Research

Research and Practice Statement

At the Interdivisional Media Arts and Practice (iMAP) PhD at the University of Southern California, I have been doing a practice based PhD with the objective of generating constructive crossovers between media and cultural studies, critical making, filmmaking, game design, and communications.  My overall research objectives are 1) to develop new media practices and methodologies that investigate the possibilities of mediated forms to address sociopolitical problems and facilitate broader participation in politics and 2) to investigate historical moments to expose the narratives of oppressed/marginalized communities and use them to reflect on the present and imagine the future through playful methodologies as sources of political imagination.

My interests spans the role of memory in the political imagination, the relationship between democracy and participation as collective and collaborative endeavors and how this requires a spatial modality where play, performance, interventions, and interactions take place. I am interested in the politics of transference of knowledge and power inherent in archival procedures that takes place in the entanglement of stories, memories, people, media and things. In my research I take into consideration the collective creation, assembly and retrieval of archives (Trouillot, 2015). In my creative practice I create objects, situations and spaces that mediate and generate communities, and that play with the experiential and participatory dimensions of mediated situations and their relationship to democratic forms of social interaction. I believe in writing and creating from a deeply committed, involved, situated immanent, postcolonial, feminist subjectivity and ethics.  I aspire to foster political solidarity across the color/race/nationality lines with collaborative, feminist, historical, materialist, anti-racist media practices and analyses.

I have developed multiple projects (participatory archives, games, films and installations) and interdisciplinary collaborations that thread this line of inquiry. For the Animating the Archives fellowship of the Los Angeles Woman’s Building I created an immersive multimedia piece that animated the work of the feminist performance art and activist collective called Sisters of Survival, active from 1981 to 1985. I also was part of the team that created Tracking Ida, an award winning educational alternate reality game inspired by the pioneering investigative journalism of Ida B. Wells in the 1890s. Student players uncover Ida B. Wells’ crusade against lynching by manipulating archives and historical artifacts, and use her strategies to investigate police and vigilante killings today. Another relevant experience was my master’s thesis, a participatory web based project called  OcupaInss.com, which hosts the memories of a social movement organized by Nicaraguan youth to support the elderly in their plea for a pension from the government in Nicaragua. My current work in the United States serves as a testbed for different forms with the underlying assumption that these media based research methodologies can be transferable to other locations, specifically to Nicaragua, where I plan to do my dissertation.

Trouillot, M. (2015). Silencing the past: Power and the production of history. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.

Publications 

Yang, Emilia, Rogelio López. Forthcoming. “Postcards​ ​from/at​ ​Donde​ ​Rebotan​ ​Los​ ​Sueños* (Where​ ​dreams​ ​hit​ ​the​ ​wall).” In Civic Imagination: Practicing Futures. edited by Henry Jenkins, Gabriel Peters-Lazaro, and Sangita Shresthova. New York: NYU Press.

Yang, Emilia. 2020. “Tracking Ida: Unlocking Black resistance and civic imagination through alternative reality gameplay.” In Popular Culture and the Civic Imagination: A Casebook. edited by Henry Jenkins, Gabriel Peters-Lazaro, and Sangita Shresthova. New York: NYU Press.

Chamorro, Luciana, and Emilia Yang. 2018. “Tácticas de control y resistencia en el Nuevo Sandinismo, el caso de #OcupaInss.” Sandinismo 2.0: Neo-Authoritarianism, Oligarchy, and New Ideological Reconfigurations of the Political in Contemporary Nicaragua, Special Issue, Cahiers des Amériques Latines (87), 91-115.

Jenkins, Henry, Rogelio López, Pablo Martínez, Gabriel Peters-Lázaro, Sangita Shresthova, and Emilia Yang. 2018. “Postcards​ ​from/at​ ​Donde​ ​Rebotan​ ​Los​ ​Sueños* (Where​ ​dreams​ ​hit​ ​the​ ​wall) archive.” Regarding Borders issue. Immediacy New School Journal. 

Jenkins, Henry, Thomas J Billard, Samantha Close, Yomna Elsayed, Michelle C. Forelle, Rogelio Lopez, and Emilia Yang. 2017. “Participatory Politics.” In Keywords in Remix Studies, edited by Eduardo Navas, Owen Gallagher, and xtine burrough. New York, NY: Routledge.

Yang, Emilia. 2017. “Downtown Browns: Interactive Web Series, Intersectionality and Intimacy.” Henry Jenkins Blog. Confession on an ACA-FAN. 

Bogosian, Biayna & Yang, Emilia. 2016. “Maria Clandestinas.” Additivist Cookbook. Amsterdam: The Institute of Network Cultures.

Copus, Jeff & Yang, Emilia. 2015. “ArtUp! Creative Community Action to Reclaim City Spaces.” Protest, Media and Culture series, MeCCSA Social Movements Network, Rowman & Littlefield.

Selected Exhibitions and Screenings

2020 “Focus on Centroamerica”, International Videoart House Spain, Madrid, España

2019 “AMA y No Olvida, Memory Museum Against Impunity”, Institute of History of Nicaragua and Central America, Central American University, Managua, Nicaragua. 

