Johanna Blakley, PhD, is the managing director and director of research at the Norman Lear Center. Her keynote address is on serendipity among digital recommendations and the dreaded filter bubble.
The Norman Lear Center is a research and public policy institute that explores the convergence of entertainment, commerce and society. Based at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, Blakley performs research on a wide variety of topics, including digital media, global entertainment, cultural diplomacy, entertainment education, fashion, and intellectual property law. She speaks frequently in the U.S. and abroad about her research, and she has two talks on TED.com – Social Media & the End of Gender and Lessons from Fashion’s Free Culture. She is co-principal investigator on the Media Impact Project (MIP), a hub for research on measuring media impact, funded by the Gates, Knight and Open Society Foundations.
Much of her work addresses the intersection between entertainment and politics, including the Primetime War on Drugs & Terror and Warners’ War: Propaganda, Politics & Pop Culture in Wartime Hollywood. Blakley teaches a course on transmedia storytelling in USC’s Masters in Professional Writing Program and she also co-directs a university-wide research initiative on Creativity & Collaboration in the Academy. She received a PhD in English from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she taught courses on popular culture and twentieth-century literature. Blakley has held a variety of positions within the high-tech industry, including Web producer and digital archivist at Vivendi-Universal Games.