Wunpini Fatimata Mohammed awarded 2022-2023 Sarah H. Moss Fellowship

Wunpini Fatimata Mohammed, assistant professor in Entertainment and Media Studies, has been named a recipient of a 2022-2023 Sarah H. Moss Fellowship. 

Administered by the Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of Georgia, the fellowship provides funds for travel and related expenses for tenure-track faculty pursuing advanced scholarship, research and study.

Mohammed’s research project is titled, “Media and Decolonization: Re-righting the Subaltern Histories of Ghana.” With this funding, she plans to travel to several cities in Ghana, including Tamale and Accra, to conduct archival research, ethnographic observations and follow-up interviews to supplement research already done which will become a scholarly book.

Wunpini Mohammed, assistant professor in EMST, teaches Entertainment Media Analysis outside in the Media Garden.
Wunpini Mohammed, assistant professor in EMST, teaches Entertainment Media Analysis outside in the Media Garden. (Photo: Sarah Freeman)

“In this research project, I am interested in examining the silenced histories of media in African communities that have historically been shut out of their own representations,” said Mohammed.

“I am going back to my community in Ghana to learn more about the media cultures of the country to satisfy some of the curiosities I had growing up as a child,” she continued. “I will be examining content on mediums such as radio and TV, focusing on how they have served as a tool for marginalization and a site of resistance within this community.”

Mohammed will be spending time at the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation in Accra to sort through their archives and gather data to support the section of her book on technology and media development in Ghana.

Mohammed will also spend time at community gatherings to learn more about community relationships with media at the regional and national level. In Tamale, she will be hosted by the  Department of Communication, Innovation, and Technology of the University for Development Studies. 

“Growing up, I barely saw representations about me and my community in national media. This sparked my interest in media and the politics of media representation,” Mohammed said about what motivated her to pursue this research topic. “These experiences have inspired me to contribute to building knowledge in the field of media so that the people who come after me will have something to build on too.”

Wunpini Fatimata Mohammed receives accolades at annual AEJMC conference

Wunpini Fatimata Mohammed, assistant professor in Entertainment and Media Studies, is receiving two awards for her paper, “Decolonizing Methodologies in Media Studies,” at the 2021 Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication conference.

Additionally, Mohammed has been selected as a 2021 Kopenhaver Fellow, a program helping female faculty members through mentoring, networking and preparing for tenure and promotion.

Mohammed’s paper was inspired in part by her dissertation that she wrote while a doctoral student at the Pennsylvania State University. A native of Tamale, Ghana, Mohammed studied sociocultural contexts where she collects feedback from women about the impact of films they watch and the news they listen to.

“I want to understand the way these women engage films, including what drew them to want to watch them and what they thought society’s impression was of the films,” Mohammed explained.  “I also wanted to see how their personal experiences and values shaped the films they watched and what they took away from those films.”

Mohammed is receiving first place in Faculty Paper Awards, also known as the Robert L. Stevenson Open Paper Competition, as well as the Best Paper Award for African Journalism Studies in the International Communication Division.

In addition to the topic of the paper, Mohammed works hard to ensure her data is authentic, which can be difficult when studying marginalized communities. She obtains her data through customizing focus groups that mirror typical conversations that women have with one another. The goal is to obtain transparent answers from the women away from the patriarchal influence of men in the community.

“I pulled from the local indigenous knowledge systems to guide my engagement of this community as a whole,” Mohammed said. “I looked at the way we engage with each other on a daily basis and the importance of human dignity and respect regardless of class, ethnicity and gender.”

Another recent paper by Mohammed, “Why we need intersectionality in Ghanaian feminist politics and discourses,” received an honorable mention in the 2021 Stuart Hall Award at the International Association for Media and Communication Research conference earlier this summer. This paper mapped the evolution of feminist discourses in Ghana, paying attention to the gaps in feminist theory and practice.


Entertainment and Media Studies welcomes three new faculty

The Department of Entertainment and Media Studies and Grady College are pleased to welcome three new faculty members in the 2020-2021 academic year.

