Contributer Biographies

Thread Editors

Jaafar Aksikas

(Culture Industries) is Associate Professor and Director of the Cultural Studies Program at Columbia College Chicago. His publications include Practicing Cultural Studies (co-authored with Sean Andrews, forthcoming) and Arab Modernities: Islamism, Nationalism, and Liberalism in the Post-Colonial Arab World (2009).


(Universities in Question) is Dean and Professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington Bothell. He is the President of the Cultural Studies Association, the Chair of the National Advisory Board of Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life, and the co-director with Miriam Bartha of the UW’s graduate Certificate in Public Scholarship. He is the author of Sentimental Bodies: Sex, Gender, and Citizenship in the Early Republic, and co-editor of Keywords for American Cultural Studies (with Glenn Hendler). He is currently working on a co-edited collection, New Formations of Cultural Studies: Collaboration, Practice, Research, and completing a book project entitled Sex, Panic, Nation. He has taught, researched, and published widely in the fields of American studies, cultural studies, and queer studies. He serves on the editorial and advisory boards of American Quarterly and American Literary History, and the press committee of the University of Washington Press. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Humanities Washington.


(Theory and Methods) is professor of Sociology and Women's Studies at the Graduate Center and Queens College of the City University of New York. She is author of Autoaffection: Unconscious Thought in the Age of Teletechnology (2000); Feminist Thought: Desire, Power and Academic Discourse (1994) and The End(s) of Ethnography: From Realism to Social Criticism (1998). She is editor of The Affective Turn: Theorizing the Social, (2007) and with Craig Willse, editor of Beyond Biopolitics: Essays on the Governance of Life and Death (2011). She is currently working on Ecstatic Corona: Philosophy and Family Violence, an ethnographic historically researched experimental writing project about where she grew up in Queens New York.


(Universities in Question)is professor and chair of art and public policy and director of the graduate program in arts politics at New York University. He is the author of Performance as Political Act: The Embodied Self; Socialist Ensembles: Theater and State in Cuba and Nicaragua; Critical Moves: Dance Studies in Theory and Politics; On Your Marx: Relinking Socialism and the Left; Financialization of Daily Life; Empire of Indifference: American War and the Financial Logic of Risk Management, and Under New Management: Universities, Administrative Labor and the Professional Turn. He has edited collections on U.S. Communism, sport and academic labor and, most recently, Artistic Citizenship: A Public Voice for the Arts (with Mary Schmidt Campbell) and The Returns of Alwin Nikolais: Bodies, Boundaries, and the Dance Canon (with Claudia Gitelman). He is past president of the Cultural Studies Association, serves on the board of Imagining America, and was an editor of the journal Social Text.



(Design Editor/Lead Developer) is an activist eduMaker (and Assistant Professor of Digital Media at the University of Pittsburgh). Most recently she has published, “This Digital Humanities That Is Not One” in Debates in Digital Humanities (U Minn, 2012) and Dogwalking in Cemetery Woods in Enculturation. She has been chosen for inclusion in the 2013 Carnegie Museum of Art International exhibition and catalogue for her video series, AffectEyes (Machining Affect: Seeing More than [Human] Eyes Can See. Her sound work on method, #designed_affections, appeared in Fembot: Feminism, New Media, Science and Technology and a pedagogical iteration of the large-scale media project, #inhabitation: the foreclosed remains of living, appeared in the inaugural issue of CCC Online. Other work appears in FibreCulture ("Composing, Compositing, and New Media: Integrated Digital Writing and Academic Pedagogy"), Women’s Studies Quarterly (“Social Networking and Cloud Computing: Precarious Affordances for the ‘Prosumer’”), The Affective Turn (Duke UP), Rhizome, and Comparative Literature Studies. Forthcoming publications include: #bottlesNbones #7 & hurricanes remain (a video and algoRhythmic text) in the inaugural issue of O-zone: A Journal of Object-Oriented Studies and “Petro-Agentessimal: Plastic Media Intervention” in The Petroleum Manga [featuring the artwork of Marina Zurkow], (Punctum Books).


(Developer) is the Web Developer at PittsburghArts and a student at the University of Pittsburgh. Recently he has completed a teaching assistantship at the University of Pittsburgh in Composing Digital Media where his focus was on the dynamic web and teaching and assisting students in their own digital media creations. His interests lie in using technology as a power for social good, and making the world better through innovation. He has started forgoodstudios with these intentions in mind. A supporter of open source software and creative resources he runs redjacketarts where he publishes open web development plugins and offers freelance services.



