Conference Organizers


Aymar Jean "AJ" Christian is an associate professor of communication studies at Northwestern University and author of Open TV: Innovation Beyond Hollywood and the Rise of Web Television (NYU Press, 2018). His work has been published in numerous academic journals, including the International Journal of Communication, Television & New Media, Social Media & Society, Journal of Cinema and Media Studies, Continuum, and Transformative Works and Cultures. He has juried television and video for the Peabody Awards, Gotham Awards, and Tribeca Film Festival, among others. He has been honored by Filmmaker Magazine (25 New Faces of Indie Film, 2018) NewCity (Chicago’s Film Hall of Fame, 2020), Chicago magazine (New Power List, 2021).

Dr. Christian co-founded OTV | Open Television, a research project and platform for intersectional television. OTV programs have received recognition from HBO, the Television Academy (Emmy Awards), Webby Awards, Streamy Awards, Gotham Awards, among others.

Jo Hsu

Jo Hsu is an assistant professor of Rhetoric and Writing at the University of Texas at Austin, where they also serve as core faculty in the Center for Asian American Studies and as an affiliate of the LGBTQ Studies Program. Broadly speaking, Jo’s research uses narrative to examine how gender, race, disability, and sexuality entwine in mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion. Their work can be found in disciplinary journals such as the Quarterly Journal of Speech, Women’s Studies in Communication, and College Composition and Communication. Their creative writing has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and can be found in Kartika Review, Color Bloq, and other literary outlets. Throughout their (often wayward and meandering) academic journey, Jo has been fortunate to have the support of generous mentors and co-conspirators, and they strive to further these forms of mutual care and collaborative worldbuilding.

Sarah Jackson

Sarah J. Jackson is a Presidential Associate Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and Co-Director of the Media, Inequality, & Change Center. A scholar of the public sphere, she studies how media, journalism, and technology are used by and represent Black and feminist publics. She is the author of two books (Black Celebrity, Racial Politics, and the Press, Routledge 2014 and Hashtag Activism: Networks of Race and Gender Justice, MIT Press 2020), and her work has appeared in the Journal of Communication, the International Journal of Press/Politics, and Feminist Media Studies, among others. Jackson serves an associate editor at Communication Theory, as the Conversation & Commentary editor at Women’s Studies in Communication, and on the editorial board of Political Communication. She sits on the advisory boards of the Center for Critical Race and Digital Studies and the Social Science Research Council’s MediaWell initiative. As a 2020 Andrew Carnegie Fellow, she is currently working on a book about the cultural power of African American mediamakers.

Robert Mejia

Robert Mejia is an associate professor of communication at North Dakota State University. His work has been published in outlets such as Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, Critical Studies in Media Communication, Rhetoric of Health and Medicine, New Philosopher, and other academic and public outlets. He is the past recipient of the 2018 NCA Critical and Cultural Studies Division's (CCSD) New Investigator Award and the 2019 CCSD Outstanding Article Award and served as the editor for the Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies forum on “Communication and the Politics of Survival.”


Anamik Saha is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Media, Communications and Cultural Studies, and convenor of MA Race, Media and Social Justice. After completing his PhD in Sociology at Goldsmiths, Anamik worked in the Institute of Communication Studies at the University of Leeds, firstly as an ESRC Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, then as a Lecturer in Communications. 

Anamik’s research interests are in race and the media, with a particular focus on cultural production and the cultural industries in relation to broader issues of commodification and racial capitalism. He has had his work published in journals including Media, Culture and Society, Ethnic and Racial Studies, and Ethnicities. He has edited three journal special issues including a special issue of Culture, Communication and Critique (2020) with Eve Ng and Khadijah White on #CommunicationSoWhite. In 2019 he became an editor of the European Journal of Cultural Studies. Anamik’s first book Race and the Cultural Industries (Polity) was published in 2018. In 2019 he received an Arts and Humanities Research Council Leadership Fellow grant for a project entitled ‘Rethinking Diversity in Publishing’, which led to a report published by Goldsmiths Press in June 2020. His new book entitled Race, Culture, Media (Sage) will be published in Spring 2021.

Anjali Vats

Anjali Vats is Associate Professor of Communication and African and African Diaspora Studies at Boston College and Associate Professor of Law at Boston College Law School (by courtesy). She is interested in issues related to race, law, communication, and popular culture, with particular focus on intellectual property. Her book, The Color of Creatorship: Intellectual Property, Race and the Making of Americans (Stanford University Press, 2020), examines the relationship between copyright, patent, and trademark law, race, and national identity formation. Vats has published in journals and law reviews, including the Quarterly Journal of Speech, Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, Communication, Culture & Critique, and the Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal. In 2016-2017, as an AAUW Postdoctoral Fellow, Vats taught at UC Davis School of Law. She was previously a faculty member in the Department of Communication and Culture at Indiana University, where she was affiliated with the Center for Intellectual Property Research at the Maurer School of Law. Before becoming a professor, Vats served as law clerk to the now retired Chief Justice A. William Maupin of the Supreme Court of Nevada.