Deceptive Communication about Modified Risk Tobacco Products: Past, Present and Future
Feb. 1: Joe Cappella (Professor, Annenberg School of Communication, University of Pennsylvania)
The history of tobacco advertising is one of providing information that is misleading and outright deceptive. Research by scientists and decisions by the courts have confirmed these claims. Current advertising about natural, organic tobaccos continues to create incorrect beliefs. As the FDA moves to Modified Risk Tobacco Products (MRTPs), the possibility of engendering a new set of false beliefs is on the horizon. This presentation focuses on the mechanisms of false inference in tobacco advertising past, present and in the future -- cutting edge procedures for studying and correcting false beliefs engendered by MRTP advertising.
Computational Approach to Human-Centered Research
Feb. 8: Ching-Hua Chuan (Associate Professor, Cinema and Interactive Media)
Recent technology advances, especially in the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning, have dramatically re-defined our everyday experience. These intelligent systems not only provide convenience but also aim to understand human behavior, preference, and even creation in a more profound manner. For example, nowadays we have intelligent systems that can create a music playlist for a specific user with songs that match his or her current mood, and systems that can accompany an original melody while mimicking an artist’s style. This presentation will reveal the secrets behind these intelligent systems through three research projects: automatic music generation, gesture recognition for American Sign Language, and social network analysis. I will describe how we can define such human-centered topics as scientific problems, and give examples of my approach to interdisciplinary research.
Popularizing the Environment in Modern Media
Feb. 15: Michelle Seelig (Associate Professor, Cinema and Interactive Media)
From the subtle to the extreme, advocating for the environment pervades popular media and contributes to society’s thinking about environmental issues. In this presentation, Dr. Seelig will highlight relevant research focusing on environmental communication. This includes excerpts from her book, Communicating the Environment Beyond Photography, as well as discusses how depicting the natural world has evolved in film, television, and animated content. Preliminary findings from Dr. Seelig’s current project that breaks down both visual and textual components in websites and product packaging for three popular skin care brands will also be shared.
The Shore Line: Participatory Media and Engagement StrategiesFeb. 22: Liz Miller (Professor, Communication Studies, Concordia University)
The Shore Line is an online collaborative documentary, a collection of short videos about individuals responding to the threats of destructive storms, rising sea levels and impending migration in Panama, Chile and beyond. The project is a dynamic educational platform encouraging creative pedagogies and awareness around a rapidly changing environment. In this presentation, Prof. Miller will screen clips from The Shore Line project and discuss the potential for online documentary forms to connect local, national and global strategies in addressing environmental challenges. In Carti Sugdup, a small island in the Gunayala archipelago of Panama, Blas Lopez and his indigenous community are the first community in the area to plan a re-location to the mainland as a result of rising seas and overcrowding. Lopez is involving local architects and planners to ensure that cultural traditions are not compromised. In Chile, where there is currently no legislation to protect the country’s glaciers from mining projects, artists and activists invented The Glacier Republic and then claimed sovereignty over their new republic. They launched a playful but hard hitting international media campaign to raise awareness about the critical role Chilean glaciers play in supplying citizens with drinking water. Through these short profiles and a discussion of the project, Prof. Miller will discuss methods of engaging diverse publics on timely issues.
Crime, Clientelism and Democratic Aspirations: Explaining Anti-Press Harassment in MexicoMar. 1: Sallie Hughes (Associate Professor, Journalism and Media Management)
Harassment of journalists has increased globally in countries formally classified as electoral democracies for at least the last decade. In a first of its kind study, we identify the conditions that change the likelihood a journalist will have received one or more work-related threats in Mexico, a democracy where anti-press harassment is multifaceted and comparatively widespread. This presentation will also present evidence on the consequences of harassment for journalists as human beings and as facilitators of democratic deliberation and accountability.
Evidence-Based UXMar. 8: Barbara Millet (Assistant Professor, Cinema and Interactive Media)
Designing user interfaces involves intricate and complex decisions. User Experience (UX) practitioners strive to create products that users not only need but want, and to design them in a way that is easy to use. User research provides a structured, methodical approach to understanding users and evaluating the user experience. This presentation provides examples of how evidence-based UX is applied to inform product design.
Conducting Community Engaged Research in Rural GuatemalaMar. 22: Victoria Orrego (Associate Professor, Communication Studies)
HIV prevalence data among the indigenous is starkly missing and needed. To address this void, Dr. Orrego utilized a CBPR approach coupled with the Health Belief Model (HBM) framework to uncover barriers and facilitators to HIV testing and condom use in rural Santiago Atitlán, Guatemala. The formative work began by forming an advisory board that reflected collaborations across community partners, researchers and the priority population. Given the insular and remote population, we recognized the necessity of utilizing a mixed method design for data collection that would facilitate breadth and depth of understanding as well as demonstrate data corroboration. Dr. Orrego conducted two waves of formative research, resulting in an integration of in-depth interviews, a focus group, and quantitative survey findings documenting multiple standpoints on what is important and valued in our priority population regarding HIV prevention.
The Left Bank: The Right PlaceMar. 29: Tony Allegro (Professor, Cinema and Interactive Media)
This project’s subject is the role Paris played in the astonishingly fertile environment enjoyed by all of the arts in the 1920s. It asks what the role of factual history in a motion picture is. This is an issue that must be answered in the mind of a filmmaker even before one can begin. It is a question that Hollywood has wrestled with since the motion picture was invented. It is a question which provokes heated critical debate because it goes right to the question of the difference and balance between the subjective and the objective, between history and art, between opinion and propaganda. The project is twofold: To produce a film and a book of photographs, both of which will reflect the importance of the physical place that is Paris to the social, cultural and intellectual environment the city was between 1920 and 1929.