(UNIVERSITIES IN QUESTION-smartAction) Isamar is a videographer and photographer born in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1989. While earning a BA in Hispanic Studies from the University of Puerto Rico, she became interested in diverse artistic expressions far from the literary world. The multimedia eloquence of video and photography quickly became new mediums for narration. Her work has been exhibited in collective exhibitions in New York, Spain, Cuba, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Currently she volunteers as a photojournalist for alternative media sources and hopes to start formal studies in photography and communications as soon as next semester.


(UNIVERSITIES IN QUESTION-smartAction) From 2007 on as the Berlin senate tried to introduce tuition fees, Stephan Andreas has been engaged actively in educational rights and social issues in Berlin. He recently moved to New York to study Social Work, Art and Public Policy at New York University as a graduate student and to assist the smArtAction team.


(CULTURE INDUSTRIES) is Director of the Institute for Culture and Society at the University of Western Sydney. She is the author of many books and articles, including Watching Dallas: Soap Opera and the Melodramatic Imagination (1985), Alter/Asians: Asian-Australian Identities in Art, Media and Popular Culture (2000), On Not Speaking Chinese: Living Between Asia and the West (2001), The SBS Story: The Challenge of Cultural Diversity (2008), and an edited special issue of the Continuum: Journal for Cultural and Media Studies, entitled ‘Navigating Complexities’ (2011).


(UNIVERSITIES IN QUESTION-smartAction) Michelle Martinez was born and raised in Carolina, Puerto Rico. She pursues her final year of the Bachelor in Fine Arts with a concentration in painting at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras. She has participated in several collective exhibitions inside and outside the university. Michelle is currently working on a project with at risk youth which has been an opportunity for her to contribute with art workshops and/or artistic experiences that help youth develop interest and awareness about their lives and their communities. She also participated in a series of art workshops that presented to children and young refugees of the earthquake in Haiti.


(CULTURE INDUSTRIES) is the Associate Director of the Simpson Center for the Humanities at the University of Washington Seattle, affiliate faculty in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington Bothell, and co-director with Bruce Burgett of the UW’s graduate Certificate in Public Scholarship.


(THEORY - "Digital Feminisms" issue editor and contributor) is an American interdisciplinary artist whose videos, performances, and interactive installations explore issues in contemporary digital culture. Behar's work appears at festivals, galleries, performance spaces, screenings, and art centers worldwide, and is held in private collections. She lives and works in New York, and is Assistant Professor of New Media at Baruch College.


(UNIVERSITIES IN QUESTION-smartAction) Since 2009, Marimer Berberena was an active part of the student movement of the University of Puerto Rico, and of the UPR strikes of 2010 and 2011. She is now about to complete a Master’s Degree in Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies at the Graduate Center of CUNY, New York. In 2009 Marimer held an internship in counseling psychology at the University of Miami.


(Designer/Editorial | Video Editor) is a DIY eduMaker, activist, tactical media maker and digital artist. She is the designer and lead developer for all work on Lateral.


(CULTURE INDUSTRIES) is Dean and Professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington Bothell. He is the President of the Cultural Studies Association, the Chair of the National Advisory Board of Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life, and the co-director with Miriam Bartha of the UW’s graduate Certificate in Public Scholarship.


(UNIVERSITIES IN QUESTION-MANIFESTOS) Comrades from Cairo is a group of anonymous Egyptian activists who participated in the large-scale public protests and demonstrations in Tahrir Square (and across Cairo) in January 2011 and entered into dialogue with Occupy Wall Street through a series of open letters.


(UNIVERSITIES IN QUESTION-smartAction) Isabel Ferro is a journalist and graphic designer from Caracas, Venezuela. Her entrepreneurial spirit, deep interest in education, love for the arts and more than 10 years of experience with youth have brought her to NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Studies where she explores Experiential Learning and Human Development for Social Change.


(UNIVERSITIES IN QUESTION-smartAction) Lindsay C. Harris is an interdisciplinary artist, educator, and arts administrator, who has recently completed an M.A. in Arts Politics from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. In addition to smArtAction, she has been working on a multiplatform documentary project examining mixed racial identity in the U.S., Evoking the Mulatto. She is currently a teaching artist and museum educator in NYC.


(THEORY) is a Puerto Rican and Cuban-American scholar and independent curator who is a PhD candidate in the Women's and Gender Studies department at Rutgers University. Her research interests include contemporary art, new media, sexualities, and girls' studies. Her work has been published in peer-reviewed and edited publications, and she has presented her research at conferences organized by the College Art Association [CAA], Cultural Studies Association, and National Women's Studies Association, among others.




