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.
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. “Downtown Browns: Interactive Web Series, Intersectionality and Intimacy”. Henry Jenkins Blog. Confession on an ACA-FAN. 2017.
Bogosian, Biayna & Yang, Emilia. 2016. Maria Clandestinas, Additivist Cookbook. Amsterdam: The Institute of Network Cultures.
Copus, Jeff & Yang, Emilia. 2015. ArtUp! Creative Community Action . Sites of Protest. Edited by Stuart Price and Ruth Sanz Sabido. Protest, Media and Culture series, MeCCSA Social Movements Network, Rowman & Littlefield.
Instructor Annenberg Youth Academy for Media and Civic Engagement, Summer 2017
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.