Debbie James is an Assistant Professor of Media Communication at Governors State University. She teaches in the area of media and participatory culture as well as transmedia broadcasting, communication technology, and social networking. She co-chairs a committee developing a new B.A. Media Studies emphasizing a creative and critical approach to media production, content, and delivery.
Prior to holding this position, she was Wayne State University’s Humanities Center Dissertation Fellow for 2010-2011, while a doctoral candidate in the Department of Communication.Additional professional achievements include a Top Paper award in the Global Communication and Social Change Division at the 2011 ICA conference and publishing her work in African Studies in Conflict Review, Studies in Documentary Film, Flow, and Scope. Debbie is honored to have worked on a 2010 Emmy-winning video and website project, WatRUfightn4 while serving at University Television.
In summer 2012 Debbie was awarded a research grant to conduct fieldwork in Montenegro, combining observation and multimedia interviews to look at the practices of socially networked Diaspora negotiating between two culturally conditioned dispositions.
Additional research interests include transnational documentary, and digital media practices that challenges our ideas of civil discourse and political action. Her dissertation topic is a study of the institutional influence on locally produced documentary media supported by the United Nations Education and Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) media and content development activities.
Debbie actively engages in community media projects exploring how theory is translated into practice. Alongside her academic activities, she has collaborated on a digital storytelling workshop with the Stockholm Challenge Award-winning Container Project in Jamaica. This includes teaching youth how to use video technology to develop skills, promote community sustainability, and represent and keep local knowledge. This project forms the basis of upcoming fieldwork scheduled for 2011.