Shehram Mokhtar is a doctoral candidate in media studies at the University of Oregon. His interests in media, performance, and cultural studies intersect with transgender studies and feminist, queer, and postcolonial theory. He researches on media and performance cultures of various marginalized communities in the Global South, specifically Pakistan, and aim to produce scholarship from the perspective of the margins. This is particularly challenging because media and communication studies engender a Eurocentric way of knowing the world. However, contemporary scholars working on media particularly within the frameworks of transgender studies and feminist, queer, and postcolonial theory have opened up avenues for dialogue with the field.
Shehram came across some of the cutting-edge scholarship on new media and technologies when he worked as a graduate fellow for The Fembot Collective and their journal Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology. For those who do not know, The Fembot is a collective of scholars, artists and activists and Ada is its associated open access, peer reviewed, biannual journal currently in its 7th year of production. During his year of working for the collective, he closely worked with scholars who explored a wide range of issues from gendered and raced violence and their entanglements with media technologies to visual poetics of social media platforms such as Instagram. What he appreciates about Ada and other online journals, apart from their intersectional approaches to media scholarship, is their availability to an audience beyond academia, as they are not hidden behind pay walls and limited library access. Additionally, due to their accessible writing styles, online journals are also excellent pedagogical resources for undergraduate level courses in various departments.
As far as New Media and Culture certificate is concerned, its introductory required theory course that Shehram took with Professor Bish Sen was very useful. He also appreciates various new media scholars and speakers that the certificate program sponsors to bring to the campus. With exciting new avenues like online journals and certificate programs, the landscape of new/media scholarship is moving away from linear models, binary frameworks, and teleological modes of thinking. One can also hope that that the perspectives on the Global South will also cease to be tokenistic, reductive, and totalizing in the future.
Primate Visions: Gender, Race, and Nature in the World of Modern Science – Donna J. Haraway (1989)
Provincializing Europe Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference – Dipesh Chakrabarty (2000)
Queer Phenomenology: Orientations, Objects, Others – Sara Ahmed (2006)
Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times – Jasbir Puar (2007)
Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity – Jose Esteban Munoz (2009)