Curriculum Vitae

Melina A. Sherman, Ph.D.

melinash@usc.edu

EDUCATION

PhD in Communication (October 2018)

University of Southern California, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism

Master of Arts in Communication (May 2016)

University of Southern California, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism

Bachelor of Arts in Communication (June 2013)

Northwestern University, Magna Cum Laude

 

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

  • Communication studies
  • Science, technology, & society [STS]
  • Cultural studies
  • Political economy
  • Feminist theory
  • Discourse analysis
  • Biopolitics
  • Institutional and historical forms of analysis
  • Youth culture, subcultural politics

 

CURRENT PROJECT(S)

My dissertation develops a cultural analysis of addiction through the lens of the ongoing U.S. opioid epidemic. In particular, this project is focused on unpacking the historical, cultural, and political economic conditions underlying the development of the field of pain management and the uptake of opioids as the best (if not only) solution for the problem of pain. My approach to the epidemic is interdisciplinary and multi-faceted – focusing on key domains such as media representation, pharmaceutical branding, the genealogy of pain medicine and addiction science, institutional analyses of U.S. drug regulation, and the critical analysis of the re-production of race and technologies of whiteness in drug policies, law, and rehabilitative technologies (such as the use of privatized medication-assisted treatments and the popularization of problem-solving “treatment courts”).

In the next iteration of my project, which I envision as the final step toward transforming my dissertation research into a book, I will conduct ethnographic research within the digital spaces where patients, addicts, and other individuals come together – combining their own experiences, lay expertise, and familiarity with the technicalities of U.S. drug law and regulation to construct a space where they can safely discuss and engage in self-medication practices. The ways in which individuals engage with and manipulate recent innovations in biotechnology and digital technology raises questions about how the world of contemporary drug use is changing – veering more toward more potent, synthesized molecules and genetic formulations that mimic familiar pharmaceutical biotechnologies (i.e., fentanyl) and that, despite the sophisticated nature of their development and distribution, are discussed, re-configured, and made legible in new ways by the individuals who make, sell, discuss, and use them.. These “new opioids” have become central to the community of practice that constitutes digitally-based drug culture – a culture which exists in constant tension with the legal, regulatory, and corporate logics that seek to govern and exploit it.

 

PUBLICATIONS

Sherman, Melina. (2019). Addiction’s New Face: How We Created the U.S. Opioid Epidemic. In Review.

Sherman, Melina. (2017). Branding Pain Relief: Neoliberal Governance and the Restoration of the Self. Communication, Culture, Critique, 10(4), 593-608.

Sherman, Melina. (2017). Opiates for the Masses: Constructing a Market for Prescription (Pain)killers. Journal of Cultural Economy, 1-13.

Glabau, D., Fiereck, K., & Sherman, M. (2017 February 27). Biofinance: Speculation, Risk, Debt, and Value from Bios: A conference report. Somatosphere. Available at http://somatosphere.net/2017/02/biofinance-speculation-risk-debt-and-value-from-bios-a-conference-report.html

Sherman, M. (2017). Review of Addicted. Pregnant. Poor., by Kelly Knight. Medicine, Anthropology, Theory. Available at http://www.medanthrotheory.org/read/7243/addicted.pregnant.poor

Sherman, Melina. (2015). The Cultural Production of a Pharmaceutical Market: The Making of ADHD. International Journal of Communication, 9, 1-20.

Sherman, Melina. (2015). Review of Chronic Youth: Disability, Sexuality, and U.S. Media Cultures of Rehabilitation by Julie Passanante Elman. International Journal of Communication, 9, 8-10.

Sherman, Melina. (2014). Review of Venture Labor: Work and the Burden of Risk in Innovative Industries, by Gina Neff. International Journal of Communication, 8, 8-10.

 

CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS

Sherman, M.A. (2018). How it Hurts: Examining the Cultural Politics of Pain in the U.S. Opioid Epidemic. American Anthropological Association. San Jose, CA.

