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NEW Faculty Profile: Fabiola Hanna

On behalf of the School of Media Studies here at The New School, we’d like to welcome our new faculty member, Fabiola Hanna, who joins us this semester as Assistant Professor of Emerging Media. Fabiola will be teaching Media Practices: Design and Designing Methods for Studying Media during the Fall 2019 semester. Learn more about Fabiola’s experiences and background here

To kick off the NEW year, we asked Fabiola a few questions. Join us in welcoming Fabiola to The New School! #100YearsNew

Q:What drew you to The New School?

A: A lot! Mainly, The New School’s commitment to addressing social justice issues, locally and globally, the excellent research that faculty lead, and the phenomenal work that students accomplish. I am very excited to be joining faculty who are filmmakers, curators, artists and scholars who have creatively rethought how to study media and who have been leading our collective understanding of how different media work. I am equally excited to be working with students who don’t take media at face value and who are questioning how to make works that are political, ethical, and just.

Q:What strengths/skills do you bring to the School of Media Studies and the larger university community?

A: My research and art practice focuses on the question of software as a medium for social justice, and more specifically, how software can be written towards ethical media for untold histories. My scholarship addresses how to build and present digital video archives that reclaim unacknowledged or absent histories, with particular attention to a medium’s presentation and its reception. Because I am interested in cases where intense disagreement occurs within an archive, this gives way to questions relevant to many communities.

Q: As you may know, this year, as it’s the university’s centennial, we’ve been continuously thinking about what the future holds for TNS. What do you foresee being some of the biggest changes/challenges in the media landscape in the next 100 years? How do you think we can begin tackling some of these topics now?

A: One of the biggest challenges for media studies is that of digital media practices that do not align with democratic values. Our current political climate provides ample evidence of these practices such as with dataveillance and the fake news phenomenon.  We continue to be told that digital media will only strengthen democratic communication and provide marginalized people with a level playing field despite scholarly work showing the opposite. Instead, software that enforces the same systemic problems of previous media at exponentially higher disadvantages is persistently developed.

I see my role as assistant professor in emerging media to equip my students with theories and practices of digital media in order for them to take on these questions by both critiquing handed-down software practices as well as proposing and designing alternatives.

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