Success for the Long Story Shorts Playwrights – DTH

Documentary Filmmaker Haslett Named Assistant Professor


Sep 8, 2014 – The UNC Communication Studies Department is happy to announce the hire of award-winning documentary filmmaker Julia Haslett as assistant professor. 

“As Department Chair, I am so pleased to announce Professor Haslett’s appointment. Not only does she bring a wealth of teaching and administrative experience to her new position teaching documentary production here at Carolina; she also is an award-winning documentarian who is bound to enrich the intellectual life of our department,” said Ken Hillis. 

Haslett’s most recent film, An Encounter with Simone Weil, premiered at IDFA in Amsterdam and won Michael Moore’s Special Founder’s Prize at the Traverse City Film Festival. Moore called it “a profound and moving film on a woman who continues to speak to all of us.” It was a New York Magazine Critic’s Pick during its 2012 US theatrical run. 

Haslett is also producer/director of the highly acclaimed Worlds Apart series about cross-cultural medicine, and producer of the companion hour-long documentary Hold Your Breath (PBS 2007). Her documentary shorts Hurt & Save, Flooded, Eclipsed, and Pure & Simple have screened at numerous festivals and galleries, including Full Frame, Black Maria, and Rooftop Films. 

She has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the IFP Documentary Lab, and her work has been supported by the Vital Projects Fund, the Greenwall Foundation, and the Florence Gould Foundation, among many others. She has worked at WGBH-Boston, the Discovery Channel, and as a Filmmaker-in-Residence at the Stanford University Center for Biomedical Ethics. 

Haslett got her B.A. from Swarthmore College and her M.F.A. in Integrated Media Arts from Hunter College (CUNY) in 2011. From 2013–2014, she was a Visiting Associate Professor and Head of Film & Video Production in The University of Iowa’s Department of Cinematic Arts. She was born in London.

Professor Sharma’s Book Reviewed on Itineration


Tim Ballingall reviews

In the Meantime: Temporality and Cultural Politics
Author(s) or Editors Sarah Sharma
Publisher: Duke University Press
Paperback Cost $19.40(U.S.)

Below is a transcript of the above video. You may also click here for a PDF version of this transcript.

In our current era of global capitalism and digital technologies, its easy to think that time is getting faster. But is it? Sarah Sharma’s In the Meantime: Temporality and Cultural Politics contests that this question obscures the complex differential nature of time. Instead of asking whether time is getting unilaterally faster, we are better off asking for whom is time getting faster. Whose time is impacted by the time of others, in what ways, and under what conditions? And, how do individuals adjust, or “recalibrate,” to the time of others?

In the introduction, Sharma writes that the goal of the book is to “[offer] an approach to time that is about the micropolitics of temporal coordination and social control between multiple temporalities” (7). “Temporalities,” she writes, “do not experience a uniform time but rather a time particular to the labor that produces them” (8). Moreover, “temporalities … exist in a grid of temporal power relations” there is an “uneven multiplicity of temporalities,” and this multiplicity “is complicated by the labor arrangements, cultural practices, technological environments, and social spaces that respond to this so-called globalized, speedy world” (9). This thesis is a corrective to much of the work in “speed theory,” space studies, and public sphere theory.

Sharma is making a Foucauldian move, moving us from a model of sped-up time that is repressive and spatial to one that is differential within a biopolitical economy. Rather than thinking of time as something one can step in to or out of, similar to the way we think of, for example, stepping in to or out of the public spheres, Sharma argues that time, much like power for Foucault, is everywhere. Time is differential, contingent upon labor and social conditions, and, most importantly, it moves according to the management of life and living bodies.

Using a “mixed methodological approach that includes political economic analysis, attention to technological environments, thick descriptions, discourse analysis, and ethnographic interviews” (15), Sharma explores the ways in which individuals’ relationships to time are structured by the labor they perform, the value the global market attributes to that labor, and the ways in which an individual’s time affects and is affected by the time of others. Although the difference between blue-collar and white-collar labor is a theme throughout the book, Sharma maintains that biopolitics possess better explanatory power than the Marxist distinction between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat.

