Public Engagement

  • Faculty

    Dawnja Burris

    Associate Dean and Assistant Professor of Media Studies


    Her research, teaching and creative production have consistently explored cultural practice as expressed through media representation, focused upon philosophies and politics of virtual identity construction and the predominance of animals in and as media.  Her academic degrees and ongoing academic study are in communication/advertising, media studies/media philosophy, photography and related media.  Her professional training is in photography, video, film and multimedia production.  She has worked creatively and professionally with these media formats in the roles of producer, director and editor for many years.  Recently, she has dedicated her praxis to producing conceptual photography and video.

    Degrees Held:


    M.F.A. Photography and Related Media
    Parsons School of Design - expected 2019
    Ph.D. (ABD) – Division of Art, Philosophy and Critical Thought
    European Graduate School – expected 2018
    Dissertation in process:
    Animal Instances: Relating with the Animal Image
    M.A. Media Studies
    The New School for Social Research
    Thesis: The Virtual Family: Adolescent Girls’ Relationships with Television Characters
    B.A. Communication/Advertising
    The University of Texas at El Paso

    Professional Affiliations:

    Animals & Society

    Recent Publications:

    Essay and photo selections from the series Look Alive!: Imprint: PSD Promotional Feature, forthcoming 2018.

    Photo from the series Animals Inhabit Fashion Ads: Group Exhibition, Aparatus of Discomfort, Photoville, Brooklyn Bridge Park, 2017

    Research Interests:

    Media technology and production practices, animal representation in media, communication philosophies, cultural documentary, media ethics, conceptual photography and video.


    Current Courses:

    Animals as Media

    Animals as Media (Spring 2019)

    Independent Production

    Independent Study

    Media Ethics

    Media Ethics (Spring 2019)

    Media Theory

    Thesis Proposal

    Thesis Proposal (Spring 2019)

    Thesis Tutorial