research talk – New Media and Political Communication: How to Express and Respond & Why it Matters

Dr Kim’s research interests parallel her life experiences. These experiences sharpened her intellectual curiosity about media and communication. During her graduate years,she developed deeper interests in studying new media and political communication, particularly the impact of new media on social practices within politics, particularly on political communication processes. Her dissertation extended this area by investigating how uncivil political expressions among online discussants who self-identify as political partisans contribute to emotional, attitudinal, and behavioral outcomes that may inflame political polarization at the societal level. It explored whether, why, and how uncivil comments stimulate certain emotions such as shame that, in turn, lead to different perceptual, attitudinal, and behavioral responses among those who observe the uncivil expressions. More importantly, this study examined how emotional responses to uncivil comments differ when the uncivil comments are made by  people who share the same partisan identity in contrast to situations when comments originate from people whose partisan identities are in opposition. Furthermore, the dissertation examined how the existence of an online audience moderates the emotional effects of uncivil expressions among the same partisan and opposing partisan discussants. Given these goals, two experimental studies were conducted to investigate conditions and mechanisms that underlie the effects of uncivil expressions enacted by the same partisans as well as opposing partisans, developing several sequential mediation models. In the end, findings of this research contributed to development of a big picture perspective of online incivility and to suggest ways that civil and healthy online discussions may be promoted in the future. In addition to individual uses of new media in the political communication process, she has examined how organizations such as environmental advocacy groups and government agencies use social media to effectively send their messages, develop networks, and mobilize adherents to collaborate and interact globally. Currently, she is examining how cities like San Francisco are using new media, mobile applications in this case, to effectively communicate with residents and to provide city services at lower costs. For those studies, questions were asked mainly to recommend better strategies to disseminate information and communicate with others. While continuing with the topic of the impact of new media on political communication processes, my research interests have been extended to include studies on another mode of expression, visual communication. Specifically, she is  currently involved in a grant project at the intersection of public health and visual communication examines how e-health infographics are used to facilitate optimum health message learning and encourage pro-health behaviors.

About the Speaker

Ji Won KimDr Ji Won Kim received her Ph.D., Journalism, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, December 2015

Random Blends 2016 – Submissions invited until 21 Feb 2016

open call-2

Random Blends – the annual student showcase is back, this time with the theme of CONSTRUCT – DESTRUCT – RECONSTRUCT. Short-listed works will be showcased at the ArtScience Museum from 24 – 27 Mar 2016.

In relation to the central theme of “Construct, Destruct, Reconstruct”, identities are comprised of ideas, ideologies, and ways of seeing the world around us in the process of destructing, and reconstructing our sense of self. Therefore, students are invited to submit their artworks in any media, loosely following the sub-theme of identity.Selected artworks also stand a chance to win attractive prizes.

To register, click here:

To submit your work, email:

For rules and regulations, click here:

For more information, visit:

The deadline for registration and submission of work is 21 February 2016.

Research Talk – Unpacking Public Sentiment toward the Government: How Government Communication Strategies Affect Public Engagement, Cynicism, and Word of Mouth Behaviour in South Korea

This study tests the relationships between two types of public sentiment toward the government, their antecedents and their outcomes. A Web survey was conducted in South Korea (N=1112) to understand citizens’ evaluations of their sentiments toward the government. The results show that perceived type of government communication strategy affects public engagement, public cynicism, and citizens’ positive and negative word of mouth behavior about government. Theoretical and empirical implications are discussed

About the Speaker:

soojinkim_0Dr Soojin Kim received her PhD from the Purdue University and is currently Assistant Professor of Corporate Communication at Lee Kong Chian School of Business – Singapore Management University (SMU). Her research interests are in the field of Strategic Management of Public Relations, Public Relations Strategies and Public Behaviours.



Time & Date: 3 p.m, Wed 17 Feb 2016

Venue: AS6-03-33, CNM Meeting Room

Research Talk – Digital Naturalism: Creating a design framework to support digital field biology

Digital Naturalism ( investigates the role that digital media can play for biological field work. It looks to uphold the naturalistic values of wilderness exploration, while investigating the new abilities offered by digital technology. Collaborations are growing between biologists, designers, engineers, and artists. This work provides a framework to facilitate all these participants in building and analyzing their own devices for exploring and sharing nature. This talk aims to quickly share many of the ideas that have developed over the past several years of this research. The target is that both scientists and digital designers may benefit from the theory and its resulting design guidelines presented with illustrated examples. Hopefully more will be inspired to push digital media out of the lab and into the wild.

About the Speaker

Andy-Quitmeyer-Headshot-SMALLDr. Andy Quitmeyer is a polymath adventurer studying intersections between wild animals and digital devices. His PhD research in “Digital Naturalism” from Georgia Tech blends biological fieldwork and DIY digital crafting. This work has taken him through the wilds of Panama and Madagascar where he’s run workshops with diverse groups of scientists, artists, designers, and engineers.  Recently, he has been running series of “Hiking Hacks” around the world where participants build technology entirely in the wild for interacting with nature.

