Fandoms and Digital Communities

They will use methods from textual and discourse analysis to examine archives and communities built around particular fandoms. Fandoms are a collective of people with a common interest in specific cultural artifacts, such as pieces of art, music, literature, videos games, or entertainment media. Wikis are one particular area of interest where fandoms thrive, and their analysis will help to uncover the marks of construction of these online communities. Within the archiving and performance of the artifacts, they will look specifically and concepts such as "truth" and "authenticity" imagined and articulated in internet realms.

The Role of Color Theory in Political Branding

They will look at color theory, harmony, psychology, symbolism, with the aim of uncovering subjective meaning in political branding. Additional objectives and methodology will include the concept of historical storytelling at work by Constructivists, an historical political art movement, and Josef Albers an art educator who experimented with spatial relationships through color. The goal is to understand what role that color theory plays in communicating social values through political messages. 

From Malls to Social Media: The Emergence of Digital Third Spaces

They will look at existing research and literature about the emergence of digital "third places" in response to the decline of physical public, social spaces. Third Places or Spaces are neutral grounds that are neither, home (first place), nor school or work (second place) and provide opportunities for unstructured connections and play. Especially during and after the 2008 recession, shopping malls, which had been a stable third place for a a generation, began to close, yielding commercial activity to online sites. What they understands already is that while the commercial functions of the mall moved to ecommerce platforms, the social aspects that were inherent in Mall Culture subsequently migrated online. They will analyze and synthesize the literature through primarily qualitative methods, telling the story of how a generation came to inhabit social communities in virtual spaces.