Speaker Series

The William A. Kern Speaker Series brings innovative thinkers to the RIT campus to share interdisciplinary insights into contemporary issues of communication, media, and visual culture.

Upcoming Speakers


Past Speakers and Events

Jacob Ostberg

Professor of Business Administration, Stockholm University
Haunted by Fashion
April 25, 2023 | 2:00 pm. | Zoom

Gregory Zinman

Associate Professor, School of Literature, Media, and Communication, Georgia Institute of Technology
Fugitive Video: Art in 1980s NYC Nightclubs
(part of the Visual Arts, Culture, and Media Lecture Series)
April 18, 2023 | 9:30 am. | Zoom

Daresha Kyi

MAMA BEARS Film Screening, Director Q&A and Reception
(Sponsored by RIT College of Art and Design, School of Film and Animation; part of the Visual Arts, Culture, and Media Lecture Series)
April 3, 2023 | 7:00 pm. | Wegmans Theatre, Magic Spells Studio/Zoom

Brian Jacobson

Professor of Visual Culture, California Institute of Technology
The French Art of Oil: Style Subtance and Sales, ca. 1960
(part of the Visual Arts, Culture, and Media Lecture Series)
March 28, 2023 | 12:30 pm. | Zoom

Porpora Marcasciano

Sociologist, Trans Activist, and Writer
(A Viva L'Italia 23 event. Co-sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts, the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures, and Advance RIT)
March 22, 2023 | 7:00 pm. | Wegmans Theatre, Magic Spell Studios

Marie-Agnès Parmentier

Professor of Marketing, HEC Montréal
Fashion and Consumer Culture
March 7, 2023 | 2:00 pm. | Zoom

Kehbuma Langmia

Professor, Department of Strategic, Legal and Management Communications, Howard University
Decolonizing Communication Research
(Co-hosted by students in COMM 306 Race Relations and the McKenzie Salon Series)
February 28, 2023 | 12:00 pm. | Golisano 1710

Louise Wallenberg

Professor of Fashion Studies, Stockholm University
Fashion, Modernism, and Life
February 21, 2023 | 2:00 pm. | Zoom

Miles Ethan Lascity

Associate Professor, Director, Fashion Media Program, Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University
Communicating Fashion: Clothing, Culture and Media

Thursday January 26, 2023 | 2:00 | 3201 Liberal Arts

Tanya Singer

Craft/ing your career: A maker event and conversation with Tanya Singer, knitter, digital-media guru, writer and visual textile artist
(Sponsored by RIT Advance, the Journalism Program, and the School of Communication)
Thursday November 10, 2022 | 11:00 a.m. | Fireside Lounge

Jochim Scholz

Assistant Professor of AR/XR Marketing, Brock University, Canada
The True Potential of Augmented Reality is Beyond Imagination
Wednesday October 26, 2022 | 5:00 p.m. | Eastman 1310 / Zoom

Catherine Coleman

Professor and Chair of the Department of Strategic Communication, Bob Schieffer College of Communication, Texas Christian University
 “If You Can See Her, You Can Be Her”: Applying a Transformative Advertising Research Lens to the Multistakeholder SeeHer Initiative

(part of the Visual Arts, Culture, and Media Lecture Series)

Wednesday October 19, 2022 | 5:00 p.m. | Eastman 1310 / Zoom

Colleen Dunagan

Professor of Dance, California State University, Long Beach
Affective Branding: Corporeal Signatures in/as Visual Culture
(part of the Visual Arts, Culture, and Media Lecture Series)

April 12, 2022 | 3:30 | Zoom

Josh Kun

Chair in Cross-Cultural Communication, Professor of Communication and Journalism, Director, The Popular Music Project, Norman Lear Center, University of Southern California
Animating the Archive of Los Angeles: Sound, Vision, Memory
(part of the Visual Arts, Culture, and Media Lecture Series)

April 8, 2022 | 12:00 | Zoom

Jeffrey H. Jackson

Professor of History, Rhodes College
Paper Bullets
(History Department, College of Liberal Arts event)

April 5, 2022 | 7:00  | Webb Auditorium

Mark Sealy

Professor of Photography, University of the Arts, London

Joshua Rashaad McFadden

Assistant Professor, RIT School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

Katrina Overby

Assistant Professor, RIT School of Communication

Conversations on Race, Rights, and Representation
(part of the Visual Arts, Culture, and Media Lecture Series)

March 24, 2022 | 3:30 | Zoom

Granville Carroll

Educator and Afrofuturist Photographer
Dark Matter
(part of the Visual Arts, Culture, and Media Lecture Series)
March 17, 2022 | 3:30 | Zoom

Penny Milliken

CEO, HeR Interactive, Inc.