In Chapter 1, “Jet-Lag Luxury: The Architecture of Time Maintenance,” Sharma examines the frequent business traveler. These individuals experience an abnormal relation to time, evidenced by the health risks associated with jet lag, but they also benefit from an exterior temporal infrastructure. This infrastructure comprises places and products that facilitate adequate rest and relaxation for these privileged travelers. An additional element of this temporal infrastructure is, of course, the time of others—these include drivers, receptionists, security guards, maids, janitors, and remote assistants (46-51).

Individuals working in the service industry experience an abnormal relation to time much like the jet-lagged business traveler; however they lack an exterior temporal infrastructure. Few service professions exemplify this abnormal, unsupported temporality like that of taxi drivers. Chapter 2, “Temporal Labor and the Taxicab: Maintaining the Time of Others,” contains interviews with three taxi drivers in Toronto. The time of these drivers is always structured around the temporal needs of others. This alienating relation to time is the result of the state’s biopolitical divestment in “blue collar” labor.

Without an exterior temporal infrastructure, the taxi drivers in this chapter rely on “[temporal] strategies of survival and technologies of the self” (74). In addition, they suffer from what Sharma calls “cab lag,” a term that “evokes the materially impoverished relationship to time that is exacerbated by the sped-up lives that others choose … [and it] refers to a condition of labor where people exist in a differential and inequitable temporal relation with another group with whom they are expected to synch up” (79).

Unlike the previous two groups, the office worker experiences a very normal relation to time and benefits from external temporal infrastructures. The office worker gets up in the morning, goes to work between 9 and 5, eats meals at regular times, watches TV during the prime time hours in the evening, and goes to bed at a decent hour. However, office work can take its toll.

Chapter 3, “Dharma at the Desk: Recalibrating the Sedentary Worker,” argues that the emerging popularity of one-hour yoga instruction in the workplace facilitates the workers’ recalibration of time. One hour of yoga during which the individual is told “listen to your body” and “this is your life, accept it” does foster “better mind-body awareness, but it is not a critical awareness of the structure that ties the worker to the desk in the first place. Instead, it is an intervention that is intended to lead individuals to accept structural conditions and make themselves responsible for their own well-being” (103). This is consistent with the fact that manual laborers like taxi drivers are not asked to “listen to their bodies” because they know they are in pain (103).

The workplace yoga instructor seeking to temporarily slow down time pales in comparison to the efforts of organizations and communities across the globe that have attempted to construct a slow lifestyle. In the past few years, slowness has emerged in the popular imaginary associated with environmental sustainability, local eating, animal rights, wellness, and anti-technology sentiments. In Chapter 4, “Slow Space: Another Pace and Time,” Sharma examines Bowen Island, British Columbia; The Caretta Shiodome in Tokyo; Slow Food Nation in San Francisco, and the notion of the “staycation.” In all of these examples, the counter-cultural construction of a slow lifestyle represents “a depoliticization of time” (111), one that is “fraught with the neoliberal contradiction of demanding individual responsibility for how one spends one’s time … while advocating for slowness as an attainable public good” (128). Not surprisingly, the impoverished temporality of the service workers in and around slow-lifestyle spaces and places remains an invisible contradiction.

Sharma concludes that the attempt to slow down time promotes Cartesian individualism and ignores structural socio-economic disparities. Sharma writes: “The temporal public is an understanding of the public orientated around a nonautonomous time. A sufficiently critical temporal politics does not recognize free time in a public space but rather a relational time, one that is tangled and layered, bound to the time of others” (147). She continues: “A temporal perspective … reimagines time, not as being singularly yours or mine for the taking, but as uncompromisingly tethered and collective” (150).

In the Meantime persuasively argues a provocative thesis about temporality in society. The thesis is bold, compelling, and would be widely interesting to scholars in cultural studies and media studies. The chapters are logically organized around the theme of value or lack thereof associated with certain forms of labor, and they are ordered such that Sharma gradually builds the case against the sentiment that “time is getting faster.” As expected, Chapter 4 (“Slow Space”) presents the most poignant critique of speed theory’s model of time and power.

