Current Students

"Recognizing the existence of these areas of study and the theories presented in the master’s program allowed me to move my focus to more specifically research the questions that brought me to graduate school."
-- Justin Kindelt, Ph.D Student

I finished the American Culture Studies (ACS) M.A. and am now heading into the second year of the ACS PhD program here at BGSU. The interdisciplinary aspect of this program cannot be exaggerated. I walked onto campus believing that ACS almost exclusively focused on individual/group direct action or governmental legislation created the US as it exists, but I was way off. Before orientation was over this was clear; I had never read fan fiction, graphic novels, or noticed the different specific aspects that can be pulled from music and film. Recognizing the existence of these areas of study and the theories presented in the master’s program allowed me to move my focus to more specifically research the questions that brought me to graduate school.

The most important and vital part of the ACS program at BGSU is the community the department successfully creates. During my work my epileptic seizures become very prevalent. These caused multiple emergency room visits and hospital stays. Every professor I emailed put aside my questions about class and focused solely on my health and the wellbeing of my wife. Each student in the program checked on me after I returned and asked what they could do, offering everything from sharing notes to dropping off meals. The staff bent over backwards to make sure I had every opportunity to finish the program and continue into the PhD program. At times between the faculty, my fellow students, and the staff I was more being carried toward my degree, as opposed to working towards it. In this program everyone helps make others successful, whether checking on you in the hospital, forwarding an email to a conference you may enjoy, or simply inviting you to lunch. The academic information presented in ACS is amazing, but the community the department builds lets you know you are not alone in the process.

-- Justin Kindelt, PhD Student

Gwyneth Burns
Hometown: Harvard, MA
Hampshire College- BA in Gender Studies and Sports Studies
Research Interests: Gender equity in sports, specifically looking into how sports can become a more inclusive space for all athletes.   

Ololade Faniyi 
Hometown: Esa-Oke, Nigeria
Research Interests: Intersectionality, African feminist theories, Africana traditions of performance, beauty and bodies, the visuality of identity in popular culture, and women’s political communication

Iswat Jinad

Inke Klabunde
Hometown: Lübeck, Germany
B.A. in American Studies from Johannes Gutenberg-University, Mainz, Germany
Research Interests: Popular Culture Studies and its intersection with Ethnic and Gender Studies, with a focus on American Cultural Production

Shelby Kuney

Tina Nandi
Hometown: Bangladesh
Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) form West Bengal University of Technology
Research Interests: Include "third-world" feminist theories and practices, Intersections among Dalit studies, South Asian Studies and African American Studies with a focus on class, caste, and race. I am also interested in Literary Criticism and Film Studies.

Afolasade Ola
Hometown: Sabongida-Ora, Edo State, Nigeria
B.A in English from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Research Interests: Feminist Media Studies, Digital humanities and African Cultural Global Influence

Cassandra Tenorio

Carmen Alvarez ABD

Rene Ayala

Courtney Bliss ABD
Hometown: Columbus, OH
Undergrad/Grad Institutions and Degrees: B.A. ,Speech and Hearing Science, The Ohio State University; M.A., Popular Culture, Bowling Green State University
Research Interests: My research focuses on texts that disrupt the conventions of their form and bring marginalized identities into the spotlight for mainstream audiences. I use an interdisciplinary approach including disability studies, Deaf studies, and fandom studies to explore this in comics, theater, and music, mostly.

Trisha Bonham
Hometown: Saint Joseph, MI
Siena Heights University/Bachelor's in Diagnostic Medical Sonography Southeastern Oklahoma State University/Master's in Native American Leadership
Research Interests: Tribal sovereignty, Indigenous identity, MMIW, violence against women of color

Bryan Bove ABD
Hometown: Long Island, NY
Linfield University - Bachelor of Arts in English Literature with a minor in Theatre Arts; Southern New Hampshire University - Master of Arts in English Literature and Creative Writing New York University - Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies
Research Interests: Comics Studies, graphic narratives, popular culture, queer/feminist studies, young adult fiction, television, disability studies, folklore

Emma Calow ABD
Hometown: Belfast, Northern Ireland
Associates = University of Ulster (Northern Ireland): English with American Studies Bachelors = East Carolina University (North Carolina): English Studies Masters = East Carolina University (North Carolina): English Studies and Sport Studies
Research Interests: Sociocultural studies of sport, specifically women in sport and athlete activism; critical whiteness studies; pedagogy; race and gender

Judy Clemens-Smucker ABD
Hometown: Ottawa, OH
AA in Liberal Arts, Hesston College; BA in Theatre, Goshen College; MA in PopC, BGSU
Research Interests: Gender, Sexuality, and Television; Star Trek; Contemporary Television Comedy. Dissertation title: “The Urban/Rural Divide: Social Identities on Schitt’s Creek”.