Suzy O'Hara

Chief Creative Officer, HeR Interactive, Inc.

Nancy Drew Games: The Case of the Vanishing Retailers
(part of the Visual Arts, Culture, and Media Lecture Series)

October 27, 2021 | 5:00 pm | Zoom

Jenna Drenten

Associate Professor, Quinlan School of Business, Loyola University Chicago
"Pics or It Didn't Happen: Consumer Identity in the Attention Economy"

September 29, 2021 | 5:00 pm | Zoom

Nadya Bair

Assistant Professor of Visual Culture and Digital Humanities, Hamilton College
Corporate News Pictures at Magnum Photos
(part of the Visual Arts, Culture, and Media Lecture Series)
April 8, 2021 | 12:30 | Zoom

Rose Bishop

Independent Archivist
Girl in Action: Junior Bazaar, 1945-1948
(part of the Visual Arts, Culture, and Media Lecture Series)
March 17, 2021 | 3:30 | Zoom

Erin Pauwels

Assistant Professor of Art History, Temple University
Napoleon Sarony and the Mixed Media Backgrounds of American Photography
(part of the Visual Arts, Culture, and Media Lecture Series)
March 10, 2021 | 3:30 | Zoom

Finola Kerrigan

Professor of Marketing, Director, Fashion Business Research Centre, University of the Arts, London
Marketing Communications/Film Promotion
February 3, 2021 | 3:30 | Zoom

Dirk Schroeder

CEO & Founder, Updraft Health Innovation Advisors
Leveraging LinkedIn: Build your career even when you’re not looking for a job
November 2, 2020 | 5:00 | Zoom

Will Straw

James McGill Professor of Urban Media Studies, McGill University
The Music Scene as Cinematic Figure
(part of the Visual Arts, Culture, and Media Lecture Series, co-sponsored by the School of Individualized Study)
January 30, 2020 | 12:30 | University Gallery

Michael Leja

James and Nan Wagner Farquhar Professor of History of Art, Chair, History of Art Department, University of Pennsylvania
Photographic Fusions and the Mass Marketing of Photography:  The Langenheim Brothers at Niagara Falls
(co-sponsored with the Visual Arts, Culture, and Media Lecture Series, College of Liberal Arts)
October 17, 2019 | 12:30 | Carlson 1155

Vanessa Schwartz

Professor of History, Art History and Film; Director, Visual Studies Research Institute at the University of Southern California
The News in Black and White…and Color: The Jet Age and Photojournalism
(co-sponsored with the Visual Arts, Culture, and Media Lecture Series, the School of Communication, and the College of Photographic Arts and Sciences)
September 23, 2019 | 3.00 | McKenzie Commons

Guy Mastrion

F. William Harder Chair in Business Administration, Skidmore College
April 11, 2019 | 5:00 | 2372 Eastman

Rachel Andrews

Assistant Collection Manager, Department of Photography, George Eastman Museum
March 28, 2019 | 5:00 | 3355 Eastman

Roberta Mather

Marketing Director, U.S. Department of State
Preparing Presentations for Deaf, Hard-of-hearing, and Hearing speakers and Audiences: How we can be better
(Organized by National Technical Institute for the Deaf and School of Communication)
March 1, 2019 | 3:00 | Bamboo Room (2650)