Sherman, M.A. (2018). Experimenting with Life Itself: Digital Drug Worlds and the Transformation of the “Human”. Society for the Social Study of Science. Sydney, Australia.

Sherman, M.A. (2017). Branding Pain Relief: Restoring the Neoliberal Self in the Ongoing Opioid Epidemic. American Anthropological Association. Washington, D.C.

Sherman, M.A. (2017). Understanding the Opioid Epidemic: A Genealogical Analysis of Pain Management. Society for the Social Study of Science (4S). Boston, MA.

Sherman, M.A. (2016). When a Cure Becomes a Poison: Discourses of Consumption in the U.S. Opioid Epidemic. Society for Applied Anthropology. Santa Fe, NM.

Sherman, M.A. (2016). Biofinancial Investments and Disinvestments: Examining the U.S. Opioid Epidemic. American Anthropological Association. Minneapolis, MN.

Sherman, M.A. (2015). Mother’s Little Helper: On the Cultural Production of a Market for Anti-Depressants. National Communication Association. Las Vegas, NV.

Sherman, M.A. (2015). Methylphenidate Moms: The Problem with Speed. Society for the Social Study of Science (4S). Denver, CO.

Sherman, M.A. (2015). The Cultural Production of a Pharmaceutical Market. Cultural Studies Association. Riverside, CA.

Sherman, M.A. (2015). The Cultural Production of a Pharmaceutical Market: The Making of ADHD. Popular Culture Association Conference. New Orleans, LA.

Sherman, M.A. (2013). Dancing Alone, Together: Agency and Remediation inside a ‘Music Scene for Bros’. Graduate Communication Forum Conference. Pennsylvania State University, PA.

Sherman, M.A. (2013). Dancing Alone, Together: A Gendered and Sexual Politics of Visibility inside a ‘Music Scene for Bros’. Cultural Studies Association Conference. Chicago, IL.

 

TEACHING

Communication, Technology, and Culture [COMM 339]

University of Southern California [Fall 2018; Fall 2017]

 

Communication and Culture. [COMM 206]

University of Southern California [Spring 2018; Spring 2017; Fall 2014]

 

Communication and Technology [COMM 202]

University of Southern California [Spring 2016]

 

Sound Clash: Communication and Popular Music [COMM 307]

University of Southern California [Fall 2016]

 

Sports, Communication and Culture [COMM 383]

University of Southern California [Fall 2015]

 

CERTIFICATIONS/CAREER DEVELOPMENT

Fluency in Spanish certified by the Universitat de Barcelona in Barcelona, Spain (July 2016)

Fluency in Portuguese certified by the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) in Porto Alegre, Brazil (February 2019)

American Translators Association (ATA) member

English 33000, Professional Writing Seminar, University of Chicago [Summer 2013]

Writing for Publication Seminar, University of Southern California [Spring 2014]

Annenberg Summer Inter-School Seminars in digital ethnography and discourse analysis, University of Southern California [Summer 2014]

 

ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICE

Vice-President, Annenberg School of Communication Graduate Association [2014-2015 Term]

 

AWARDS AND HONORS

Magna Cum Laude, Northwestern University

Departmental Excellence in Communication Studies, Northwestern University

Lambda Pi Eta, Northwestern University

 

TRANSLATOR/EDITOR 

English: Native language

Portuguese <> English

Spanish <> English

 

SPECIALIZATIONS 

Academic – Social sciences and humanities, academic books, articles, papers, dissertations, CVs, certifications, conference presentations

Corporate marketing – Commercial documents, advertisements, websites, press releases, reports, social media

Legal – Contracts, proposals, transcripts, laws, bills, regulations

Tourism and Travel – Hotel information, marketing, travel guides, brochures, websites, applications

 

TECHNICAL SKILLS

Experience in the use of diverse CAT software including SDL Trados, Memsource, and Omega T.

Use in digital platforms including Adobe, Google Adwords & Adwords Editor, Google Analytics, HTML, Mac and PC platforms, Microsoft Office, Open Language Tools, social media management dashboards, social media channels (LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, Twitter), WordPress, and more.