(UNIVERSITIES IN QUESTION-MANIFESTOS) The Humanities Action Committee was a group of students and faculty in the Faculty of the Humanities at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras working to mobilize students, faculty and community members against budget cuts and the continuing privatization of the University of Puerto Rico.


(UNIVERSITIES IN QUESTION-MANIFESTOS) We Are Many Youth, But With One Struggle was originally approved at an international meeting called jointly by CSP-Conlutas (a Brazilian central trade union trying to organize labor unions, popular movements, and the youth in one unified struggle) and the Union Sindical Solidaire (a French association of federations and national unions) in May 2012. Sometimes referred to as the Manifesto of International Student Struggle, the document has been adopted by student organizations across the world, including the California Student Union.


(CULTURE INDUSTRIES) is Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Graduate Education in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington Bothell.


(UNIVERSITIES IN QUESTION-smartAction) Eden earned his degree in Legal Science, while making diverse film and video workshops in Monterrey. Later, he studied film direction in Mexico City and in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Eden specialized in Online and Offline Video and Technologies with a consortium between the National University of Cordoba, Argentina and the Ramon Llul University of Spain. Eden has a Master’s in visual arts with a concentration in Urban Art from the Autonomous National University of Mexico (UNAM). Eden is a videographer guided by a marked tendency of visual and narrative experimentation. He has participated in diverse international festivals and exhibitions and is currently pursuing a Ph. D in History and Art Theory at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) as a CONICET Fellow.


(THEORY), Associate Professor of Philosophy at John Jay College, CUNY, who also teaches comparative literature and feminist theory at the Graduate Center, CUNY, is dually trained in Continental philosophy and literary theory. The author, most recently, of Reading Descartes Otherwise: Blind, Mad, Dreamy and Bad (Fordham University Press, 2012), Lee is a Korean American scholar who publishes widely in the intersecting fields of the theoretical Humanities such as Aesthetics, Asian American Studies, Comparative Literature/Philosophy, Continental Philosophy, Critical Race theory, Cultural Studies, Deconstruction, Feminist Philosophy, Gender Studies, Poetics, Post-phenomenology, and Translation.


(UNIVERSITIES IN QUESTION-smartAction) Javier was born in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico and earned his MFA in Non-Toxic Printmaking with a minor in Painting from the Rochester Institute of Technology, New York in 200. In 2003 Javier earned a BA in Humanities with a major in Printmaking from the University of Puerto Rico. While completing his BA, Javier helped put together the Fine Arts Students’ Association of the UPR. He became its president in 2002. In 2004 he received the Carlos Marichal Award for Printmaking excellence from the UPR, Río Piedras Campus. The same year, he joined the Puerto Rico Indymedia collective as web administrator, reporter and photojournalist. In 2005, Javier joined the AgitArte project at San Mateo de Cangrejos, Santurce. Later, he became part of the street theater troupe Papel Machete in 2006 where he works as a puppeteer, illustrator, event organizer and agitator. While completing his MFA, he was awarded with a Purchase Prize from the Wallace Library at Rochester Institute of Technology. His work as a printmaker and photographer has traveled from cities like San Juan, Miami, San Francisco and New York to countries like Japan, Cuba, Spain, Dominican Republic and Portugal where he received a solo show award at the 5th Évora Printmaking Festival 2007. He currently works as a professor at the School of Fine Arts, San Juan and at the University of Puerto Rico Museum as an art instructor.


(THEORY) is a Swedish digital artist and senior lecturer at Umeå University. Her interest is in questions concerning how gender norms may affect creative use of new technology. Morén could be considered one of the female pioneers of digital art in the north of Sweden. At the Academy of Fine Arts, in the 1990s, she was one of the first to transition from analogue photo and video processing into the digital world that was just opening up. This led to a position as an artistic researcher at the Interactive Institute in Umeå in the 2000s. Morén is currently employed at the Department of Creative Studies, doing artistic research and development within the field of ICT.


(UNIVERSITIES IN QUESTION-MANIFESTOS) Emphasizing direct action and consensus-based leadership, Occupy Wall Street is a coalition of individuals fighting to limit the political power of corporations, curtail corporate malfeasance, address structural inequalities, and challenge the structures of power that organize society along hierarchical lines. Although the movement's epicenter is in New York City, Occupy movements have sprung up in cities and spaces across the globe.


(UNIVERSITIES IN QUESTION-smartAction) Tina is a writer, cultural worker and human rights advocate. She has a BA in art history and writing, and recently earned her MA in arts politics with a concentration in curatorial practice from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. She is currently the Green Light District Arts & Communications Specialist for Brooklyn community-based organization, El Puente and is a Research Assistant for the arts consulting practice, Webb Management Services, Inc. Tina currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.