Keon Pettiway

Researcher, Department of  Communication, North Carolina State University


Vicki Gallagher

Professor, Department of Communication, North Carolina State University

The vMLK Project: Crafting a Necessary (Digital) Space To Explore Rhetoric and Civic Transformation
(An Imagine RIT event, co-sponsored with the College of Liberal Arts, School of Communication, Magic Center, Gannett Endowment, Black Awareness Coordinating Committee, Center for Campus Life, College of Art and Design, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Inclusive Excellence, National Society of Black Engineers)
February 28, 2019 | 1:00 | Wegman's Theatre, Magic Center

Marita Sturken

Professor of Media, Culture and Communication, New York University
Voids and Skyscrapers: New Practices of Looking in Post 9/11 New York
December 4, 2018 | 3:30 | Carlson Auditorium

Whose Streets? Our Streets! Panel Discussion

(An RIT College of Liberal Arts Event)
October 11, 2018 | 3:30 | Carlson Auditorium

Anna and Frederick Douglass’s Parking (Lots of Love)

(An Imagine RIT event, co-sponsored with the College of Liberal Arts, Department of History,
Digital Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Communication, School of Individualized Study,
the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences,
the Division of Diversity and Inclusion, and MAGIC Spell Studios)
April 28, 2018  | RIT Campus

Penny M. Von Eschen

L. Sanford and Jo Mills Reis Professor of Humanities, Cornell University
Mischeivous Objects: Cold War Nostalgia and the Afterlives of Mid-century Design
(part of the William A. Kern Conference in Visual Communication)
April 27, 2018 | 1:45 | Strathallan Hotel, 550 East Avenue, Rochester

Kyle Psaty

Product Marketing Manager, Brand Networks
March 29, 2018 | 5:30 pm | 2149 Gleason Hall

Brud Holland

Chef; Founder, Finger Lakes Made
Finger Lakes Culinary Bounty
January 18, 2018 | 5:30 pm | 2149 Gleason Hall

Kin Sejpal

Assistant Vice-President, Marketing and Branding, Rochester Institute of Technology
Branding RIT
January 18, 2018 | 6:30 pm | 2149 Gleason Hall

John Lucaites

Provost Professor of English, Indiana University
Seeing the Public Image Anew: Photography Exhibitions and Civic Spectatorship
October 26, 2017 | 3:30 pm | 2650 Campus Center

R. Roger Remington

Vignelli Distinguished Professor of Design and Director of the Vignelli Center for Design Studies, RIT
Evaluating Visual Communication Design
October 17, 2017 | 3:30 pm | Xerox Auditorium, 2580 James Gleason Hall

Robert Hariman

Professor of Communication, Northwestern University
Photography, The Abundant Art
April 25, 2017 | 2:00 pm | 1829 Room SAU

Elisabetta Sanino D'Amanda

Coordinator, Italian Program, RIT
100 Years of African Italian Stories in Italian Cinema
(An RIT Office of Diversity and Exclusion Series)
February 28, 2017 - Friday March 17, 2017

Kate Myers Emery

Manager, Digital Engagement, George Eastman Museum
Not Everything to Everyone: Observations from Creating A Social Media Brand
February 16, 2017 | 9:30 am | Orange Hall, Room 1355

Melissa Gregg

Principal Engineer, Intel Corporation
The Cinematic Origins of Self-Management
(part of the Kern Conference in Visual Communication)
April 14, 2016 | 2:00 pm | Strathallan Hotel

Richard Popp

Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Picturing the Postcapitalist Corporation: The Conglomerate in American Culture, 1945-1980
April 20, 2016 | 5:00 pm | Bamboo Room, Campus Life Center

Claudia Pretelin

Doctoral Researcher, National Autonomous University of Mexico
Researching Kodak: A Case Study
April 6, 2016  | 5:00 pm  | Eastman 3338

Mike Bonanno

Co-Founder of the Yes Men
(A Charles Arnold Lecture -  Organized by the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences)
March 17, 2016 | 6:30 pm | Carlson Auditorium

Carol Summerfield

Chief Strategy Officer, TeamWorks, Chicago
The Changing Landscape: How Museums Can Demonstrate Expertise in the Age of Google
March 16, 2016 | 5:00 pm  | Bamboo Room, Campus Life Center