Katherine Cline
Hometown: Jacksonville, AL
B.A. English and Digital Journalism (2018), Jacksonville State University
M.A. Children's Literature (2020), Kansas State University
Research Interests: Feminism, Gender & Sexuality Studies, Television Studies, Fan/Fandom Studies, Children's & YA literature, popular culture, witches in literature and media, cats in literature and media, music, Taylor Swift

Elizabeth Collins ABD
Hometown: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
B.A., English and Anthropology, University of Northern Iowa, Minors in Creative Writing and Film Studies;
M.A., English, University of Northern Iowa
Research Interests: Film History, Television, Comedy, Local and Public History

William Daniels ABD
Hometown: Rochester, MI
Undergrad/Grad Institutions and Degrees: B.A., English, Ferris State University; M.A., Literature, Eastern Michigan University
Dissertation Title: Out of Place: Racializing Surveillance in Public Space along the Detroit RiverWalk
Research Interests: Black Studies, Urban Studies, Surveillance Studies, Black Geographies, and Literary Studies

Ericka Findley ABD
Hometown: McDonough/Stockbridge, GA
Clayton State University: M.A.T. in English
Research Interests: Social constructions of normalcy and deviancy in film, television, and other various media, with an interest in how worth, value, and importance are transcribed on various bodies. My dissertation examines the unconventional masculinity and homosociality performed within the Jackass franchise. 

Sarah Ford ABD
Hometown: Wakefield, MA
Bachelor of Arts in English, William Smith College, Master of Fines Arts, Youngstown State University
Research Interests: fan studies, digital and social media, identity formation

Cornelius Fortune
Hometown: Detroit, MI
B.S., Biblical & Educational Studies, Liberty University
M.A., English Literature, Mercy College
Research Interests: Modernism, Hemingway Studies, Literary Theory, Postmodernism

Andrea Freimuth
Hometown: Deshler, OH
B.A. History & American Studies, Valparaiso University; M.A. American Studies, Lehigh University
Research Interests: Public history, the intersection of history and education, gender roles, Colonial America

Marlena Graves
Hometown: Perrysburg, OH
Master's of Divinity, Northeastern Seminary, BGSU American Cultural Studies PhD program
Research Interests: Evangelicalism in the US, race, immigration, and gender - how those intersect and why US Evangelicals who claim to follow Jesus and read their Bibles do not do what Jesus taught. Instead, they often marginalize and oppress the very people Jesus commanded them to love. Collectively, why do U.S. Evangelicals live and vote contrary to what they profess to believe?

Leda Hayes ABD

Robin Hershkowitz ABD
Hometown: Long Island, NY and Oakland, CA
B.A. in Psychology and Women's Studies, University of Delaware
M.A., Higher Education Administration, New York University
M.A., Popular Culture, Bowling Green State University
Research Interests: Postfeminism, trauma in popular culture, horror studies, folk drama, popular romance.

Shane Hesketh
Hometown: Ocoee, FL
B.A. in Humanities with a Concentration in Film Studies, Florida State University and MA in Pop Culture, Bowling Green State University
Research Interests: Genre theory, horror studies, James Bond studies, Buffy Studies, film journalism/criticism

Gizem N. Iscan ABD
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY and Istanbul, Turkey
M.A. English, Brooklyn College, CUNY B.A. American Culture and Literature, Istanbul University
Research Interests: Gender studies, Ethnic studies, migration, Turkish Americans, identity constructions, borders, borderlands, urban geography, femicide(s)

Becky Jenkins ABD
Hometown: Lucasville, Ohio
Undergrad: Miami University: Organizational Leadership / Visual Media Culture
MA: BGSU: ACS and Public History (Certificate)
PhD: ACS and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (Certificate)
Research Interests: My interests lie at the intersection of history and culture, especially those stories that have been erased, white-washed, overlooked, or forgotten because of race, gender, social class, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Dissertation research is a feminist reading of the relationship between women and Major League Baseball, and of baseball as an American cultural institution / mirror of the larger American society.

Logan Johnson ABD
Hometown: Vincennes, Indiana
M.A. Popular Film and Media Studies, Southern Methodist University; B.S. Sociology, University of Evansville
Research Interests: Contemporary film history, Seventies nostalgia, media industry studies, celebrity studies, synergy, reality television, movie-going practices and patterns

Kristine Ketel
Hometown: Toledo, OH
St. John's College, Santa Fe, NM (MALA: Master of Arts in Liberal Arts) & University of Toledo, Toledo, OH (Communication, Broadcast Journalism)
Research Interests: Cultural and ethical implications of humanoid robots 
becoming our coworkers, caregivers, and companions.

