I’m a fourth-year PhD student in the History program here at Mason. My primary focus is on the cultural history of media, entertainment, and communications in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This semester I’m taking Digital Storytelling and Politics of Entertainment, and TAing History of Animation. I’m also working on my dissertation prospectus, looking at the daily newspaper comics page from its inception in 1912 to somewhere in the early-to-mid 1930′s. (The end date is always less clear than the starting point.)
I’m a Buckeye by birth, and had the pleasure of twice living in Massachusetts, while working on my BA at Simon’s Rock College in the Berkshires, and later moving back to do my MA in American Studies at UMass Boston.
I’m lucky in that most of my hobbies are part of my “job” as an apprentice scholar– I study comics, cartoons, television, movies, computers, the internet, popular music… And yeah, that’s a good share of what I do in my spare time.
I also (try to) play the ukulele, which I think may influence the direction of my final project. I’m thinking of looking at the relationship of the ukulele to new media– the ukulele has had three great surges of popularity in the mainland US, each of which coincided with the mass appeal of a new medium: first the mass success of the phonograph and commercial radio, then early television, and finally, in the last half-decade or so, with the internet (and especially web 2.0). I’m interested in doing a piece that explores this relationship.