Ronald L. Jackson II

Professor of Communication, University of Cincinnati
Who Gets to Be Human? Widespread Campus Racism in 2016
(Co-sponsored with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the School of Communication)
February 9, 2016 | 11:00 am | Golisano Auditorium

Giovanna Taviani

Film Director
Ritorni [film] and Discussion
(Part of the See-Cily Series, organized by the Modern Languages and Cultures Department)
November 11, 2015  | 6:00 pm | Carlson Auditorium

Meredith Davenport

Assistant Professor, RIT College of Imaging Arts and Sciences

Hinda Mandell

Assistant Professor, RIT School of Communication


Kelly Norris Martin

Assistant Professor, RIT School of Communication
Interdisciplinary Looks at Troubling Images
(A College of LIberal Arts McKenzie Salon)
 September 30, 2015 | 4:00 pm | McKenzie Commons

Steven Overman

President, Consumer and Film Division, Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President, Eastman Kodak Company
The Picture Revolution
April 16th, 2015 | 3.30 | Eastman 2000

Ken Hicks

Managing Director, Hicks + Disanti, Chicago


Ben Disanti

Managing Partner for Planning Perspectives, Hicks + Disanti, Chicago
The Emotional Shopper
April 14th, 2015 | 5:30 pm | 1829 Room, SAU

Gregg Lambert

Dean’s Professor of Humanities, Syracuse University
The Idea of the Image of Thought
(Co-sponsored with the Department of Philosophy)
March 5, 2015  | 6:30 pm | Golisano 3435

Gordon Coonfield

Associate Professor of Communication & Director of Graduate Studies, Villanova University
Zombies and 'Us': Difference and the Logic of Representation in the Walking Dead
November 13, 2014 | 5.00 pm | Carlson Auditorium

David Marshall

Professor of Marketing and Consumer Behavior, University of Edinburgh, UK
The Good Father: Advertising Discourse and Fatherhood in Good Housekeeping 1950-2010
(part of the School of Communication speaker series)
October 28, 2014 | 11 a.m. | Golisano Hall, Room 1400

Barbara Phillips

Rawlco Scholar in Advertising and Professor of Marketing, University of Saskatchewan, Canada
Tertium Quid: Explorations in Visual Brand Identity
October, 23, 2014 | 11.00 am | 1829 Room, SAU

Lisa Hostetler

Curator-in-Charge, Department of Photography, George Eastman House
The Photography Collection at George Eastman House: Past, Present, Future
October, 16, 2014 | 6.00 pm | Carlson Auditorium

Derek Conrad Murray

Associate Professor, History of Art and Visual Culture, University of California, Santa Cruz
The Self Reimagined: Identity, Social Media and the Politics of the Specular Image
(part of Kern Conference in Visual Communication)
April 25, 2014 | 1:15 pm | Strathallan Hotel Ballroom

Gloria Kim

Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow of Media, Hobart William & Smith Colleges
Future Tense: “Pathogenic Nation-Making” and Engineering the Imminent Threat of Avian Flu
April 17, 2014 | 11:00 am | James E. Gleason Hall, Room 2159

Jonathan Bean

Assistant Professor of Markets, Innovation & Design, Bucknell University
Fairytale Brands
February 20, 2014 | 3:45 pm | McKenzie Commons

Lewis Gordon

Professor of Philosophy and Africana Studies, University of Connecticut
Europhilosophy Visiting Professor at Toulouse University, France
and Nelson Mandela Visiting Professor at Rhodes University, South Africa
Living Thought, Living Freedom: Themes in Africana Philosophy
(Co-sponsored with the Department of Philosophy)
November 13, 2013 | 4;00 pm | Eastman Building, Room 2000

Margo Buchanan-Oliver

Professor of Marketing and Director of the Centre for Digital Enterprise,
University of Auckland Business School, New Zealand
Brand Pathologies: 'Monstrous' Consumer Relationships and the Media Brand Twilight
October 17, 2013 | 6:00 pm | Eastman Building, Room 3287

Bruce Barnes

Director, George Eastman House
Eastman House -- Forward
September 19, 2013 | 6:00 pm | Carlson Auditorium

