My work and teaching interests can be broadly categorized under the realms of popular geopolitics, digital humanities, media technologies and the creation of space. I am working on projects looking at the role of late-night comedians in framing geopolitical issues, examining social media humor for its geopolitical content and framings as well as media framing of drought in the southwestern United States. The approach and research methodology varies, from the critical interpretation found in critical geopolitics to text mining in order to understand temporal changes in framing issues.
These research interests stem from three sources. The first reflects growing up as a child of the Cold War and realizing that the media really did frame my understanding of our enemy, the Communist countries and by extension, my understanding of the globe. The second was being introduced to the idea of study communications geography by Dr. Stanley D. Brunn in a seminar dedicated to exploring the intersections. He always believed that communications scholars could teach geographers about processes of placemaking and vice versa. The final influence was stumbling on a dissertation topic while I was on a Fulbright year in Hungary. The idea of how people would promote Hungary to change its image and shed the Communist past extended to this new technology known as the Internet. My focus shifted to Slovenia due to its unique history of never experiencing independence before the 1991 breakup of Yugoslavia, resulting in a monograph examining Slovenia’s web presence that would shape my dissertation fieldwork. I have to thank Drs. Barney Warf, Janet Kodras and Jonathan Leib at Florida State’s (FSU) Department of Geography for supporting a topic that some felt was not geography, as well as Dr. Stephen McDowell (FSU Communication), Dr. Michele Jackson (FSU Communication, now Associate Provost at the College of William and Mary) and Dr. Myron Gluck (FSU LIS, Retired from Virginia Military Institute) for helping frame my thoughts about information technologies in an interdisciplinary manner.
Oh, and the dragonfly that is my cover image? As a child the idea of prehistoric dragonflies coming back to life to snatch up kids was fascinating. Today I still find dragonflies and damselflies beautiful and spend time trying to take pictures of them.