Dean of the School of Media Studies
Professor of Media Studies
Dr. Balsamo is a groundbreaking national leader in media studies, a scholar and media-maker whose work links cultural studies, digital humanities, and interactive media. She received her PhD in Communications Research from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and began her faculty career in the School of Literature, Culture, and Communications at Georgia Tech, where she published a distinguished book about the cultural implications of emergent biotechnologies, Technologies of the Gendered Body: Reading Cyborg Women. In 1999, having grown interested in the practical linkages between technology and culture, she accepted an offer to join the celebrated Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), collaborating in the design of media for reading, exhibition, public art, and cultural projects. In 2003, Dr. Balsamo moved from Silicon Valley to USC, where she had been jointly appointed in the Annenberg School of Communications and the School of Cinematic Arts. She directed the Collaborative Design Lab within the Interactive Design Division of the School of Cinematic Arts. She has been a leader in the growth of digital humanities nationally, serving on the Advisory Board of HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Co-laboratory) since its founding in 2003. In 2011, she published Designing Culture: The Technological Imagination at Work, a transmedia book (with accompanying DVD and web linkages to interactive media projects) that synthesizes and theorizes the links between her cultural studies scholarship and digital media projects.