about me

I am a researcher and educator interested in the intersections of media, globalization, and cultural difference. Currently, I am assistant professor of global communication in the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. I received my PhD in Film and Media Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

My book Border Tunnels: A Media Theory of the U.S.-Mexico Underground examines how representations of border tunnels in media such as TV news, video games, reality TV, and action films test our ideas about the shape and purpose of the borderlands. It will be published by the University of Minnesota Press in fall 2023.

I am now finishing two books: a monograph on the musical legacy, new media popularity, and queer significance of the Mexican film Y Tu Mamá También (under contract in the Queer Film Classics series at McGill-Queen’s University Press) and an edited collection about integrating under-examined global media texts in media and communication studies curricula.

I also regularly write about the class, race, and gender politics of Netflix’s Spanish-language original programming.

Faculty profile discussing my multimodal scholarship and the stakes in studying media about borders and migration.
Produced by Shawn Kornhauser at the Annenberg School for Communication.

My areas of expertise include global media, digital platforms, border and migration studies, infrastructure studies, and Latin American film and television. Read what I have written on these topics in the Publications page.

In addition, I contribute to several critical and creative projects. With Kim Brillante Knight, I co-direct The Migrant Steps Project, a public humanities initiative that prompts walking reflections through engagement with curated narratives about migration. I am also the host of the Global Media Cultures podcast and a member of the Global Internet TV Consortium. Sometimes I design games and other interactive art pieces about border issues. Read more about my creative projects in the Projects page.

For teaching on these subjects, I create collaborative and role-playing activities that help students connect theoretical discussions with practical scenarios. Descriptions of several of these teaching activities can be found in the Teaching page. I have also published longer pedagogical reflections on these assignments in Flow: A Critical Forum on Media and Culture and Teaching Media.

I serve as one of the co-editors of [in]Transition: Journal of Videographic Film & Moving Image Studies, the first peer-reviewed open-access academic journal of videographic criticism. I am also an Associate Editor of Outreach & Equity for the Journal of Cinema and Media Studies.

I’m a regular graphic novel reader, Converse aficionado, and perpetual cheese lover.