Jules Wight

Faculty

Visiting Instructor in Communication Studies

I am pleased be a part of the Gustavus community as a visiting instructor in Communication Studies. My teaching and research specializations focus on critical media studies in the specific areas of digital media, cyberwar, political communication, queer theory, gender studies, race and ethnicity in media, and poststructuralism. I work to guide students to better understand their own media practices while reflexively and critically engaging with scholarship on theory, politial economy, cultural studies, narrative, and production practices. My professional strategic communication experience in the areas of marketing, advertising, publication development, and photography also inform my teaching. At the University of Minnesota where I completed coursework for my Ph.D., I taught students critical approaches to media and communication through topics in media literacy, race and ethnicity in media, media industry and globalization, reality television, visual media and art, public speaking, and media history.

As a digital scholar, I participated in the National Communication Association's Social Justice Campaign by clarifying the intersections shared by Communication Studies scholarship and Philadelphia's Media Mobilizing Project. As a cultural studies scholar, I  published work on Stuart Hall's  "Deconstructing the Popular" in light of more recent understandings of digital surveillance and informational capitalism. And as a transgender scholar, I am committed to exploring the margins of media theory and have published work exploring the ways in which transgender performances of gender performativity trouble interpersonal facework research; how the early years of the It Gets Better Project showed that digital practices can be injurious to transgender youth while also providing them with a sense of home; and, how queer theory can be employed to understand digital movements and problems of erasure, using the "I Am Bradley Manning" Tumblr campaign as a case study. In addition, I have co-authored a book chapter and several articles on digital pedagogy.

In my current research, I use Derridean theory to analyze and deconstruct news media coverage of cyberwar, demonstrating how cyberwar coverage manifests many themes and visual styles of film noir in ways that blur distinctions between drama and news. In addition, I argue that the U.S. shift from Cold War nuclear news coverage to this new coverage of possible cyberwar catastrophe was an incomplete shift that left, in its wake, dislocations within media representations of cyberwar. In this way, I work with Derrida's understanding of differánce to show the ways in which representations of cyberwar abet continued militarization of networked communication and emerging economies of cybersecurity while obfuscating ethical and geopolitical consequences of war. My intervention uniquely situates media studies and film noir scholarship, putting those texts in conversation with the philosophy and literary theory of Derrida and with scholarship from the fields of international relations, security studies, geography, critical geopolitics, and moving image studies.

Education

PhD, Communication Studies, University of Minnesota (anticipated Fall 2021); MA, Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago; BA, DePaul University, Chicago



Courses Taught

COM-115 (Screen), COM-120 (Public Discourse), and COM-244 (ST:Race & Ethnicity in Media)

Past
Synonym Title Times Taught Terms Taught
COM-115 Screen 3 2022/SP, 2022/JN, and 2021/FA
COM-245 Media & Democracy 1 2022/SP
COM-244 ST:Race & Ethnicity in Media 1 2022/SP