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CHASS Lightning Rod event and The Fifth Annual Research Symposium of the Ph.D. Program in Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media

Rethinking Globalization and the Question of Scale: Interdisciplinary Perspectives from the Humanities and Social Social Sciences

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  2. In addition to featured presentations, the symposium will be organized around a series of roundtable discussions. The following participants will give 5-7-minute presentations on issues related to globalization and scale, followed by ample discussion:


    James Mulholland

    North Carolina State University


    Rebecca Walsh

    North Carolina State University

    Rebecca Walsh is Assistant Professor of English, specializing in transnational modernism.  Her forthcoming book, The Geopoetics of Modernism, examines the intersections between literary modernism and academic and popular forms of geography (University of Florida Press, December 2014). She has also published essays on film, empire, and gender/sexuality and has guest edited Global Diasporas, a special issue of Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies (5.1, 2003).

    Stephen B. Crofts Wiley

    North Carolina State University

    Stephen B. Crofts Wiley is Associate Professor of Communication.  His work examines social space as transnational assemblage, focusing especially on technology, culture, and globalization in Latin America. He was a Fulbright Scholar and visiting faculty member at the Universidad de Concepcion in southern Chile, where he completed ethnographic fieldwork on globalization and sense of place in 2008 and 2012. He is co-editor, with Jeremy Packer, of Communication Matters: Materialist Approaches to Media, Mobility, and Networks (Routledge 2012) and Communication and Mobility, a special issue of The Communication Review (2010). Wiley's work has also appeared in journals such as Cultural Studies; Communication Theory; Media, Culture & Society; and Kairos.

    Hector Rendon

    North Carolina State University

    Hector Rendon is a journalist interested in digital media, information flows and social space construction through media. He studied a B.A. in Journalism at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, M.A. in Digital Media at the University of the Arts Bremen in Germany and has worked for several news outlets in Mexico and Germany. Currently, he is a Ph.D. student in Communication, Rhetoric and Digital Media.

    Hélène Ducros

    UNC-Chapel Hill

    Hélène Ducros received a J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law, where she focused on international and comparative law, as well as the interconnection of the law with disciplines in social sciences and the humanities. She is currently a PhD candidate in human geography at UNC-Chapel Hill and a lecturer in international studies at North Carolina State University. Her research addresses place-based development, identity, and the processes involved in the interpretation, management, and promotion of local and regional heritage landscapes. 

    Brad Mehlenbacher

    North Carolina State University

    Brad Mehlenbacher is Associate Professor of Distance Learning (in the Department of Leadership, Policy and Adult and Higher Education), Primary Area Faculty Member with Human Factors and Ergonomics (Psychology), Affiliated Faculty Member with Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media (English/Communication), and with the Digital Games Research Center (Computer Science). Brad is author of the 4C's 2012 Best Book in Technical and Scientific Communication for his Instruction and Technology: Designs for Everyday Learning (MIT Press, 2010), and co-author of Online Help: Design and Evaluation (Ablex, 1993).

    Chelsea Hampton

    North Carolina State University

    Chelsea Hampton is a Ph.D. student in Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media. Her research interests lie in critical cultural studies, globalization studies, and technology.

    Josh Smicker

    UNC-Chapel Hill

    Josh Smicker recently completed his Ph.D. in Media and Cultural Studies in the Department of Communciation Studies. His primary interests are the intersections between new media technologies and new forms of militarization, particularly the ways in which they construct bodies and modes of perception. He is the recipient of an Interdisciplinary Research Fellowship, a former associate editor of the journal Cultural Studies, and contributor Joystick Soldiers: The Politics of Play in Military Video Games and the forthcoming Social Sciences at War.

    Kevin B. Sobel-Read

    Duke University and University of Newcastle

    Kevin Sobel-Read has just begun a position as Assistant Professor at Newcastle Law School at the University of Newcastle in Australia. He is wrapping up positions as both a Visiting Assistant Professor in Duke's Department of Cultural Anthropology and Senior Lecturing Fellow at Duke Law School. He previously practiced law as a business litigator for nearly a decade.

    Allison Schlobohm

    UNC-Chapel Hill

    Allison Schlobohm is currently completing her Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Cultural Studies. Her current work analyzes the relationships among transnational discourses of health, race, and subjectivity. She can be reached by email at

    J.J. Silvia IV

    North Carolina State University

    J.J. Silvia IV is a Ph.D. student in the Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media program; he also holds an M.A. in Philosophy. His interests include the ethical and epistemological effects of datafication of society, particularly the way that advances in communication technology alter the way we interact with and understand the world around us.