2019 “Artistas en Contexto”, Collective Show, Resistance Biennale, Ciudad Guatemala, Guatemala.

2018 “HORs,” Outsider Transmedia Queer Festival Vortex Theatre, Austin, USA.

2017 “HORs,” Vital Hybrids Exhibition. B4BEL4B Gallery, Oakland, USA.

Animating the Archives, Women’s Building, Avenue 50 Gallery, Los Angeles, USA. 

Open Shows: Mndsgn, Sudan Archives, Cat500, Alex Theatre, Pasadena, USA.

IndieCade International Festival of Independent Games Europe, Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, Paris, France.

“HORs” and “Tracking Ida,” IndieCade International Festival of Independent Games, Los Angeles, USA.

“HORs” and “Tracking Ida,” Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Los Angeles, USA.

“Tracking Ida” Games for Change, New York, USA.

2017 “POSTCARDS FROM/AT DONDE REBOTAN LOS SUEÑOS,”  International Communications Association (ICA), Making and Doing Program, San Diego, USA.

2017 “Interactive Wearable Float,” Tote Your Float, deconstructed art parade, Art Walk Pasadena and Pasadena Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, USA.

2017 “Downtown Browns,” Queerness N’ Games Arcade, Los Angeles, USA.

2016 “Downtown Browns,” New Media and Games Summit at Tribeca Film Festival.

Play and the Subject of Social Change, First Forum Exhibition, Cinema and Media Studies Graduate Student Conference, School of Cinematic Arts, USC, Los Angeles, USA.

2016 “Magical Circles of Life Game,” Gaming for Everyone, IndieCade, International Festival of Independent Games, Los Angeles, USA.

Invited Talks

2019 “Memories, feminism and media activism in Nicaragua after the Uprisings” Central American Memory Conference, Guatemala.

2017 “Political memories and imaginative futures through playful methodologies” UCLA Information Studies 2017-18 Colloquium, Los Angeles, USA. 

2017 “Poema Colectivo: Revolución +/- Technology” HTWW, Held Together with water, Le Commun, Geneva, Switzerland.

2016 “Salon on media activism with LA hacktivists/gamers,” Munroe Center for Social Inquiry and Digital Humanities Studio, Claremont College, Claremont.

Conferences 

2018 “Agit-Prop and Science Fiction as Intersectional and Queer Modalities”, Conference on the Couch, OUTsider Queer Transmedia Fest, Austin, TX, USA. 

2017 “Unbordered Imaginaries: Creative engagements Across the US/Mexico Border”, Civic Imagination Project. Annenberg School of Journalism and Communications, USC, Los Angeles, USA..

2017 “ThinkIndie: Games and Politics: Where Do We Stand?” IndieCade International Festival of Independent Games, Los Angeles, USA. 

2017 “Marías Clandestinas: between control, speculation and fabrication for a DIWO (Do-it-with-Others) 

abortion kits”. AIGA Design Educators conference, Converge: Disciplinarities and Digital Scholarship. Los Angeles, USA.

2017 “Social mobilization and digital communication in and against authoritarian populism: #OcupaInss, Nicaragua”. Populism, Post-Truth Politics and Participatory Culture: Interventions in the Intersection of Popular and Political Communication”. International Communications Association Pre-Conference, San Diego, USA.

2017 “Mapping Oppression in Women Players, GameDevs, and Characters”. Gender and Videogames Conference, San Jose, USA.

2017 “Downtown Browns: Interactive Film Series, Intersectionality and Intimacy” Queerness N’ Games Conference,  Los Angeles, USA.

2016 “Subjected to Play: Locating the Subject in the Promise of Play” Panel, First Forum Conference by USC SCA Critical Studies

2016 “To Trump Trump’s wall. Designing a framework for participatory, co-creative media and political design practice ” HASTAC 2016. Impact: Variation, Innovation, Action, Arizona, USA.

2016 “Dialogue with digital creators of Mexico and Central America. Cyberculture, politics and intellectual property rights”, Latin American Studies Association (LASA), New York, USA.

2016 “To Trump Trump’s wall. Designing a framework for participatory, co-creative media and political design practice ” USC Graduate Student Research Symposium, Los Angeles, USA.

Teaching

Instructor Annenberg Youth Academy for Media and Civic Engagement, Summer 2017

Teaching Assistant

IML 320 Designing and Writing for Transmedia. Instructor Vicki Callahan. Spring 2018.

IML 364 Methods in Digital Research. Instructor Kiki Benzon. Spring 2018.

CNTV 101 Reality Starts Here. Instructor: Jeff Watson. Fall 2017.

IML 364 Methods in Digital Research. Instructor Kiki Benzon. Spring 2017.

IML 335 Digital Narrative Design. Instructor Ashley York. Spring 2017.

IML 295 Race, Class and Gender in Digital Culture. Instructor Virginia Kuhn. Fall 2016.

CNTV 101 Reality Starts Here.Instructor: Jeff Watson. Fall 2016.

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