This book would also be interesting to scholars of rhetoric. Kairos, the concept commonly used to designate the opportune moment for fitting rhetorical activity, has been repeatedly re-theorized over the years, most recently by rhetoricians working with Heideggerian notions of materiality as well as other theories of pre-symbolic, pre-persuasion rhetoricity. But rhetoric as a discipline is not exempt from what Sharma calls the “spatial bias.” This refers to the fact that, while scholars in the humanities and social sciences have increasingly turned their attention to the cultural politics of spaces and places, these scholars have paid little attention to time, the other half of the material field.

As we continue to theorize rhetoric in light of the “spatial” or “material turn,” Sharma would urge us to consider the ways in which agency can be found in not only human rhetors and things and objects around them, but also temporality, one’s relation to time and the time of others. Moreover, a recent article in Theory, Culture, & Society argues that the work of Foucault and other postmodernists is often dismissed by proponents of new materialism, overlooking important, albeit underdeveloped, insights in Foucault’s work into the relation between matter and meaning (Lemke). In the Meantime can therefore be read as a contribution to the ongoing, unresolved discussion of Foucault’s relevance for new materialism, especially as the latter is incorporated more and more into contemporary rhetorical theory.

In general, Sharma achieves a sophisticated balance of cultural theory, ethnographic research, and personal prose. She often provides the reader context for how her research or personal life led to a specific part of her argument or a specific type of labor to be analyzed. This makes the book accessible and pleasurable in addition to challenging and rewarding. In the acknowledgments, playing with the theme of temporality, Sharma admits that the book took a long time to write. I would say back to her that, not merely because the text is 150 pages but because of its theoretical insights and engaging style, the book took a short time to read.

Works Cited

Cookson, Kelly. “Foot in Middle of Yoga Ball?” Online Image. Flickr, 22 Jan. 2008. Web. 28
May 2014.

Cote, Michael. “Charles at Work.” Online Image. Flickr, 19 Feb. 2010. Web. 28 May 2014.

Fisher, Will. “5/26/2011 (262/365).” Online Image. Flickr, 26 May 2011. Web. 29 May 2014.

“Kairos.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 28 May 2014. Web.
31 May 2014.

Matt @ PEK. “Lufthansa Business Class: Main Deck.” Online Image. Flickr, 17 June 2010.
Web. 29 May 2014.

Morner, Erik. “Office Yoga.” Online Image. Flickr, 17 Dec. 2009. Web. 28 May 2014.

thetaxhaven. “Business Meeting.” Online Image. Flickr, 26 Oct. 2007. Web. 28 May 2014.

West, Aviva. “Office Yoga.” Online Image. Flickr, 1 June 2011. Web. 29 May 2014.

Ballingall, Timothy. Untitled. 2008. MP3.

EGA. Time. TIME, 2013. MP3.

Mister Electric Demon. Fight (High Edit). 85 dollars (compilation 1998-2006), 2007.

NICOCO. Bougette. Lost Songs Cemetery Vol. 2, 2012. MP3.

2011christmasjp. “DSCF1538カレッタ汐留クリスマス2011会場の様子.AVI.” Online
Video Clip. YouTube. YouTube, 6 Dec. 2011. Web. 30 May 2014.

5tinger. “73 Year Old New York Cab Driver’s Wisdom.” Online video clip. YouTube.
YouTube, 4 Nov. 2012. Web. 2 March 2014.

AmpliVox, Bob. “Top 10 Hotel Management Tips for Managers in the Hospitality Industry.”
Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 14 May 2012. Web. 28 May 2014.

Cazacioc, Tiberiu. “Piata Slow Food de Pasta la Earth Market-Targul Taranului HI.” Online
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darwinfish105. “AKIHABARA Street Time Lapse.” Online video clip. YouTube.
YouTube, 26 June 2011. Web. 2 March 2014.

Dudman, Nick. “Time Lapse Clock.” Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 5 Mar. 2009. Web.
30 May 2014.

El Coronel. “El Coronel Mexican Restaurant’s Kitchen.” Online video clip. YouTube.
YouTube, 12 Nov. 2010. Web. 2 March 2014.

Eric Farrow. “Taxi Cab Ride 8-8-2013.” Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 4 Sept. 2013.
Web. 2 March 2014.

Gushchin, Igor. “Time-Lapse Softline Office.” Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 7 Feb.
2014. Web. 30 May 2014.

