Journal, and Transformative Works and Cultures.

Portrait image of Richard Grusin wearing outdoors wearing a leather jacket
Richard A. Grusin
Distinguished Professor, English, UW-Milwaukee; Director, Center for 21st Century Studies
UW System Fellow (2018-2019)
Radical Mediation

The concept of mediation, as developed in the history of Western thought, depends upon stable dichotomies like those between subject and object, representation and reality, or human and nonhuman, as a starting point. I contend in this project, however, that such dichotomies are instead the outcome of mediation, not the source, and that we need therefore to start in the middle, with radical mediation. In asserting the radical nature of mediation I refer not only to the way that media theorists talk about the ubiquitous and quotidian nature of our media everyday—phones, tablets, TVs, laptops, and gaming platforms; Facebook, Twitter, email, Instagram, Tumblr, Reddit, and Tindr; securitization, finance, surveillance, and transaction data. Rather I refer as well to the ubiquitous nature of mediation itself—flowers, trees, rivers, lakes, and deserts; microbes, insects, fish, mammals, and birds; digestion, respiration, sensation, reproduction, circulation, and cognition; planes, trains, and automobiles; factories, schools, and malls; nation-states, NGOs, indigenous communities, or religious organizations; rising sea levels, increased atmospheric concentrations of CO², melting icecaps, intensified droughts, violent storms. In this project I develop the concept of radical mediation in relation to a variety of concerns: “mediashock”; AI, cyborgs, and datamediation; Trump’s evil mediation; the countermediation of Occupy, #blacklivesmatter, and #metoo movements; premediation and climate change; viral mediation; enactive/embodied cognition; and screenic mediation.

Richard Grusin is Distinguished Professor of English and Director of the Center for 21st Century Studies at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He has published numerous articles and book chapters and authored five books: Transcendentalist Hermeneutics: Institutional Authority and the Higher Criticism of the Bible (Duke, 1991); Remediation: Understanding New Media (MIT, 1999), co-authored with Jay David Bolter; Culture, Technology, and the Creation of America’s National Parks (Cambridge, 2004); Premediation: Affect and Mediality After 9/11 (Palgrave, 2010); and Radical Mediation: Cinema, Estetica, e Tecnologie Digitali, ed. and trans. Angela Maiello (Cosenza, Italy: Pellegrini Editor, 2017). He has edited three volumes of essays: The Nonhuman Turn (Minnesota, 2015); Anthropocene Feminism (Minnesota, 2017); and After Extinction (Minnesota, 2018). His work has been translated into several lanuguages including Italian, Korean, French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese. Grusin has been the recipient of year-long fellowships from the National Endowment of the Humanities and the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities at Vanderbilt University. He has been a visiting professor at several international universities: Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil; University of Amsterdam; Pontifical Catholic University of Saõ Paulo; University of Messina, Sicily; and Tübingen University.

Portrait image of Edward Schmitt wearing a white shirt
Edward Schmitt
History, UW-Parkside
UW System Fellow (2018-2019)
Standup, Cowboy, Mystic: The Insurgent Life of Dick Gregory

This will be the first academic biography of comedian and activist Dick Gregory. Gregory broke the color line in standup comedy in the early 1960s and subsequently threw himself into the rising tide of the black freedom struggle, with a conviction unparalleled among entertainers. Gregory soon became more activist than entertainer, working at the leading edge of the other movements for social change that coalesced from the late 1960s onward. This study traces the roots of Gregory’s activism from his impoverished upbringing in St. Louis through his solitary sacrifices of the 1970s and beyond, and it will outline and assess Gregory’s important roles in the larger historical developments of the period, including the emergence of modern popular culture and movements for equality and empowerment in American life.

Edward Schmitt is an associate professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, where he has taught since 2002. His research and teaching focuses on the intersections of politics, social movements, and culture, particularly as these have addressed inequality in American life. His first book, President of the Other America: Robert Kennedy and the Politics of Poverty, was published by the University of Massachusetts Press in 2010.

Book cover of Rob Wilkie's book "The Digital Condition..."
Rob Wilkie
English, UW-La Crosse
UW System Fellow (2018-2019)
Bionetworks and the Ontological Turn: Aleatory Materialism and the Making of the Geohumanities

My book, tentatively titled Bionetworks and the Ontological Turn: Aleatory Materialism and the Making of the Geohumanities, is a critical analysis of life's precariousness at a time of rising economic, environmental, and social conflicts, and the way contemporary (post)humanities interpret this precarity as ontological. Through a sustained dialogue with representatives of the "ontological turn"—including New Materialism, Speculative Realism, and Object-Oriented-Ontology—I argue understanding life's increasing precarity requires an earthly and worldly "geohumanities," by which I mean a re-turn to history not as existing on a flat, ontological plane, but as a dialectical relation of the human and the nonhuman.

Rob Wilkie is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. His books include The Digital Condition: Class and Culture in the Information Network (Fordham University Press, 2011) and the co-edited collection Human, All Too (Post)Human: The Humanities After Humanism (Lexington, 2016). In addition, his work on digital culture, posthumanism, and pedagogy has appeared in such books and journals as Media and Class (Routledge, 2017); Post-Industrial Society (Sage, 2010); Nineteenth-Century Prosethe minnesota review; International Critical Thought; Nature, Society, and Thought; JAC; and Textual Practice.