Eleven senior scholars from five countries provided the preconference with an extensive experience in visual methods, broadly covering the field and assuring for the best fit of young scholars’ interests and senior scholars’ expertise.
Carlos J. Acevedo Alvelo earned a BA in Humanities and a master’s degree in communications at the University of Puerto Rico and a doctorate in history from the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico. His beginnings in the media were in 1998 as a reporter and editor for the radio stations WAPA and NotiUno. Starting in 2000, he worked as a producer and reporter at Televicentro channel 4. After thirteen years working for this media, in 2013 became Director of Press and Public Relations of the Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency, a government entity that dedicated to handle emergencies such as hurricanes and earthquakes. Since 2010, he is professor of communications and Spanish in the University of Turabo. Among his achievements was the creation of an innovative production system in the morning news show. The establishment of an effective plan of Communications & Public Affairs at the Emergency Management Agency; coordination of the first tsunami curriculum for coastal schools and the preparation of a citizens’ guide on what to do before, during and after a hurricane or an earthquake.
Giorgia Aiello (University of Leeds, UK)
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Giorgia Aiello is Lecturer in International Communication and Co-convener of the Visual and Digital Cultures Research Group in the School of Media and Communication at the University of Leeds (UK). She also chairs the ICA Visual Communication Studies Division. Giorgia’s research focuses on the nexus of globalization, social and cultural difference, and both visual communication and urban communication. She has written about branding, photography and the urban built environment, on institutions like the EU and Magnum Photos, and corporations such as Starbucks and Getty Images. Along with Luc Pauwels she coedited the 2014 special issue “Difference and Globalization” of the journal Visual Communication. Her current projects include an investigation of major professional practices and visual trends in stock photography, the development of a research framework for the study of visual media activism, and the coauthored book Visual Communication: Understanding Images in Media Culture (with Katy Parry, under contract with SAGE).
Mary A. Bock (University of Texas, Austin (TX), USA)
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Mary Angela Bock is an assistant professor in the University of Texas at Austin School of Journalism. She is a former journalist turned academic with an interest in the sociology of photographic practice, the rhetorical relationship between words and images, and digital media. She is particularly concerned with matters of truth and authenticity in the process of image production. Her previous career spanned more than 20 years in television news, with stints as a newspaper reporter, a radio journalist, and public relations writer. Most recently Bock co-authored Visual Communication Theory and Research with Shahira Fahmy and Wayne Wanta. Her 2012 book, Video Journalism: Beyond the One Man Band studied the relationship between solo multi-media practice and news narrative. Bock is an active member of the National Press Photographers Association, the International Communication Association (ICA), the National Communication Association and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC).
Alexander Cancio finished a Ph.D. in Cultural Studies from the University of Minnesota in 2009. In 2005 and 1998, he finished a Masters in Public Relations and other in Political Science from the University of the Sacred Heart in Puerto Rico and the University of Minnesota, respectively. Since the year 2000 he has taught in the Humanities and Communications. This commitment to teaching he shares with the arts. Since 2005, he has been a photographer and a filmmaker. Since 2006, he has worked in various forms of writing, including, script writing and the essay form. In the photographic arts he has explored the idea of the photographic event. His current work has taken him to explore the category of the voice in a project titled The Third Cinematic Voice. The category of the political he has been working in Una ética del discurso y el arte: intelectuales, post avant-garde y lo político. His first book, Fragmentos I will be published in September 2015. Among his current interests are the exploration of violence, colonialism, semiotics, narrative and anti-disciplines. Dr. Cancio is former Director of the Communications Department of the Universidad del Turabo and is currently part of its Administrative Council as faculty representative for the Social Sciences and Communications School.
Paul Frosh (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel)
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Paul Frosh teaches in the Department of Communications and Journalism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His publications span visual culture, the cultural industries and consumer culture, media coverage of violent conflict and national sentiment, media witnessing and moral concern. His books include The Image Factory: Consumer Culture, Photography and the Visual Content Industry, and Media Witnessing, Testimony in the Age of Mass Communication (co-edited with Amit Pinchevski). He is currently engaged on a large-scale investigation of iconic photographs and Israeli collective memory, and is also writing about selfies.
