Announcing our Newest Cohort of Designated Emphasis and Graduate Certificate Students

23 Nov, 2015

Announcing our Newest Cohort of Designated Emphasis and Graduate Certificate Students

We are thrilled to welcome our latest cohort of Designated Emphasis and Graduate Certificate students. From Hispanic Languages and Literatures, Anthropology, Theater, Dance and Performance Studies, and Architecture, we know these students will contribute to the vibrant interdisciplinary life of the Center.

Designated Emphasis

Justin Berner
As a PhD student in Hispanic Languages and Literatures, Justin’s studies at Berkeley revolve around the Spanish literary tradition. His focus within this field is the modern literature (late Twentieth Century and early Twenty-First Century) of the Iberian Peninsula. Justin seeks to know how modern technology alters our perception of the world in which we live. Using the contemporary literature of the Iberian Peninsula as his object, Justin plans on studying how the technologies of the modern world are changing how we conceive of ourselves and how we interact with others. Seeking to place his investigations within the broader academic conversation on these theoretical questions, he aims to become fully aware of the scholarship conducted in the field of New Media Studies. Justin has already written on the precarious nature of the author function in the blogfictions written by the Argentine author, Hernán Casciari, for Alex Saum-Pascual’s Spanish Literature course. By placing sources from Western philosophy, Spanish literary criticism, and New Media Theory into a conversation that revolved around Casciari’s work, he has been able to comment on the author’s position within his specific literary tradition while also bringing to the fore more universal philosophical issues such as the role of the author in electronic literature and the state of flux in which the traditional concept of the subject finds itself as a result of the ubiquitous role played by modern technology in our everyday lives.

Lashon Daley
Lashon Daley: B.A. English, University of Miami (2005); M.F.A. Writing, Sarah Lawrence College (2008); M.A. Folklore, University of California, Berkeley (2015).

Lashon is a current Ph.D. scholar in Performance Studies, a folklorist, a children’s book author, a spoken word poet, writer, and dancer. Her academic interests includes investigating storytelling as a performance art as well as critiquing the spaces where black folktales are performed. Her doctoral research explores how mediated performances of Brer Rabbit tales have been appropriated into American culture. She was a 2012 UC Berkeley Distinguished Fellow, a 2014 Callaloo Poetry Fellow, and a 2015 UC Berkeley Chancellor’s Fellow. Her work has appeared in Underwater New York; O, the Oprah Magazine; and Country Roads Magazine. Her first children’s book, Mr. Okra Sells Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, is forthcoming with Pelican Publishing in February 2016.

But what she really wants you to know is that she loves stories!

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Juliana Friend
MPhil, Anthropology, University of Cambridge. BA, Comparative Literature, Brown University. Juliana's research explores the intersection of new media, sexuality, and Islam in Senegal. For her dissertation, Juliana will examine transformations in sexual education practice in a region officially marked by and popularly stigmatized for sexual violence. She also collaborates with LGBT activists in Senegal on issues of online activism and human rights. Drawing on experience in print and radio journalism, Juliana explores the opportunities and limitations of online platforms for collaborative storytelling.

Yairamaren Román Maldonado
Yairamaren Román Maldonado is a doctoral student in the Spanish and Portuguese Department. Her research focuses on literary and cultural production in the Caribbean and Latin America, with emphasis on contemporary colonialism, the post-national subject and the politics of 21st Century works. As part of her dissertation, she plans to create a digital archive of Puerto Rican non-canonical literature and use this tool to work with youth in Puerto Rico. Some of her other new media interests include: electronic literature, minimal computing, access to technology and digital culture in Latin America.


Shireen Khan
Shireen Khan is a second year Master of Architecture student at the College of Environmental Design. Holding a Bachelors in Architecture from Anna University in Chennai, India, Shireen has worked professionally as an architect, completing design development and site management for high rise buildings, hospitals, and villas. Shireen is passionate about parametric and generative design, exploring applications such as grasshopper and software such as processing, that could lead to different approaches for form finding, representation and design itself. Her coursework in New Media 290: Critical Practices with Eric Paulos & Jill Miller has inspired her to work on projects that demand interdisciplinary collaboration and combine design and technology. Shireen hopes to continue exploring the intersection between architecture and technology in spatial and tangible formats through her dissertation work.

Juejin Lu
Juejin hopes to integrate the artistic and scientific aspects of architecture and new media to build design that emphasizes sustainability and energy efficiency by using new technologies. Juejin studied civil engineering at the University of Iowa and plans to incorporate structural material sciences and applications of new materials into sustainable building design. Juejin’s summers have already been spent gaining real world experience as an engineering assistant and architecture intern in Kunming, China. New Media has provided Juejin with an additional arsenal of tools — Jill Miller and Eric Paulos’ Critical Practices course offers training digital fabrication to produce socially engaged art. This pairing of hard design with a socially beneficial mission mirrors Juejin’s own goals.

Siqi Wang
Siqi Wang is an architecture graduate student at CED. Siqi received her Bachelors degree in Environmental Design from Tsinghua University in China. Siqi took new media art courses during her undergraduate education. Through this experience, she realized design is highly interactive, collaborative, and transdisciplinary, qualities that are essential to the spatial design she engages in when she navigates through the built world and natural environment in her architecture work. Siqi is hoping that through the Center for New Media, she will also be able to think more critically about the human factors in the work in which she is engaged.