Assistant Professor of Media Communications, CAS
Ph.D. Philosophy, Wayne State University
M.A. New School for Social Research
B.A. University of Guelph
James holds a Ph.D. in Communication from Wayne State University with a focus on new media and transnational social networking. Currently, she serves in the role of Assistant Professor of Media Studies. Her research interests include participatory media production, women’s production of public memory, and emerging digital cultures. James conducts ongoing field research in Southeastern Europe exploring post-conflict use of social media and the cultural underground in the former Yugoslavia.
James is developing a cross-discipline project as part of the Media Studies Social Lab (MST 4990), a student/researcher practitioner studio, designed to examine the intersection of the wild world and the wired world. A goal is to create an interactive model to explore wild/wired interactive encounters for land use, environmental sustainability, and the mapping of wilderness spaces found in and along urban/rural/remote gradients. Utilizing a satellite mapping application, aerial videography, land-based live streaming video technology, as well as environmental data collected through wildlife studies will result in a multimedia interactive model for further creative, educational and artistic applications.
Alongside her academic activities, James serves as a member of Chicago Public Media’s Community Advisory Council. She also enjoys reef diving and recently earned her international open water certification.
Current and past courses
MST-2130 Media Culture and Innovation
MST-3221 Social Design, Crowd Sourcing
MST 3212/MCOM 4070 Social Media
MCOM-4070 Playing Games
MCOM 4550 Women in Media
MST 4990 Social Lab
(* writing as D. James Smith)
James, D. (2013). Social networking Sarajevo Roses: Digital representations of post-conflict civil life in the (former) Yugoslavia. Submitted to Journal of Communication (JOC). Digital early view. DOI: 10.1111/jcom.12057
Ali, S., James, D., and Vultee, F. (2013). Strike a pose: Comparing Associated Press and UNICEF visual representations of the children of Darfur. African Conflict and Peacebuilding Review. (3)1.
*Smith, D. J. (2009), Big-eyed, wide-eyed, sad-eyed children: Constructing the humanitarian space in social justice documentaries. Studies in Documentary Film. (3)2. 159–175.
James, D. (2012). What it takes to screen her film: A feminist study of UNESCO’s audiovisual E-Platform. In Gajjala, R. (Ed.). Where Have All the Cyberfeminists Gone? New York: Peter Lang.
*Smith, D. J. (2008), Film review: Shake hands with the devil. Scope: An Online Journal of Film & TV Studies. 11.
*Smith, D. J. (2007), Catfight in My Name is Earl as a site of feminist resistance. Flow: A Critical Forum on Television and Media Culture. 5:9. Available at < http://flowtv.org/?p=99 >
Honors and Awards
Provost’s High Impact Practices Course Development Grant, GSU 2013 – 2014
GSU Research Grant. Fieldwork in Serbia 2013 – 2014
GSU Division Research Release. In support of post-fieldwork project development 2013 – 2014
GSU Faculty Summer Institute Tech Grant 2013
GSU Intellectual Life Grant. Media Studies and Social Work connect through experience:
A cross discipline transmedia collaboration 2013
GSU Intellectual Life Grant. Women make media: Collaboration as public memory 2013
GSU Research Grant. Fieldwork in Montenegro 2012 – 2013
Top Paper award. ICA, Global Communication and Social Change 2011
Top Graduate Student Paper award. ICA, Global Com. and Social Change 2011
2nd, Graduate School Research Exhibition, (with Sadaf Ali), Humanities Div., WSU 2011
Humanities Center Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, WSU 2010 – 2011
Emmy Award, Awarded to: The MATRIX: Commemorating Walter Reuther, Union Activist 2011
Credit: Archival photo/video researcher