(UNIVERSITIES IN QUESTION-MANIFESTOS)(1992) Vladimir’s interest and impetus for rhyme and self-expression eventually led to Rap and Spoken-Word. He considers “Estoy de regreso” (2010; 17 years old) to be his first track that embodies his actual characteristic/particular style. Discovering the hip-hop scene in Puerto Rico and participating in the student movement within the University of Puerto Rico (and what all of this implied) created the context that opened the doors to hip-hop as a means to encourage social conscience and change. He participated in El Colectivo, with whom he released the mixtape El Colectivo Vol. 1 (2012). He is currently working on his first EP as a solo artist: “Musas y Vías.”


(THEORY) is a Bay Area/Colombian performance artist, technologist, and cultural theorist exploring the intersections of emerging technologies, economics, and the environment through performances, installations, street theatre, writing, and digital works. Her wildly diverse work has been presented nationally and internationally at museums, galleries, universities, performance festivals, public streets, and radio airwaves. She has been written about in numerous publications, and honored with multiple awards, including the Creative Capital and the Creative Work Fund. She is currently a PhD Candidate in Performance Studies at the University of California, Davis, and can be visited online at


(UNIVERSITIES IN QUESTION-smartAction) Erika is a Puerto Rican photographer and multimedia journalist. She recently obtained her Bachelor of Science in Visual Journalism at Brooks Institute where she discovered that her documentary approach requires her to immerse herself deeply within the stories she captures. She has received both a silver award and an award of excellence in the portrait category from College Photographer of the Year. Her work has been published in El Nuevo Día and Primera Hora in Puerto Rico, and Coastal View News and Ojai Quarterly in California. “My hope is that the audience is able to see themselves, in the simplest human context, in the images and is able to reflect about what we are as a community.”


(THEORY - "Digital Feminisms" issue editor and contributor) is an American media artist whose projects include video, installation, performance, and virtual environments. Her work is concerned with the archaeology and memory of technology and media, and their intersections with everyday life. She has presented her artwork and research at numerous galleries, museums, and international festivals. Ruzanka holds an MFA in Art and Technology from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She currently lives and works near Albany, New York, and teaches digital art and animation at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.


(THEORY) is an Australian art historian who specializes in early digital art. He completed his graduate and post-graduate work at the University of Western Australia. Taylor is currently teaching art history at Lebanon Valley College in Pennsylvania.


(UNIVERSITIES IN QUESTION-smartAction) (Caguas, Puerto Rico)

Elsa María has studied printmaking, drawing, painting, curation and museology at the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Puerto Rico, in the Smithsonian Affiliations and the Smithsonian Center for Education Museum Studies, Washington, D.C., at the Museum and Center for Humanistic Studies at the University of Turabo and the Museum of History, Anthropology and Art at the University of Puerto Rico. Elsa María is the cofounder of espacio Metro: plataformaorganizada in Hato Rey , founded in 2011. Since 1998 she has worked at the Caguas Art Museum. Internationally, Elsa María's work has exhibited in collectives in the United States, Uruguay, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ireland, Romania and Portugal. Recent awards include the Puerto Rican Fund for the Financing of Cultural Affairs of the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture, 2011. In 2009 she was awarded the Lexus with the Arts Scholarship, a project she installed in 2010 at the Museum of Art of Puerto Rico. Elsa María's work is represented in the collection of the Ponce Art Museum, Museum of History, Anthropology and Art of the UPR; Caguas Art Museum, Puerto Rico; Collection of Arts, Library José M. Lazaro, UPR; International Experimental Print Biennale, Romania; Lolita Rubial Foundation, Minas, Uruguay and Haydee Santamaria Collection Art of the Americas, Havana, Cuba.


(UNIVERSITIES IN QUESTION-MANIFESTOS) The University Liberation Front is a coalition of graduate students, teaching assistants and low-level instructors committed to realizing the radical possibilities of the public university by creating spaces for critical education within their classrooms. A product of struggles against the privatization of the public university, campus racism, and labor exploitation, they remain a continuous and strategically disruptive presence within an ostensibly "public" university that regards its students as revenue streams.


(Editorial Videographer) was born in Saigon, Vietnam and moved to the United States with her family when she was four years old. She grew up in Dorchester & South Boston and was politicized by the diverse yet segregated working class neighborhoods of Boston, Massachusetts. She graduated from Brown University in 2010 with a double concentration in Ethnic Studies and Visual Arts and recently completed the M.A. in Arts Politics at the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. As a visual artist, activist, educator and scholar, Tran has always been passionate about the arts and using its tools to express a progressive consciousness as well as to connect people and communities together.