Justin Kindelt
Hometown: Woodland, California
Evergreen State College Tacoma - B.A. American Culture/Political Economy, Bowling Green State University - M.A. American Culture Studies
Research Interests: Authenticity and cultural memory of place and commodities, mostly alcoholic spirits recently. Labor and inequality.

John M. Mora King
Hometown: Kentucky
B.A. Popular Culture Berea College M.A. Popular Culture BGSU
Research Interests: Class Studies

Hali Kivari
Hometown: Holly, MI
B.A., Spanish, B.A., Linguistics, Oakland University
M.A., Spanish, Bowling Green State University
Research interests: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Gender Studies, Latinx Culture, Critical Race Theory, Post-Colonialism & Decolonization, and US-Latin America Relationships

Taufiq al Makmun
Hometown: Solo, Indonesia
B.A. in American Studies, English Dept, Universitas Sebelas Maret, Solo, Indonesia M.A. in American Cultural Influence, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
Research Interests: American Cultural Global Influence and Media Studies

Dylan Reid Miller
Hometown: Seattle, WA
B.F.A. - Film and Television Production, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts
M.A. - The Queer Posthumanism of Star Trek, NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study
Research Interests: Science Fiction Studies, Queer and Political Temporalities, Marxist Feminism

Justin Mullis
Hometown: Charlotte, NC
University of North Carolina, Charlotte - BA & MA in Religious Studies
Research Interests: Monster Theory, Cryptozoology, H.P. Lovecraft and related writers, Japanese popular-culture

Jaymen Neff-Stickland
Hometown: Urbana, Ohio
B.A. Film Production, Bowling Green State University; M.A. Popular Culture, Bowling Green State University
Research Interests: Film and television studies, genre studies, teen texts; teen dramas (ex. Teen Wolf), teen sex comedies (ex. American Pie), or YA adaptations (Twilight), rom-coms, alternative viewing methods (ex. movie commentary tracks, film explanations, video essays)... and whatever else excites me on the day!

Elizabeth Niehaus ABD

R. Christian Phillips
Hometown: Knoxville, TN and Columbus, OH
Associates of Arts - Columbus State Community College; Bachelors in History & English Lit - Capital University; Masters in Social Sciences - University of Chicago (MAPSS)
Research Interests: My current research interests delve into Representation and Equitable Treatment as shown in middlebrow mainstream novels of the 19th through middle 20th Centuries. My interests also include 20th Century Dance History, both professional and social and modern British literature and cultural history.

Mohammad Mizan-Rahm ABD
Hometown: Sylhet
Bachelor, English, Shahjalal University of Science & Technology Masters, English, Shahjalal University of Science & Technology Masters, English, University of Guelph PhD (in-progress), ACS, School of Cultural and Critical Studies
Research Interests: Environmental Humanities; Cultural and Critical Theory  

Jon-Jama Scott
Hometown: Toledo, OH
Bowling Green State University, BLA, MA
Research Interests: People: The rhythm, blues, and glory in all of her stories.
Bowling Green State University, BLA, MA 

Riddhima Sharma ABD
Hometown: Mumbai, India
Undergrad/Grad Institutions and Degrees: M.A., LL.B - University of Mumbai
Research Interests: Feminist Media Studies, Transnational and South Asian Feminist Movements, Digital Humanities, Critical Feminist Pedagogies

Haley Shipley
Hometown: Gambier, OH
Kenyon College, BA American Studies. Eventual MA POPC from BGSU
Research Interests: Corn, class studies, video games, ruralness, and again, lots of corn 

Johanna Simpson
Hometown: Aberdeen, Scotland and Houston, TX
Baylor University, BA English, MA Communication
Research Interests: Fan Studies, Harry Potter; representation in online fan communities

Steven Stendebach ABD
Hometown: Olathe, Kansas
Baker University
Research Interests: Music scenes, ska, punk, ethnic studies

Auora Taylor ABD

Benjamin Thomason
Hometown: Saint Clair Shores, Michigan
Institutions and Degrees: Bachelor's degree in history from Wayne State University, and Master's in history from Central Michigan University
Research Interests: I study the use of media and popular culture as covert and overt soft power in 21st century US interventions abroad. I engage in the subfield of media imperialism and propaganda studies. I am particularly interested in US interventions in Syria, Venezuela, and Eastern Europe post-Cold War, exploring how these more recent episodes build on previous historical operations. Key words- Media imperialism, hybrid warfare, propaganda, information warfare, geopoliticseconomic dislocations.

Tyer Wertsch ABD

Updated: 10/25/2022 03:00PM