Henrique Licentia. “Noam Chomsky X Michel Foucault (Legendado PT BR).” Online video
clip. YouTube. YouTube, 19 Sept. 2013. Web. 2 March 2014.

merlion444. Time Lapse of Singapore – A Busy City (continued).” Online video clip. YouTube.
YouTube, 9 Aug. 2009. Web. 30 May 2014.

Pacheco Granados, Raul. “Capitulo 6 Quality at the Ritz Carlton Hotel Company.” Online video
clip. YouTube. YouTube, 10 Aug. 2012. Web. 30 May 2014.

Schock, Gretchen. “Bee Yoga Fusion – Yoga at WORK.” Online video clip. YouTube.
YouTube, 9 Feb. 2014. Web. 30 May 2014.

Sirleto. “Construction worker – Mangalore, India.” Online video clip. YouTube.
YouTube, 7 March 2013. Web. 2 March 2014.

Televisio Cardedeu. “El Tarambana Rep La Distincio Slow Food.” Online video clip. YouTube.
YouTube, 2 Mar. 2014. Web. 30 May 2014. “Świąteczny Kraków / Krakow around Christmas [Time-Lapse] 1080p
Full HD.” Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 8 Dec. 2013. Web. 2 March 2014.

Tures, Stephen. “Google San Francisco – 345 Spear St – Time Lapse 2011.” Online video clip.
YouTube. YouTube, 27 June 2013. Web. 30 May 2014.

Urena, Andres. “TimeLapse Office (Beta) – V2.” Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 6 Aug.
2012. Web. 30 May 2014.

Lemke, Thomas. “New Materialisms: Foucault and the ‘Government of Things.’” Theory,
Culture, & Society 0(0): 1-23. Print.

Phillips, Kendall R. “2014 Conference Rhetoric Society of America: ‘Border Rhetorics.’”
Marriott Rivercenter. San Antonio, TX. 30 April 2014. Conference Program.

Sharma, Sarah. In the Meantime: Temporality and Cultural Politics. Durham, NC: Duke UP,
2014. Print.

About the Author(s):
Timothy Ballingall is a Ph.D. student in Rhetoric and Composition at Texas Christian University. His research interests include rhetorical theory, cultural studies, emotion, and social awkwardness. His teaching interests include multimodal and digital composition. His work has appeared in Praxis: A Writing Center Journal. He also holds an M.A. in English from West Chester University and a B.A. in Professional Writing from Kutztown University.

Prof Dauber Interviewed on Voice of America



On this edition of the program host Doug Bernard talks with Andrew Borene, Attorney at Steptoe & Johnson and an adviser for the Truman National Security Project Defense Council, and Cori Dauber, Professor of Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina and author of YouTube Wars, about the various uses of social media in conflict situations and how these tools might be changing the balance of power between governments and insurgencies.

Professor May Interviewed by WorldWideLearn

Communication Breakdown:
Interpersonal Skills in the Digital Age

By Jamar Ramos

At any given point in your day someone is trying to communicate with you. You may be using the Internet for research or fun and see an ad (or two, or three). Maybe you get a number of emails informing you of deals at your favorite department store. Your coworkers and managers will try and communicate ideas and tasks, while your significant other may want to share the triumphs and trials of a rough day at work. Good communication skills are essential as you will always have to interact with people, whether over the phone, through text message or email, on a website, or even through in-person contact.

While the exponential expansion of technology has made the globe smaller and communication over long distances easier, it has also stunted the growth of our personal communication skills. In-person conversations are shorter, more difficult to initiate and are full of misunderstandings. These misunderstandings have the unfortunate opportunity to multiply if there are social and cultural differences between the people communicating with each other.

This is the situation that multinational corporations can face as they operate in many different countries. Executives from China work closely with executives from Russian, who in turn work with executives from Brazil. Even two people who speak the same language and have the same cultural touchstones may have a difficult time communicating. It cannot be any easier when people from different backgrounds have to understand each other.

In order to understand the importance of these skills I spoke to Dr. Steve May, an associate professor of communication studies at the Kenan-Flager Business School at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and Donna M. Lubrano, adjunct faculty member for the School of Business Management at Newbury College in Boston.

