Nitin Sawhney, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor of Media Studies at the New School and affiliated with the MIT Center for Civic Media. His research, teaching and creative practice engages the critical role of technology, artistic interventions and DIY cultures among communities in contested spaces. Nitin previously conducted research on urban renewal through the arts in divided cities, and creative resilience through youth media and activism in Palestine. His current work includes OccupyData Hackathons to facilitate participatory data-driven activism, and developing an online platform and place-based initiative, MikroAct, to support urban tactics and civic action in neighborhoods of Moscow and NYC. Nitin is currently completing a documentary film, Flying Paper, about the participatory culture of kite making among children in Gaza, with support from National Geographic.
Sean Jacobs is a scholar of media and international affairs and an Assistant Professor at The New School. He was born and grew up in apartheid South Africa, where he finished college before studying for a master’s in political science at Northwestern University on a Fulbright Scholarship. Dr. Jacobs has held fellowships at Harvard University, New York University, and The New School for Social Research. He has worked as a political analyst at the Institute for Democracy in South Africa in Cape Town and as a journalist. From 2005 to 2009, he was an assistant professor of Afroamerican and African studies and communication studies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Dr. Jacobs has contributed articles to The Nation (New York), The Guardian (London), Mail & Guardian (South Africa), and The National (United Arab Emirates).
Ariana Hernandez-Reguant is a cultural anthropologist and has published widely on Cuban music, media and visual arts. She runs the cultural blog EthnoCuba as well as the associated Facebook interest group. In 2004 she co-founded and co-authored the page Cuba Underground to first house the sites for Cuban-based groups like Porno Para Ricardo and the Cacharro magazine. She is currently a research associate at the University of Miami and is writing about grassroots media, migration and non-citizen forms of civic engagement in the Cuban enclave of Hialeah, FL.
Ted A. Henken runs the Cuba-themed blog “El Yuma” and teaches Sociology and Latin American Studies at Baruch College, CUNY. His research focuses on Cuban micro-enterprise and the emergent Cuban blogosphere. Follow him on Twitter @ElYuma.
Coco Fusco is a Cuban-American interdisciplinary artist and writer and Associate Professor at Parsons The New School for Design. She is a 2013 Fulbright Scholar and a recipient of a 2012 United States Artists Fellowship and a 2003 Herb Alpert Award in the Arts. She has written about Cuban cultural politics since the 1980s and has worked on numerous cultural projects with Cuban artists; among the most recent of these is The Empty Plaza (2012), a video that she produced and directed that features narration by Yoani Sanchez. www.cocofusco.com
Cuban-born scholar and writer Odette Casamayor-Cisneros is Assistant Professor at the University of Connecticut-Storrs. Her work focuses post-Soviet Cuban Literature and Blacks and Blackness in Contemporary Cuban Cultural Production. She is the author of the book Utopía, distopía e ingravidez: reconfiguraciones cosmológicas en la narrativa post-soviética cubana (Iberoamericana-Vervuert, February 2013). Casamayor is currently writing a new book, On Being Black: Racial Self-identification Processes in Post-Soviet Cuban Cultural Production, an ethical-aesthetic study of racial self-definition processes developed by contemporary black Cuban visual and performing artists, filmmakers, musicians and writers.
Ana Dopico teaches in the Department of Comparative Literature and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at New York University. She works on the literature, culture, and politics of Cuba, the Americas, and the Global South. She has been writing about the blog as a chronicle of modernity and civil society in a book called Cubanologies: Altered States in Cuban Cultural History.