Shafer Named Signal Culture Resident – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Shafer Named Signal Culture Resident

Assistant Professor of Media and Society Leah Shafer has been awarded a research residency with Signal Culture, an experimental media art collaborative, where she will spend a week developing a class around media curation.

In January of 2014, Signal Culture began its artist-in-residence program, which offers residencies in a live/work space in the village of Owego in central New York, fostering an environment where innovative artists, toolmakers, curators, critics and art historians working in the media art field have time and space to make new work and to interact with one another.

“I’m particularly excited to meet the new media artists and toolmakers also in residence, as many of the past residents are folks who make fascinating work that I have taught in my classes,” Shafer says. “I feel very honored to be included among their ranks.”

During her residency, Shafer will work on a multi-modal essay about curation and media literacy pedagogy.

“Much of my scholarly work occurs at the juncture of media literacy pedagogy and theoretical concerns about new media curation, archives and feminist activism, so I am thrilled that I will be able to dedicate a week to this specific project,” says Shafer. “The residency will also allow me to live and work with experimental media artists and toolmakers, which will undoubtedly inform my research.”

The projects Shafer will undertake at Signal Culture developed out of support from the Colleges through a Mellon Presidential Discretionary Grant for Innovative Digital Pedagogies.

Shafer has published work on media studies pedagogy in The Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy, FLOW: A Critical Forum on Television and Media Culture, and Teaching Media Quarterly. Currently a co-chair of the Media Literacy and Pedagogical Outreach Scholarly Interest Group for the Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS), Shafer has helped to organize several local and national workshops on media studies pedagogy, including a workshop on “slow scholarship” in March.

Shafer has been a member of the HWS faculty since 2008. She received her A.B. and M.A. from Cornell University, and earned a Ph.D. from the department of theatre, film and dance at Cornell, with her dissertation “Brand Name Vision: Comedy and Props in the Films of John Hughes.” Her book, “Teaching History with TV Commercials,” is forthcoming from Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group.

In the photo above, Assistant Professor of Media and Society Leah Shafer meets with students in her office.