The need for communication skills

One way to tell that communications skills are important is that many businesses are now asking schools to focus on them in their classrooms.

According to Lubrano, “all businesses are focusing on communications skills for entry-level employees.” The ubiquity of this focus might be because many potential employees “lack the ability to speak to customers, present ideas and have the communication skills to work in the team environment that is part of the new business landscape.”

May is in agreement, saying that “businesses are consistently asking for stronger oral and written communication skills. Businesses also consistently state that they seek graduates who have strong critical thinking skills and the ability to work effectively with others. The demand for these communication skills has been very consistent during the time that I have been an educator.”

So communication skills are important to businesses. Why, then, would they be even more important for international business students?

Benefits of effective communication

Unless you are raised observing different cultural norms in your household, you are probably only familiar with the ones practiced in the United States. Even those norms fluctuate a bit from state to state and region to region. Misunderstandings that occur from breaking cultural norms can have especially deleterious consequences in the business world.

“In relationship to international business, not understanding the communication styles of the countries/cultures you are working with can lose a sale, a deal, a joint venture or other partnership,” Lubrano told me. “This includes both verbal and non-verbal communication.”

Having a normal conversation with someone we know is sometimes very difficult. Having a conversation where the parties are not from the same culture, are speaking in a borrowed language and negotiating over sensitive business deals has the chance to go sour if communication breaks down.

Lubrano provided an example of how this can happen very easily.

“How you hand someone a business card, how you handle the business card, how you store the business card after you have viewed it, show signs of respect. In the US, we take someone’s business card with one hand, look at for a minute then stick it in our purse/pocket. We may even write on the card. This is what we with a lot of humor call a “CNN,” a ‘Cultural no no.’ In many cultures this would be rude – even disrespectful.”

While no one can prevent themselves from ever committing a faux pas, understanding how to communicate properly can limit the chances for potential disrespectful moments, especially during business negotiations. Honing your skills can also help. Understanding that these small moments can present a large danger is important as well.

What is causing the erosion of our communication skills? Part of the problem, as alluded to by Barnwell’s article, may be the vast amount of technological devices we carry around at all times.

Trapped by the screen

A few facts for you to digest, as reported by a Pew Research Center paper titled “Teens, Smartphones & Texting” from March, 2012:

  • 77 percent of teenagers have a cell phone
  • 63 percent of teens say they exchange text messages every day
  • Over a two year period (2009-2011) the median number of text messages teens sent per day rose from 50 to 60
  • Only 35 percent said they socialize face-to-face on a daily basis.

The way we communicate has been changed by our ability to talk and text when nowhere near each other. It has even changed the way we communicate when near each other, as many people will text a friend or loved one who is in the same room in order to keep a conversation or comment secret.

May has noticed the change that has occurred in our ability to communicate, especially among his students.

“Technology has limited students’ ability to communicate effectively in face-to-face contexts with a range of diverse co-workers. With social media, in particular, students are able to expose themselves to a limited cross-section of the population — typically others who are similar and have comparable values, beliefs and attitudes. As a result, it has impaired their ability to communicate with others who are different from them.”

Communicating face-to-face is still a very important component of building a lasting rapport with someone. Lubrano has seen the skills erode in her students as well.

“In terms of verbal communication many students cannot think on their feet. This is critical in international business when the situation may be fluid or shifting rapidly. How do you analyze both verbal and non-verbal cues when things don’t go as planned? How do you have a successful outcome when all the ducks you had in order get out of sync? How do you articulate your company’s value proposition? This is why a show such as ‘Shark Tank’ is successfully. We see the importance of communication both planned and impromptu.”

Technology has also had some benefits for students that can be taken advantage of in the business world. May said that “technology has strengthened students’ abilities to connect and network with others. It has also enabled their ability to access diverse information from a wide range of sources in order to understand and solve problems.”

If we are able to see the erosion that is happening in our communication skills, how can we work to strengthen them? What steps can be taken to ensure we have the level of skills employers want us to have?

Breaking bad habits

As businesses grow and expand their global territories, effective communication will be key to forging new partnerships and keeping existing ones.