Robert Hariman (Northwestern University, Evanston (IL), USA)
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Robert Hariman is a professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Northwestern University. He is the author of Political Style: The Artistry of Power and No Caption Needed: Iconic Photographs, Public Culture, and Liberal Democracy, which is co-authored with John Louis Lucaites. He also has published three edited volumes and numerous book chapters and journal articles, and his work has been translated into French and Chinese. Recent publications on visual culture have included chapters in Getting the Picture: The Visual Culture of the News; The Violence of the Image: Photography and International Conflict; Reading Magnum: A Visual Archive of the Modern World; Journalism and Memory; The Landscapes of 9/11: A Photographer’s Journey; Picturing Atrocity: Photography in Crisis; as well as short articles in Cahiers ReMix, Flow, and other publications. He and co-author John Lucaites post regularly at www.nocaptionneeded.com, their blog on photojournalism, politics, and culture.
John Lucaites (Indiana University, Bloomington (IN), USA)
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John Louis Lucaites is Professor of Rhetoric and Public Culture and Associate Dean for Arts and Humanities in the College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University. His research and teaching focus on argumentation and public advocacy, rhetorical theory (especially the problem of judgment), and visual rhetoric/citizenship. His most recent publications focus on the relationship between judgment, visuality, and public culture, including No Caption Needed: Iconic Photographs, Public Culture, and Liberal Democracy (co-authored w/Robert Hariman, U of Chicago P) and Rhetoric, Politics, and Materiality (co-edited w/Barbara Biesecker, Peter Lang). He is also the senior editor for a books series on Rhetoric, Culture, and Social Critique for the University of Alabama Press and co-hosts a weekly blog on the role that photojournalism plays in underwriting liberal-democratic public culture (www.nocaptionneeded.com).
Marion G. Müller (Jacobs University Bremen, Germany)
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Marion G. Müller is Professor of Mass Communication at Jacobs University Bremen. Her primary research interests include popular communication, visual communication, and cross-cultural and cross-national comparative communication. She was a German-Marshall-Fund-Fellow with U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (1990-1991) and has received a post-doctoral sholarship by the German Research Community (DFG) on the topic “The visual construction of democratic reality”, including one year of research in the United States and training in film script, camera, directing, cut at the New York Film Academy, as well as a habilitation scholarship by the German Research Community (DFG) on the topic “Political Liturgy. Ceremonial Communication in pluralist democracies. A comparison of British, U.S., German, French and European Parliaments” and the Kurt-Hartwig-Siemers Award for outstanding post-doctoral research.
René Rodríguez-Ramírez is a writer and professor of Hispanic Language and Literature. He has a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration in Marketing, a MA in Sociology with a specialization in Fashion Semiology both from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras. In addition, he holds a MA in Latin American Literature and Cultural Studies and a PhD in Hispanic Caribbean Literature, both from Rutgers University. He has published poetry, fiction and essays in academic and literary magazines in Europe, Latin America, USA and Puerto Rico, such as Revista Crítica, Con-Textos, Narrativas, Yzur, Streetnotes, Letras Salvajes, Ámbito de Encuentros, Cruce, among others. He has also presented his texts of literary and cultural criticism in institutions like Cornell, University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, Louisiana State University, among others. In 2012 published a book of poetry entitled Trazos and in 2014 the novel Entre auges y fatigas.
Luis Rosario Albert is an assistant professor at Department of Communications of the Universidad del Turabo. He received an M.A. in Cinema Studies from New York University and a PhD. in Public Communication from the University of Navarra (Spain). Besides contributing to the organization of several audiovisual archives in Puerto Rico, his work as a director in film and public television has been recognized and awarded in national and international events. Before working as Assistant Professor at Universidad del Turabo, he worked as a lecturer professor at the University of Puerto Rico and the Metropolitan University. He has participated in several international conferences with presentations on transnational television topics and has published research papers and chapters on the development of audiovisual media and telecommunications in Puerto Rico.
Carmen Ruiz Fischler is the Director of the Museo y Centro de Estudios Humanísticos of the Universidad del Turabo in Gurabo, Puerto Rico and associate professor in the Masters of Arts Administration. She did her doctoral studies at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida with a dissertation on Juan Fernández Navarrete “El Mudo”: Court Painter to Philip II at the Escorial (1989). During two periods in her career, 1984 and 2009, she served as Director of the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña. She was Director of the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, where she completed the building construction and did the administrative, collection and program startup (2000-2005). Her first museum position was as director of the Museo de Arte de Ponce, dedicated to European and Latin American Art (1991-2000). Dr. Fischler began her academic career teaching Art History at the Fine Arts Department at University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, Puerto Rico (1970-1990).