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Jordan Z. Adler is a PhD student and instructor in the English department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (cinema, media, and digital studies concentration). He graduated from Concordia University in Montreal in 2017, with an MA in cinema studies. There, he completed a Master’s thesis that explored documentaries about peace-building movements and nonviolent activism between Israelis and Palestinians during the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

Pat Bonner Pat Bonner was born in Saint John, New Brunswick. He completed a BA with Honours in English Literature from the University of New Brunswick in 2014. Pat is currently living in Montreal, where he is in the second year of an MA in Film Studies at Concordia University. His Master’s thesis, “Re-Animating Youth and Commercialism: Goosebumps, William Fruet, and Canadian Children’s Television,” focuses on the convergence of horror cinema and children’s television through the lens of director William Fruet and the Canadian kid’s series Goosebumps.

Kelsey Cummings studies race and social media interface as a PhD student in Film & Media Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. Her original research has been published in Television & New Media, Feminist Media Studies, and Social Media + Society. Her work has also appeared in Film Quarterly.

Jazmine R. Hudson is a second-year Moving Image Studies doctoral student in the School of Film, Media, and Theatre at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. She is the visual documentarian and member of the research group liquid blackness, a research group that explores issues of blackness and aesthetics. Her research interests are blackness, women’s gender and sexuality studies, aesthetics and politics.

Lauren Milici is a Florida native who writes poetry, teaches English, and is currently getting her MFA in Creative Writing at West Virginia University. When she isn’t crafting sad poems about sex, she’s either writing or shouting into the void about film, TV, and all things pop culture.

Tamas Molnar is an MA candidate in the Mel Oppenheim School of Cinema at Concordia University, Montreal. He holds a Graduate Diploma and a BA in Media Studies from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. His research interests include the relationship between media texts and the lived experiences of built environments; the links between visual aesthetics and the spectatorial gaze in environmental communication and the social and cultural aspects of media piracy in the pre-internet age. In his free time he makes stop motion animation films, goes cycling or climbing mountains.

Heather Myers is from Altoona, Pennsylvania. She is a 3rd year MFA in the Creative Writing program at West Virginia University. Her work focuses in poetry, and she is the recipient of a 2018 AWP intro award. This is her first film conference, and one of her first ventures into film studies territory; she’s excited to be presenting on feminism and queer theory in the show Lost Girl.

Geneveive Newman is a PhD student in Film and Media Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. She received her Master’s Degree in Cinema and Media Studies from the University of Southern California. Her research focuses on onto-epistemological phenomenology, horror media, and film philosophy. She has published and presented work on mental illness in horror, queer temporality, and (de)colonization in horror media.

Kate J. Russell is a PhD student in Cinema Studies at the University of Toronto, where she is working on a dissertation on the intersection of laughter with animality and abjection. Her interests include gross-out comedy, trash cinema, surrealism, and horror. Her essay “The Cinematic Pandemonium of William Castle and John Waters” appears in “ReFocus: The Films of William Castle” (University of Edinburgh Press, 2018), and in 2018 she won the SCMS Comedy and Humor SIG Graduate Student Essay Prize.

Daniel Sacco is a recent doctoral graduate of the Communication and Culture Program at York and Ryerson Universities. His dissertation, The Ends and Ends of Film Censorship, explored connections between film classification, genre transgression, spectatorship theory, and the sociology of film reception. He has also published on the cinema of Vincent Gallo and the documentary film and television work of Andrew Jarecki.

Denis Saltykov is a PhD candidate in Film and the University of Pittsburgh; he also studied Sociology in the graduate school of the National Research University Higher School of Economics (Moscow). His current research interests are sociological theories of cinema, film genre studies, and politics of contemporary popular culture. His research focuses on the ways in which recent Russian cinema is adopting Western models of horror and action films.

Aanchal Saraf is a 2nd year PhD student at Yale University in American Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her work focuses on US empire in the Pacific, particularly Hawai’i and the Marshalls. She comes to this work with stakes in the fields of critical race theory, feminist geography, and affect theory. Currently, she is interested in the genres of comedy and horror as sites of mainstream cultural production at which racialized and gendered bodies of the Pacific often emerge, frequently abstracted into kitsch objects and caricatures. Her paper today is an examination of one such site of abstraction, the “irradiated” zombie. Her work both critiques moments of abstraction and intervenes both ethnographically and affectively to consider materiality, feeling, activism, and historical claims to sovereignty.

Zack Shaw is a second year PhD student in the English department of the University of Florida studying visual rhetoric, rhetoric and composition in new media, animation, and film. In 2015, he received his MA in English from Northeastern University in Boston, where he wrote about contemporary animation and psychological realism in his thesis.

Miles Taylor is a master’s student at Concordia University in Montreal. His interests include the Frankfurt School, Aldous Huxley, film from 1960-present, and questions of modernity. When not in class, he enjoys golfing and travel writing.

Preston Wittwer is a PhD student in North Carolina State University’s Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media program. His research focuses on the ways audiences use media, television specifically, to rhetorically formulate identities, literacies, and world views. His research interests also include popular culture studies, digital and social media, media industries, and criticism as literature. He received his BA in Communications and MA in English from Brigham Young University, where he wrote his thesis on how President Barack Obama successfully used YouTube and The Tonight Show to reshape the rhetorical presidency.

Shuyi Xiong is currently an M.A. candidate in Film and Media Studies at Columbia University. As a film scholar, she is primarily engaged in Deleuzian film-philosophy, philosophy of technics, media archaeology and infrastructure, and documentary theory. Her works have also covered topics in Chinese cinema and Neo-Dada.

Ting-Hao Zhou is an M.A. student in Film and Media Studies at Columbia University. He is primarily interested in media (medium) history and theory, space study, documentary theory and activism, and his previous works have also covered topics in Asian and Southeastern Asian cinema and genre studies. His ongoing thesis project will investigate the role of fluorescent (neon) light as an atmospheric medium in cinema and current media environment. He previously worked for Guangzhou International Film Festival as an executive curator and successfully made 50+ documentaries available on the big screen.