Joan

I am a doctoral student in communication at the University of Southern California, Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism. I am also a self-proclaimed geek and a Michigan native. My work to date has focused primarily on racial and gender identities in fandom and popular culture as well as internet culture and interspecies communication.

I received my BA in Theatre Arts from Kalamazoo College in 2009 where I also worked extensively on leading student writing workshops and teaching theatricality and circus techniques in the student organization I co-founded, Cirque du K.

After my undergraduate education, I went on to pursue an MFA in Dramatic Writing from the Savannah College of Art and Design, which I completed in 2013. After completing this degree, I worked for two years as a performer and assistant director at the New York Renaissance Faire where I continued to teach circus arts, theatricality, and storytelling practices to fellow performers.

In the 2014-15 academic year, I completed my MA in Performance Studies at New York University. At NYU, I pursued research on political cross-racial cosplay, memoir as critical theory, issues of abjection in conjunction with #GamerGate and other themes surrounding fandom, social media technology and critical race and gender theory.

I have been a nerd since birth and a fanfiction writer since age 13 (aka season seven of The X-Files). Since attending my first convention, New York Comic Con, at the Javits Center in 2013, I have had the good fortune to attend and do research at Comikaze (aka Los Angeles Comic Con), Comic-Con International: San Diego, and Wondercon.

My dissertation will focus on race and gender at comic cons, undoubtedly including research from this project.

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Meet the rest of the team

Alix Watson

webmaster
project manager producer
feminist
editor
nerd

Dr. Andrew F.
Herrmann

associate professor
storyteller

org comm nerd
punk

Dr. Adam W.
Tyma

associate professor
cultural critic
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beer lover

Dr. Art Herbig

associate professor
critical rhetorician
filmmaker

wannabe-jedi