Anna Everett to kick off 2016-17 Critical Media and Digital Studies series

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Anna Everett, professor of film, television, and new media studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB), will be the first speaker in the 2016-17 Critical Media and Digital Studies series presented by the Penn State Department of English’s Digital Culture and Media Initiative.

Everett’s presentation, titled “Gaming Matters: Playing with Black Womyn MPCs,” will take place at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 6, in the Grucci Room, located in 102 Burrowes Building at University Park. The event is free and open to the public.

Many humanities disciplines are finally taking critical games studies seriously at a time that the gaming industry reaches new heights of cultural influence and power.  Everett’s presentation explores the paradigm shift that has occurred in the procedural rhetoric and gameplay structure of video games over the last two decades in terms of race and gender, particularly in terms of the acceptance of black women and girls as female heroes in action/adventure games.

Everett is former interim/acting associate vice chancellor for diversity, equity and academic policy; a former chair of the Department of Film and Media Studies; and, a former director of the Center for Black Studies at UCSB. A two-time recipient of the Fulbright Senior Scholar Award, she is the author of two books, "Returning the Gaze: A Genealogy of Black Film Criticism, 1909-1949" and "Digital Diaspora." She is currently completing a new book that focuses on President Barack Obama, social media culture, and the “Where U @” Generation.

The goal of the Critical Media and Digital Studies series is to present critical perspectives on the study of digital culture and media; explore emerging perspectives on the politics of the technology industry, software engineering ethics, and the legislative regulation of data collection and analysis; and integrate the study of digital culture and media with the study of class, race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality, disability, post-colonialism, and non-Western cultural perspectives. Additional information about the series and the Digital Culture and Media Initiative can be found on the DCMI website at or by contacting Brian Lennon at

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Last Updated September 25, 2016