    Ernest Zitser

    Duke University

    Ernest Zitser (Ph.D., Russian History, Columbia University, 2000) is the Librarian for Slavic and East European Studies, library liaison to the International Comparative Studies (ICS) Program, and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies. Dr. Zitser is the author of The Transfigured Kingdom: Sacred Parody and Charismatic Authority at the Court of Peter the Great (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2004), which was translated into Russian in 2008 (Moscow: Novoe Literaturnoe Obozrenie). He is currently working on the critical, Russian-language edition and annotated, English-language translation of the astrological "Vita" of Prince B. I. Kurakin (the early modern Russian courtier who is the topic of today's presentation).

    Nora Fisher Onar

    Bahcesehir University

    Nora Fisher Onar, a Visiting Fellow of the National Humanities Center, is Assistant Professor of International Relations at Bahcesehir University in Istanbul, Turkey. Her work examines the role of collective memory in political contests and foreign policy trajectories in post-Ottoman Turkey, the Middle East, and the Balkans. A recipient of the Sakip Sabanci International Research Award and a former Fulbright scholar to Turkey, she completed her doctoral, graduate, and undergraduate work at Oxford, Johns Hopkins, and Georgetown, respectively.

    Mustafa Tuna

    Duke University

    Mustafa Tuna (Ph.D. 2009, Princeton University) is Andrew W. Mellon Assistant Professor of Russian and Eurasian History and Culture. His research focuses on social and cultural change among the Muslim communities of Eurasia, especially the Volga-Ural region and modern Turkey, since the early-nineteenth century. 

    Tom Cinq-Mars

    Duke University

    Tom Cinq-Mars is a second-year Ph.D. student in History  as well as a Research Scholar at Duke's Center for European Studies. Training as an economic and intellectual historian, he is interested in questions at the intersections of economy, law, and the environment. He is currently developing a dissertation project on the role of petroleum in the function of nominally non-market economies in the USSR and Eastern Europe in the post-World War II period.

    Sophie Smith

    Duke University

    Sophie Smith is a PhD candidate in the Program in Literature. She has spent two years residing in the border town of Arivaca, Arizona as an aid worker, community organizer, and researcher. She is currently at work on her dissertation project entitled, "Dark Shimmers: The Aesthetics of Contemporary Governance & The U.S.-Mexico Border Zone" under the direction of Rey Chow.

    Markos Hadjioannou

    Duke University

    Markos Hadjioannou is Assistant Professor of Literature, Theater Studies, and Arts of the Moving Image, specializing in film theory and philosophy, with interests in cinema ontology, spectatorship, and ethics. His first monograph, From Light to Byte: Toward an Ethics of Digital Cinema, was recently published by the University of Minnesota Press, while separate articles on film, the digital, and critical theory have appeared in various journals and edited volumes.

    Joseph Palis

    North Carolina State University

    Joseph Palis completed a Ph.D. in Geography at UNC-Chapel Hill focusing on media, with special emphasis on transnational cinema and the political economies of film distribution and consumption. Based in Interdisciplinary Studies at North Carolina State University, he teaches intermediate international studies and East and Southeast Asian cinema.

    Calvin Hui

    College of William and Mary                                                                            Calvin Hui is Assistant Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures. in May, 2013, he received his Ph.D. in Literature at Duke University with a dissertation entitled "The People's Republic of Capitalism: The Making of the New Middle Class in Post-Socialist China, 1978-Present." His research and teaching focus on modern Chinese humanities (film, media, and literature), critical theory, and cultural studies, with a particular emphasis on Marxist theory, gender and sexuality studies, and postcolonial and ethnic studies. 

    Meghan O'Neil

    Duke University                                                                             Meghan O'Neil is a Ph.D. student in English where she studies contemporary anglophone literature, transnational cinema, and film history and theory. She works at the intersection of postcolonial studies and ecocriticism with research interests in environmental justice, human rights, internationalism, and globalization. She is currently working on the first chapter of her dissertation which explores the relationships between race, landscape, nation, and genre in post-WWII South Africa.

    Frans C. Verhagen

    International Institute for Monetary Transformation

    Frans Verhagen, M.Div., M.I.A., Ph.D., is the founding president of the International Institute for Monetary Transformation ( He worked in Ghana in the sixties as a missionary priest, studied in the seventies at Columbia University in international affairs and the sociology of international development and was mostly engaged in education in the New York metropolitan area for the next forty years. He moved to Chapel Hill a little over a year ago. Trying to find an answer to the 2008 financial debacle, he developed the Tierra carbon-based international monetary system as a bold, but realistic way forward to sustaining futures for people, species and planet. Its conceptual, institutional, ethical, and strategic details are described in the 2012 book The Tierra Solution: Resolving the Climate Crisis through Monetary Transformation. He teaches online courses for the National Peace Academy and the Public Bank Institute.