It’s been 17 years since Roger Cooper has walked on IU’s campus. After receiving his PhD from the Department of Telecommunications in 1992, Roger Cooper has gone on to become an associate professor and director of the School of Media Arts and Studies at Ohio University. Last Friday, he returned to Bloomington to present at the week’s brown bag. Beforehand, he shared some memories from his time at IU and what it means to come back after all these years. “It’s kind of odd that I haven’t come back, being that OU is only 300 miles away, but I think it’s because coming back is an emotional experience for me. It was an important time in my life.”
Roger explained that making the decision to come to Bloomington to pursue his PhD was a big one. “I was married, with two small children and we both had steady jobs. On the surface, it didn’t seem like the best decision.” His parents were particularly unsure about Roger’s decision to pack up his family and go back to grad school. For him, the decision to come to IU was one of the easiest he ever made. “I had a gut feeling that this was what I was supposed to do. If you think too practically about these kind of things, you might not make the best choice. The heart should lead the head.” Now, Roger’s father often reminisces that he had it wrong and stands corrected.
While on the faculty of Texas Christian University, he spent a year in Japan as a Fulbright Scholar at Osaka University. He described it as a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience another culture with his wife and young children. Now at Ohio University, Roger was reflective about the similarities between Athens and Bloomington. Both communities have a small town feel, where the university has a large impact on the town’s identity. Looking back at his time at IU, he knows he made the right choice. “I was encouraged to explore different methodologies and approaches by the faculty. The faculty were truly supportive. It’s the people here that made a difference.”
Roger Cooper’s Brown Bag Presentation
Active within Structures: Conceptualizing Post-Convergent Media Uses
Abstract: Post-convergence implies that media and communication scholars will increasingly need to develop theories and measures that consider uses, effects, gratifications, and structures across media platforms rather than to isolate concepts to a single media. Today’s media offer video, audio, and text for users to access when, where, and how they want it. Individuals use media simultaneously, share experiences and content (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, YouTube), and can access the same (or similar) content through a variety of delivery systems. However, although abundant choices and broad access to content transfer considerable power to the use, individuals continue to function within structures that have important influences on us.
Convergence provides an opportunity for scholars to integrate divergent individual-level active-audience theories with (traditionally) macro-level structural theories. For example, individuals “actively” structure their preferences (e.g., bookmarks, DVR settings) to self-organize their media and communication experiences in content-abundant environments. This implies that structure can be, at times, an “active” process. These choices may,in turn, impose or encourage external structures that further influence access and/or choices. This presentation proposes an “active within structures” conceptualization of media use in converged media and communication environments, and will discuss measurement opportunities and challenges. Results will be presented from studies that seek to provide explanations of uses in a convergent media world.
Everyone has a “best place” for studying. For PhD candidate Lelia Samson, her special study place for her comprehensive exams wasn’t just one location—it was over 30 spots on multiple continents. Lelia, who spent part of the summer abroad after the ICA conference in Singapore, found herself studying for the exams while visiting Malaysia, Germany, London, and her home country of Romania, until finally returning to Bloomington for the final weeks of preparation, where she continued to jump from library to library across IU’s campus.
Lelia’s approach to studying was somewhat unconventional. She studied each topic or subject area in only one place, so she would associate each place with what she learned. And did it all sink in? “Sometimes when I think of Paisley, I think of my friend in Nuremberg when I was babysitting for his daughter. I have associations with most of the readings,” she says.
Successfully preparing for the exams, as other PhD candidates could attest, is bound to be no easy task, but Lelia points out that one comforting aspect is the subject matter. “It’s the stuff that you like. Most of the readings are related to what you’re interested in,” she says. In fact, according to Lelia, even the exams themselves were enjoyable. “The exciting part is when you get there. You’ve been stressing out and reading and all of that, and then you get in the room and the questions are awesome because they’re exactly what your interested in,” she says. “In those hours you realize that you actually know and you’ve actually become a scholar. And that’s why I had fun.”
SPR Conference in Portland, Oregon
Last week, Professors Julia Fox, Annie Lang, and Robert Potter and graduate students Rachel Bailey and Bridget Rubenking attended the Society for Psychophysiological Research’s (SPR) annual conference in Portland, OR. SPR celebrated it’s 50th Anniversary in the City of Roses.
“I see how it is. You give Matt 2 minutes and 40 seconds and I only get a minute 30. Is there not a time limit on these things?”
– Mike McGregor, in reference to the objects in faculty offices series. Reproduced with permission.
Nicky Lewis: Roger Cooper’s Return and Brown Bag Presentation
Katie Birge: Lelia’s Study Routine and SPR Conference
Bridget Rubenking: guest contributor for SPR Conference
Rob Potter: Photos of SPR Conference