Right now, according to May, “is an ideal time to focus on international business. We function within an increasingly global economy. As a result, it is important to understand international business norms and trends, which may vary from country to country, region to region.”

Lubrano also spoke about the need to “[d]evelop a global mindset.” Future business growth may depend on the ability of managers and employees to be culturally sensitive and adaptable when doing business in another country. May said the best way to do this is to sharpen the communication skills of our students.

“The most successful employees — and companies — of the future will be those that are able to adapt to the diverse needs of consumers and citizens in a global economy. Doing so, though, requires an understanding of how to communicate effectively with such diverse audiences.”

Having great communication skills may not guarantee success in business, but it can help. When working in international business, it can be a tremendous help.

Interview with Steve May, associate professor of communication studies at the Kenan-Flager Business School at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, conducted by Jamar Ramos
Interview with Donna M. Lubrano, adjunct faculty member for the School of Business Management at Newbury College, conducted by Jamar Ramos
“My Students Don’t Know How to Have a Conversation,” Paul Barnwell, The Atlantic, April 22, 2014,

5/28-29: Professor Sharma to Speak at Temporal Design Workshop

Temporal Design Program_Page_1Temporal Design Program_Page_2

5/12: Meet the Author with Professor Sarah Sharma


Meet the Author: Sarah Sharma,Monday, May 12, 7 p.m.
Main Library. Join Dr. Sarah Sharma, Associate Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, for a reading from her book, In the Meantime: Temporality and Cultural Politics. The world is moving faster. Sharma engages with that assumption in this inquiry into the temporalities of everyday life and argues that both “speed up” and “slow down” often function as a form of biopolitical social control necessary to contemporary global capitalism.

Professor Torin Monahan: CURS 2014-15 Scholar-in-Residence

The Center for Urban & Regional Studies is pleased to announce that Dr. Torin Monahan from the Department of Communication Studies is our Scholar-in-Residence for 2014-15. Dr. Monahan will use this opportunity to develop a research proposal on smart cities, big data, and surveillance.

Dr. Monahan’s proMonahanject will investigate the implications of big data and surveillance in the development of “smart cities” in the U.S., Canada, and U.K. From an urban managerial perspective, the term smart city connotes the systematic generation and capture of data for purposes of rational and sustainable management of cities. Smart cities entail the integration of extensive information management tools to oversee complex urban systems and the myriad flows within them. They typically draw upon distributed sensor networks, video surveillance, and predictive analytics to monitor dynamic relationships between everything from traffic, to sewage, to electricity usage. The intensive management of flows includes the monitoring of people as well, whether directly or indirectly. Thus, this orientation to cities necessitates forms of governance and surveillance, which deserve systematic study and analysis.

Although there is an emphasis on sustainable urban management, smart cities also enable new forms of intelligence-led policing and security provision. Long before 9/11, cities were perceived as sites of instability and vulnerability, in part because of their success at cultivating active civic participation and exchange among diverse populations. Over the past decade, policing and security apparatuses have drawn upon resources made available through government agencies and private-sector partnerships to integrate sensors and video surveillance systems into urban environments. Coupled with computerized crime mapping, these systems produce real-time visualizations and support predictive policing activities.

The questions that this project will explore are (1) How widespread are smart, intelligent or ubiquitous city initiatives? (2) What are their components and characteristics? (3) How are such developments changing the management of places, populations, and commercial activities? and (4) What are the impacts on individual rights (e.g., privacy), collective rights (e.g., to public space), and other social and political concerns, and how are they being addressed?

The CURS Scholar-in-Residence program provides a course buy-out and funds for proposal development expenses so that faculty members in the social and behavioral sciences can develop large, ideally interdisciplinary, research proposals. Find out more about the Scholar-in-Residence program.

5/11 12:30pm: Spring Commencement

Join us on Sunday, May 11th at 12:30pm for Spring Commencement!0001  This year, the ceremony will take place at the Dean Smith Center.

Join our Facebook event page for any updates and a helpful FAQ.

Congratulations Class of 2014!

Summer 2014 Course Offerings

Summer14 SS1

Summer14 SS2

422_Flier_2014-1 636 325 ss 2014 120 flyer__Franz 450 375 poster

cante flier for COMM 140 summer I