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bio:

My name is Josef Nguyen, and I am a Ph.D. candidate in English at U.C. Davis.

I am a graduate of the University of the Pacific, receiving a B.S. in Computer Science and a B.A. English in 2007. I then attended U.C. Irvine, earning an M.S. in Information and Computer Science with a concentration in Arts Computation Engineering (A.C.E.) in 2009.

My main academic interests include but are not limited to:

  • media studies
  • digital humanities
  • science and technology studies
  • contemporary literature
  • cultural constructions of creativity and innovation
  • politics of toys, games, and play
  • speculative, promissory, and futuristic discourses
  • video games and pedagogy

I am also a graduate student researcher in the UC Davis ModLab working on several digital humanities projects.







view curriculum vitae as



Currently, I am writing my dissertation, "Creative Makings of the Digital Generation," which focuses on cultural constructions of creative and innovative youth saturated by digital screens, mobile devices, and social media in the contemporary U.S. mediascape. Among examination of a wide range of media objects, I focus my attention on:

  1. Minecraft as a videogame widely identified as both an innovative product in the game industry as well as a tool used for cultivating and fostering creativity
  2. MAKE magazine and its treatment of risk discourse, innovation, social reproduction, and political participation
  3. Instagram as a social media platform whose requisite skills of crafting and managing social networks, online identities, and ad hoc affiliations become key skills needed to navigate flexible social ties by a young mobile workforce amid a precarious economy
  4. Design fiction manifestos that intergrate critical design and science fiction as a method of innovation in shaping the future and saving the world

14 December 2015