ANNCCC sponsors both faculty distinguished fellows as well as postdoctoral fellows.
As part of our efforts to connect Annenberg at UPenn and USCAnnenberg, our center sponsors two Distinguished Fellows to work in the Center for a two-year term. This award is designed to benefit junior scholars/researchers in the areas of Communication and Media Studies, and is meant to cover a range of sub-fields and topic areas. One Fellow from each Annenberg School is awarded with a stipend and research funds, and they will benefit as well from Professor Banet-Weiser’s professional mentorship.
Marlon Twyman II, Ph.D.
USC Annenberg Assistant Professor of Communication Marlon Twyman is a quantitative social scientist specializing in advanced computational and statistical methods, with a particular focus on social network analysis. By merging perspectives from social networks, organizational behavior and computational social science, his research program focuses on how teams, online communities and organizations form and interact in the digital age. More specifically, he studies questions related to team formation processes in collaborative technology platforms. Recently, his research has appeared in the following venues: the CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems; CSCW Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing; International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction; Interdisciplinary Network for Group Research Conference (INGRoup); International Conference on Computational Social Science (IC2S2); and Sunbelt Conference of the International Network for Social Network Analysis (INSNA).
He received his PhD from Northwestern University in the Technology and Social Behavior program, a dual-degree in communication studies and computer science. He earned his BS and MS in biomedical engineering from Wright State University (Dayton, Ohio) and has acquired professional experiences as a consultant for topics related to IT implementation, healthcare quality and policy, as well as experience as a materials science researcher. At different stages of his career, his research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Air Force Research Laboratory, the National GEM Consortium, and the MITRE Corporation. He has also been awarded a Provost’s Assistant Professor Fellowship from the University of Southern California.
Julia Ticona, Ph.D.
Julia Ticona is an assistant professor at the Annenberg School for Communication, where her research investigates the ways that digital communication technologies shape the meaning and dignity of precarious work. She uses qualitative methods to examine the role of mobile phones, algorithmic labor platforms, and data-intensive management systems in the construction of identity and inequality for low-wage workers. She also collaborated on an amicus brief on behalf of Data & Society for Carpenter vs. U.S. before the U.S. Supreme Court. Her book, about the “digital hustles” of high and low-status freelancers in the gig economy, is under contract with Oxford University Press. Previously, she was a postdoctoral scholar at the Data & Society Research Institute and is now a Faculty Affiliate. She is also an Associate Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Virginia, where she was a member of the Society of Fellows, and her B.A. from Wellesley College. You can find her work in New Media & Society, Information, Communication, and Society, as well as Wired, FastCompany, and Slate.
Past Postdoctoral Fellows
Perry B. Johnson, Ph.D.
Perry B. Johnson is a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Media at Risk with a joint appointment at the Annenberg Center for Collaborative Communication. She is the co-founder and co-director of The Sound of Victory, an interdisciplinary, multi-platform initiative dedicated to investigating the historical relationship between music, sound, and sport and producer and co-host of Sounding Off, a podcast that highlights the voices of athletes, artists, and public intellectuals working at this cultural intersection. In this role, she is co-editing a new book project, "The Sound of Victory: Music, Sport, and Society," which expands on this intersection to explore the socio-cultural influences, implications, and reverberations of music, sound, and sport.
Johnson’s primary research and practice focus on music, popular culture, and American cultural histories, with an emphasis on archives, public scholarship, power, identity, and belonging. She is at work on the manuscript for her first book, a cultural history of sexual misconduct in America’s popular music industries.
Johnson received her Ph.D. from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California, where she had a graduate affiliation in the Department of Gender & Sexuality Studies and was a research fellow with The Popular Music Project at USC Annenberg's Norman Lear Center.
Kat Higgins, Ph.D.
Kat researches and writes at the intersection of media culture, critical discourse analysis, and the sociology of crime control and state violence, with an empirical focus on contemporary Australia. Informed by an abolitionist ethic, her doctoral research is concerned with the role played by news media in cultural processes of criminalization. More specifically, she investigates how journalistic representations of crime events delimit imaginative possibilities for different forms of security action, and in doing so help maintain the cultural conditions of possibility for policing, incarceration, and other coercive and punitive strategies of crime control.
Empirically, her project investigates the mediated construction of so-called ‘African gang crime’ in and through the Australian press, deploying a multi-modal critical discourse analysis of both print and televisual media. This analysis approaches crime news texts as sites of vulnerability micro-politics, where different and sometimes competing accounts of social vulnerability struggle for public recognition and where the legitimacy of different forms of security intervention is negotiated. Kat’s thesis positions ‘imaginability’ as an important political frontier in efforts to transform the practices through which we pursue safety and justice, and crime journalism as critically important to how imaginaries of (in)security are made and remade.
Her thesis hopes to unearth new insights into how media discourses help projects of domination and exclusion sustain access to morality through the language and logics of security, and to reimagine crime journalism for more just and emancipatory security futures.