March 2, 2021

Subramanian on With Good Reason

Assistant Professor of Communication Sushma Subramanian

Assistant Professor of Communication Sushma Subramanian

Sushma Subramanian, assistant professor of journalism, appeared on a special Valentine’s Day episode of With Good Reason to talk about her new book on the sense of touch, which was released this week

Subramanian Published in Elle Magazine – “Your Husband Cheated. Should You Be Able to Sue His Mistress?”

Elle Magazine – Feb 4, 2021

Sushma Subramanian, assistant professor of journalism, published a story in Elle Magazine’s February issue covering a North Carolina case involving “alienation of affection,” a legal term used to describe the breakup of a marriage by a third party. It asks questions such as: Is marriage a contract just like any other, or is it mostly an emotional affair? Read more here:

Subramanian to Release Book on ‘The Science and Meaning of Touch’

Assistant Professor of Communication Sushma Subramanian

Assistant Professor of Communication Sushma Subramanian

Assistant Professor of Journalism Sushma Subramanian’s book “How to Feel: The Science and Meaning of Touch” will be released by Columbia University Press in February 2021.

We are out of touch. Many people fear that we are trapped inside our screens, becoming less in tune with our bodies and losing our connection to the physical world. But the sense of touch has been undervalued since long before the days of digital isolation. Because of deeply rooted beliefs that favor the cerebral over the corporeal, touch is maligned as dirty or sentimental, in contrast with supposedly more elevated modes of perceiving the world.

How to Feel explores the scientific, physical, emotional, and cultural aspects of touch, reconnecting us to what is arguably our most important sense. Sushma Subramanian introduces readers to the scientists whose groundbreaking research is underscoring the role of touch in our lives. Through vivid individual stories—a man who lost his sense of touch in his late teens, a woman who experiences touch-emotion synesthesia, her own efforts to become less touch averse—Subramanian explains the science of the somatosensory system and our philosophical beliefs about it. She visits labs that are shaping the textures of objects we use every day, from cereal to synthetic fabrics. The book highlights the growing field of haptics, which is trying to incorporate tactile interactions into devices such as phones that touch us back and prosthetic limbs that can feel. How to Feeloffers a new appreciation for a vital but misunderstood sense and how we can use it to live more fully. Learn more.

Communication Faculty Present Research on the CW’s ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ at National Conference

NCA 2020 Presentation Panel

Adria Goldman, Emily Crosby, and Elizabeth Johnson-Young presented a panel at the National Communication Association’s virtual conference. The paper session, “You Can’t Call Them Crazy”: Framing and Considerations of Gender, Sexuality, and Mental Health in “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” shared the panelists’ research from a variety of lenses and methodologies regarding the messaging and impact of the CW musical-comedy television series that ran from 2015-2019. 

Johnson-Young’s presentation, “The Situation is a Lot More Nuanced Than That:” A Qualitative Analysis of Women’s Mental Health in the Humor and Music of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” investigated the ways in which the show’s music and humor, particularly feminist humor, was used throughout the series to communicate and challenge traditional media messaging of mental health and gender biases in health. Goldman’s presentation, The Awkward Revolution: A Framing Analysis of Awkwardness, Humor, and Sexuality in Rachel Bloom’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” explored how humor and music were used as rhetorical devices to present new representations of women’s sexuality, while also challenging existing, problematic narratives. Crosby’s presentation, “Type A Ambition”: Postfeminist Tropes in “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” explored the postfeminist themes in contemporary media that often unfavorably frame ambitious women as personally unfulfilled and unlikable. Deeper rhetorical analysis reveals that the series pushes back against postfeminist tropes, providing a more nuanced depiction of complicated characters who subvert postfeminist pitfalls that oversimplify “having it all.”

Subramanian Published in The Atlantic

Assistant Professor of Journalism Sushma Subramanian

Assistant Professor of Journalism Sushma Subramanian

Sushma Subramanian, assistant professor of journalism in the Communication and Digital Studies Department has written a piece for The Atlantic about endangered pink river dolphins in Brazil. The story explores what the myths surrounding these dolphins can teach us about ourselves and is based on her travels in the Amazon. Read more.