joan joda’s work focuses on narratives, media, fans and Others in many contexts. Throughout her work joda tracks the ways that affect is used in communication and social organization. In service of this goal, joda pulls from a wide array of disciplines and sources, especially memoir, autoethnography, first person narratives in fiction, and speculative storytelling in general. joda aims to disrupt traditional academic epistemological approaches by recasting fiction as ontologies of everyday life.

joda’s dissertation will address the ‘empathy deficit’ in modern American society, as described through cable news pundits, cdc statistics and TED Talkers. joda posits an approach to broad societal change toward a more empathic — though not necessarily sympathetic — society by incorporating the affective exercises and practices that come naturally to pop-culture fandom. The three chapters to be written are currently titled:

— Lieutenant Uhura’s Dirty Computer: How a De-Facto Black Girl Magic Network Produces Feminist Afro-Futures

— “What’s the Use of Feeling Blue?:” How Grief and Negative Affect in Children’s Media Prepares Us for Conflict and Trauma

— “We Don’t Serve Droids Here:” Speculative Fiction and the Problem of Feeling Machines