He’s also adapted some of the research to exploring human sexuality with his Open Source Sex Technology startup Comingle. He is the winner of several design awards and his trans-disciplinary, multimedia projects have been featured in Wired, PBS, NPR, The Discovery Channel, Cartoon Network, Make Magazine, The Economist, Fast Company, Gizmodo, along with other print and digital internet news and educational sources.

Time & Date: 3 p.m, Wed 10 Feb 2016

Venue: AS6-03-33, CNM Meeting Room


Research Talk – Large Screens as Intimate Interfaces: From Media Convergence and Creative Clusters to Cultural Participation and Transnational Publics

From protest projections, commercial LED billboards, to public broadcasting and information terminals, large screens have become a dominant feature in contemporary global visual culture. They decenter the phenomenology of the cinematic screen and provide an embodied experience of interactivity that enhances local cultural participation and intercultural communication. This paper will first map the development of large screens through the frameworks of urban regeneration, cultural policy, media convergence and public communication, and consider the potential of the networked screen as a transnational public sphere.  By framing the large screen as a site for transmission and exchange, as well as constituting new identities, this paper will further show how the large screen functions as an interface for new public and transnational intimacies. It will use three telematic media art events staged and broadcasted on two large screens in Melbourne (Australia) and Seoul (South Korea) to consider how these events produce new practices of interaction that allow audiences in both cities to connect and communicate, and transform their modes of embodiment. Transnational intimacy, as a form of postcolonial intimacy (Dirlik; Stoler), is evident through how connecting and communicating create the proximities of personhood and the inequalities that these may produce in the encounter of the exchange. Public intimacy, as a public mode of identification (Berlant), is evident through how embodiment exposes the dominant symbolic and material conditions that create compliant subjects who fulfill and haunt the fantasy of national identity. Mobilising ethnography and audience reception studies, and critically contextualizing the two sites against the specificities of their cultural logics, this paper shows how the transnational large screen is an intimate contact zone for unraveling the contemporary cultural politics between Australia and South Korea.

Time: 3 p.m.

Date: Wednesday, 27 Jan 2016

Venue: CNM Meeting Room AS6-03-33

About the Speaker:

DAudrey Huer Audrey Yue is Assoc Prof at The School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne. Her research covers the fields of Asian media and cultural policy, diasporic cultures and sexuality studies.


Research Talk – Spearphishing: The single biggest threat to cybersecurity and how we can combat it

Every major breach in recent years, from the Sony Picture Entertainment hack, where hackers released sensitive insider information, to the Office of Personnel Management breach, where 20 million federal government employee records were compromised, began with a phishing attack. Phishing is the proverbial “tip of the spear” used by cyber criminals to get a foothold into an organization’s networks. It has been used for crimes ranging from identity and intellectual property theft to financial fraud, cyber espionage, and hacktivism, and is today the single biggest threat to cyber security.

This presentation provides an in-depth view of how phishing works and how hackers utilize it to infiltrate networks. It then presents the extant strategies being used to combat phishing and their relative effectiveness. The talk subsequently presents a theoretical model, the Suspicion, Cognition, Automaticity Model of Phishing Susceptibility (SCAM), which accounts for conscious cognitions as well as automatic habitual patterns of media use that lead to individual deception through phishing. Data from a number of “red team” type experiments using the SCAM’s framework are used to why explain today’s interventions are not as effective at combating phishing. The presentation culminates with suggestions on the future of cyber security and strategies to better protect it.

Time: 3 p.m.

Date: Wednesday, 03 Feb 2016

Venue: CNM Meeting Room AS6-03-33

About the SpeakerArun Viswanath

Arun Vishwanath, Ph.D., MBA, is Associate Professor of Communication at the University at Buffalo. His research is on the diffusion, adoption, utilization, and mis-utilization of information technology. His present focus is on phishing and spoofing attacks and on finding ways to mitigate them. This work has led to an understanding of the joint role of conscious cognitions and automatic habits in determining individual victimization through such attacks. He is presently developing strategies for mitigating breaches and interventions that lead to better cyber hygiene.

Arun has authored over two dozen peer-reviewed research papers and his opinions on cybersecurity have been featured on CNN, BBC World News, The Conversation, The World Economic Forum, USA Today, and a host of other media outlets.  His research on phishing is currently funded by the National Science Foundation and he is also working with teams from the NSA, NIST, DHS, and The White House’s OSTP in testing strategies for better protecting computer networks in the federal government.

CNM welcomes Dr Barbara F. Sharf

Barbara-SharfCNM welcomes U.S. Fulbright Scholar and Professor Emerita from the Department of Communication at Texas A&M University, Dr Barbara F. Sharf. Dr Sharf who visited CNM two years back, will be with us for the next two months.  She is a  qualitative health communication scholar whose research has explored patient-physician communication; patients’ experiences of illness; breast cancer communication; the impact of communication on health disparities related to race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status and geographic location; and most recently, integrative forms of health care in the U.S. Her approach to her studies uses narrative inquiry and other variants of interpretive research.  She is co-author/editor (with J. Yamasaki & P. Geist-Martin) of the soon-to-be-published Storied Health and Illness: Communicating Personal, Cultural and Political Complexities.