By Kenneth Merrill
The International Communication Association (ICA) held its annual conference in San Diego last week and AU’s School of Communication (SOC) was well represented with a dozen scholars presenting research on a wide range of topics.
On Sunday, SOC Professor and Internet Governance Lab Faculty Fellow Aram Sinnreich presented the latest in his work shedding light on the dark money used to influence policy debates over intellectual property rights (IPR) online. Drawing on a chapter from Professor Sinnreich’s forthcoming book (Yale University Press), the presentation, titled “Following the Money Behind Intellectual Property Law,” uses a mix of quantitative and qualitative analysis of public lobbying and campaign finance records to identify patterns of expenditure and agenda setting in the increasingly powerful and opaque IPR lobby.
On Thursday, SOC Professor, Internet Governance Lab Faculty Fellow, and Director of the Communication Studies Division (currently on sabbatical) Kathryn Montgomery presented a paper titled, “Health Wearables: Ensuring Fairness, Preventing Discrimination, and Promoting Equity in an Emerging Internet-of-Things Environment,” based on an ongoing project investigating the intersection of the Internet of things (IoT) and privacy more broadly.
Also on Thursday, Caty Borum Chattoo, Director of the Center for Social Media and Social Impact (CSMi), presented her latest work titled “Storytelling for Social Change: Leveraging Documentary and Comedy for Public Engagement with Global Poverty.” Part of the CSMI’s Rise Up Media and Social Change Project, the presentation also provided an opportunity to welcome the Center’s new Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Amy Henderson Riley, whose work focuses on entertainment-education as a strategy for individual and social change.
Other scholars representing SOC included SOC Assistant Professor Filippo Trevisan presenting his paper “Media Justice: Race, Borders, Disability and Data,” Professor Paula Weissman presenting “Strategic Communication by Health and Medical Organizations: Self-Interest vs. Informed Decision Making”, Assistant Professor Benjamin Stokes, PhD candidate Samantha Dols, and Doctoral Research Assistant and Adjunct Professor Kara Andrade with “Here We Listen: Positioning a Hybrid ‘Listening Station’ to Circulate Marginalized Voices Across Physical and Digital Channels in a Neighborhood,” and Ph.D. candidate David Proper with his presentation “Troubling Republicanism: Carly Fiorina and Conservative Republican Gendered Discourses.”