Ryan Looysen

Retail Leader & People Developer of Lush Sweden, Stockholm Sweden
The Social Media Paradox: Narrow, Deep, and Dangerous
March 27, 2013 | Eastman Building, Room 3287 | 6:00 pm

John Tagg

Professor of Art History & Comparative Literature, Binghamton University
Discipline and Protest: Thinking Photography after Foucault
(Co-sponsored with the Eugene Fram Chair in Critical Thinking)
January 31, 2013 | Carlson Auditorium | 6:00 pm

Minh-ha Pham

Assistant Professor, History of Art & Visual Studies Department and Asian American Studies Program, Cornell University
Personal Style Blogs and DIY Race: On Race, Aesthetics, and Capitalism
January 30, 2013 | Carlson Auditorium | 2:00 pm

Zeynep Arsel

Assistant Professor of Marketing, Concordia University, Canada
Taste Regimes and Market-Mediated Practice
(Co-sponsored with Saunders College of Business)
December 13, 2012 | Max Lowenthal Hall | 4 – 6 pm

Jonathan Clancy

Program Director, American Fine & Decorative Art, Sotheby’s Institute of Art, New York City
Crafting Modernism(s): American Studio Ceramics in the Post-War Period
(in conjunction with the Frans Wildenhain Exhibition)
September 13, 2012 | Carlson Auditorium | 4 – 6 pm

Donna DeCesare

Associate Professor, School of Journalism University of Texas at Austin
Communicating Crisis: Photojournalism's Crucible
(part of the Kern Conference on Visual Communication)
May 3, 2012 | 5:00 pm | Strathallan Hotel

Allison Sekuler

Associate Vice-President & Dean of Graduate Studies, and Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience, McMaster University, Canada


Patrick J. Bennett

Professor, and Canada Research Chair in Vision Science, McMaster University, Canada
Aging, Vision and the Real World
(Co-sponsored with the Department of Psychology)
April 18. 2012 | Carlson Auditorium | 12 - 2

Detlev Zwick

Associate Professor of Marketing, Schulich School of Business, York University, Toronto
Marketers as the new Communists: Socialized Marketing, Capitalist Commonism, and the Knowledge Consumer
April 17, 2012 | Golisano Hall, 70-1400 | 10 - 12

Sunny Tsai

Assistant Professor of Advertising, University of Miami School of Communication
Minority Consumers and the Political Ideologies of Targeted Advertising
March 29, 2012 | Webb Auditorium | 10 - 12

Markus Giesler

Associate Professor of Marketing, Schulich School of Business, York University, Toronto
Doppelgänger Brand Images: How They Arise and Are Combated Over the Life of a Technology Brand
March 22, 2012 | Carlson Auditorium| 10 - 12

Jacqueline Botterill

Associate Professor, Department of Popular Culture, Communication and Film, Brock University, Canada
Property Porn: A Visual Analysis of Real-Estate Advertising
January 26, 2012 | Eastman Building, room 2000 | 10 - 12

Lilia Ziamou

Associate Professor of Marketing, Zicklin School of Business, Baruch College, City University of New York
Creating a Compelling Engagement Experience: Lessons from the Rubin Museum of Art
January 12, 2012 | Bamboo Room, 6 – 8 pm

Miko Dymek

Research Specialist, Jung Relations Communication Agency, Stockholm, and Postdoctoral Researcher, Uppsala University, Sweden
Simulational Media – A Meandering Journey Towards a Mass-Culture of Games
December 1, 2011 | Carlson Auditorium, 7 -9 pm

Xin Zhao

Associate Professor, Shidler College of Business, University of Hawaii, Manoa
Brands and the Mythology of Nation-Building in Chinese Society
October 17, 2011 | Webb Auditorium | 12 – 2 pm

Ruth Bereson

Director, Arts Management Program, University at Buffalo
Unwrapping Christo: A City in Conversation with its Past and Present, Politicians, Artists, Academics, and a Local and International Audience
May, 5, 2011 | James E. Gleason Hall, Room 2139 | 12.00

Ashlee Humphreys

Assistant Professor, Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University
From Conservation to Sustainability: The Discursive Life of Environmentalism
March 31, 2011 | Carlson Auditorium | 12.00