The new faculty members include:

  • Laurena Bernabo who assumes the role of assistant professor, EMST.
  • Neil Landau who will serve as associate professor and director of the screenwriting program for the new Master of Fine Arts in Film, Television and Digital Media.
  • Wunpini Mohammed who begins as assistant professor, EMST.

“Our new faculty invigorate us, and have been busily preparing for the semester ahead,” said Charles N. Davis, dean of Grady College. “They have embraced the spirit of the college already, and we’re all so happy for the infusion of vitality they bring.”

Laurena Bernabo

Laurena Bernabo joins the college faculty after serving as a visiting assistant professor at the University of Iowa and, more recently, Christopher Newport University. Her research specializes in the Spanish-language translation of popular U.S. television programs for Hispanic audiences, focusing on translation as texts that emphasize the construction of gender, race, sexuality and other forms of identity. Bernabo also studies the construction of these identities in U.S. programs, and she has presented her work at national and international conferences. Her research is published in peer-reviewed journals such as “Critical Studies in Media Communication” and “Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media.”

Bernabo earned her doctorate and master’s degrees in Communications Studies from the University of Iowa, and a Bachelor of Arts in gender and women’s studies from the University of Illinois.

At Grady College, Bernabo will teach sections of Entertainment Media Industries, and Representation and Identity in Entertainment Media in her first semester.

More details can be found on Bernabo’s faculty profile webpage.

Neil Landau

Neil Landau joins the college as an associate professor and director of screenwriting in the new MFA program. Landau previously taught at the UCLA School of Theater, Film & Television where he served as assistant dean and co-director of the graduate screenwriting program.

Landau is an award-winning screenwriter, including the prestigious Spanish Academy “Goya” Award for best adapted screenplay for “The Adventures of Tadeo Jones.”

He has written for many of the leading television and film companies such as ABC Family, MTV, Sony Pictures, Columbia Pictures and 20th Century Fox, just to name a few. His movie credits include the cult movie “Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead,” and  television shows “Doogie Howser, MD” and “Melrose Place.” He is currently working as the executive producer for a mini-series entitled “Patient Zero,” the first program to explore the untold story of the AIDS crisis in the USSR in the 1980s and early 1990s. Landau is author of five books, including the bestselling “101 Things I Learned in Film School” (Grand Central Publishing, 2010, reissue by Random House/Crown in early 2021); and “The TV Showrunner’s Roadmap” (Focal Press, 2014; second edition to be published in 2021).

Landau earned an MFA in Narrative Media Writing, Screenwriting, from Grady College in 2018 and he has a Bachelor of Arts in film and television from UCLA.

More details can be found on Landau’s faculty profile webpage.

Wunpini Mohammed

Wunpini Mohammed joins UGA to teach courses in global media industries, a study of how media companies make and distribute content throughout the world.

Mohammed’s research focuses on Global South media industries, feminism, broadcast media and development communication and the challenge of power politics in media production, distribution and reception. Mohammed has presented her work at national and international conferences, and her research is published in peer reviewed journals such as “Radio Journal: International Studies in Broadcast & Audio Media,” “Communication: South African Journal for Communication Theory and Research” and “Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology.” She has a co-authored article forthcoming in the “Journal of Radio and Audio Media.”

Prior to pursuing a doctorate degree, Mohammed worked as a radio journalist for five years. She later worked in digital media writing where her work has been published on various African and international media platforms such as Al Jazeera and Global Voices

Mohammed earned her doctorate in mass communications from Pennsylvania State University. She also has a Master of Science in rhetoric and technical communication from Michigan Technological University; a Bachelor of Science in English and Spanish from the University of Ghana; and a diploma in Spanish grammar and literature from La Universidad de Cienfuegos “Carlos Rafael Rodriguez” in Cuba.

At Grady College, Mohammed will teach sections of Entertainment Media Analysis and International Media Entertainment.

More details can be found on Mohammed’s faculty profile webpage.