The 2018-2019 academic year has been an exciting one for the gnovis team. This spring we held our eighth annual academic conference, gnoviCon, featuring two panel discussions on “Big Tech, Data, and Democracy.” Our first panel discussion, “Big Tech and Competition Policy” was moderated by our very own Communication, Culture, and Technology (CCT) professor, Dr. Mark MacCarthy, and featured panelists from the Antitrust Institute, the Department of Justice Antitrust Division, the McDonough School of Business, and the Harvard Kennedy School. The discussion centered on the implications of growing Big Tech companies from a policy perspective, focusing on Amazon Inc. Our second panel, “Big Tech and the Future of Democracy” was an extension of this same topic, but from an ethical standpoint on the sociopolitical implications of Big Tech, using Facebook Inc. as a case study. During this panel, we heard from research experts within the Consortium, the University of Virginia, and the Open Markets Institute. We are pleased to have hosted yet another gathering that showcases the quality of the interdisciplinary discussion that is found within the CCT program.
In addition to gnoviCon, the gnovis staff continued to build our multimedia portfolio through the production of CCTea. Created and hosted by our Directors of Web and Blog, Zachary Omer and Kevin Ackermann, CCTea is a podcast that explores the social nuances of tech in modern society. This season featured ten episodes, touching on topics including identity formation in the Digital Age, wearable medical tech, fake news, Internet etiquette, and artificial intelligence.
gnovis’ dedication to high-quality interdisciplinary scholarship continued in the latest edition of the Journal. Five papers from a diverse group of women scholars analyze niche groups as they relate to society at-large by deconstructing dominant media narratives and challenging how we see ourselves and others. The first article “Aggrieved, Entitled, and Hostile,” comes from CCT student Mihika Sapru and offers a text-based analysis of the writings of three high-profile school shooters. Next, UVA PhD candidate Anna Cameron articulates the necessity for an intersectional approach to the study of geek masculinity in video gamer culture in “No More Games.” From the University of Hyderabad, doctoral scholar Meenakshi Srihari’s “Sound and the Fury” explores the portrayal of disability in media, using the multimedia interactive text, Tailspin, as a case study. In “Things You Wouldn’t Believe,” CCT student Jordan Moeny comparatively analyzes two iconic science fiction films from a futurist perspective. Finally, fellow CCTer, Deborah Oliveros, examines the diasporic identification process through the lens of postcolonial theory and gender studies in “Beyond the Homeland.“
I would like to take this opportunity to thank each member of gnovis for their tireless efforts and dedication to the organization. Thank you to our multimedia team, Remel Hoskins and Jill Fredenburg, for bringing a positive and creative perspective to our digital media content. Our outreach team, Fred Ji and Jenny Lee: thank you for keeping us on top of our social media game and working well under pressure during events like gnoviCon. Thanks again to Zach and Kevin for your fresh ideas, your humor, and your patience during our website restructuring. Kathryn Hartzell and Susannah Green, thank you for bringing your tremendous editorial skills to the table, and for dedicating hours to making sure our content, both papers and otherwise, are the best they can be. And last but certainly not least, thank you to Alexa DeJesus, for being a leader that got things done, a role model that showed me the ropes, and a friend that has encouraged me to excel. Through a collaborative dialogue, all of us have been able to continue the legacy of high-quality projects and set forth new ideas and standards for those to come. As a student-run group, we could not do this work without the incredible support of CCT faculty and staff, in particular, gnovis faculty advisor Dr. Leticia Bode, Director of Academic Programs, Sarah Twose, and Director of CCT, Dr. David Lightfoot. We cannot thank you enough for the support and for challenging us to reach our potential as an organization. Finally, we would like to thank you, our readers of gnovis Journal. We hope you will enjoy the conversations we have opened through the scholarship published in this Spring 2019 Edition of gnovis.
Kimberly Marcela Durón
Class of 2020