Thank you for visiting my website! I am a third year PhD student at the Department of Language and Literacy Education, University of British Columbia.
My central interest is around critical media literacy, both in philosophical and practical dimensions of it.
In the philosophical dimension, I see two fundamental elements in critical media literacy that require rigorous exploration: meaning and value.
Broadly speaking, literacy is about participation in meaning-making. Media literacy, digital literacy, medical literacy, legal literacy… what “literacy” signifies in these usages is about ability to interact with information in particular sphere in the society and to (re-)construct meanings within it. Thus, by media literacy, I am particularly interested in how, through education, we can cultivate people’s optimal distrust to media and foster the abilities to participate in the representations of the world.
Another fundamental element is value. While most researchers who engage with critical scholarship investigate the ways in which power functions in the society, I locate value as a fundamental element in my exploration.
This is because I see critical scholarship as a political project, and I consider politics is about negotiation and distribution of value. Power, of course, is crucially important here, but except for the physical forms of power (i.e., hard power), socially exercised power (i.e., soft power) is a product of high value attributed to certain individual or social groups. In this sense, exploring what value is and how people negotiate and distribute values, and envisioning more equitable ways of distributing values is a “valuable” project for me.
There is a philosophical tradition that has been exploring these two fundamental elements of meaning and value— existentialism. For this reason, I extensively engage with the literature on existentialism.
In a practical dimension, I explore pedagogical approaches that cultivate people’s political participation in the media. For this, my dissertation project incorporates participatory documentary filmmaking, in which I investigate how participants learn about the functions of media through engagement in production, and instances of their participation in collaborative representations of social issues they deemed proximal to their lives.