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Faculty Directory » J.J. Sylvia IV

Communications Media

Office Hours:

Semester: Spring 2020
Tuesday 2 PM to 3:30 PM
Thursday 2 PM to 3:30 PM

Office Information:

Room Number: Center for Teaching & Learning (Hammond Library, 2nd Floor)
Phone: 978.665.3418

Courses Taught:

Communications Media

Introduction to Communication and Media Studies (COMM 1105)
Human Communication (COMM 4200)
Seminar in Communication Theory (COMM 4205)
Communications Law and Ethics (COMM 4230)
Communication Ethics (COMM 7005)
Quantitative Research Methods (COMM 9024)
Data and Analytics (COMM 9025)

Game Design

Game Studies Seminar (GAME 4000)


Ph.D., North Carolina State University (Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media)
M.A., The University of Southern Mississippi (Philosophy)
B.A., Mississippi State University (Communication, Philosophy)

Research Interests:

Big Data
Posthuman Media Studies
Media Ethics
Digital Pedagogy

Current Projects:

Dr. Sylvia is revising a book manuscript for publication. In this work, he develops a posthuman approach to big data and media studies. He is also collaborating on a project to analyze Russian-affiliated social media activity aimed to disrupt U.S. politics.

In Fall 2018, Dr. Sylvia is beginning work on a new project titled “Becoming Data,” an augmented reality (AR) choose-your-own-adventure style narrative experience that will allow participants to develop a deeper understanding of how their data is collected, analyzed, and commodified. This research project will make the usually technical and abstract ethical and legal issues surrounding big data more personal. In Becoming Data, the line between the human participant and their data will blur. Participants will be able to see how their decisions and actions are translated into big data and how that big data is used in ways that impact one’s daily life. This AR approach will bridge the gap between the general public and the often esoteric and abstract academic concerns over data ethics.

Representative Publications:

Journal Articles

Sylvia IV, J.J. (2018). “Code/Art Approaches to Data Visualization.” In Levenberg, L. et al (Eds.), Handbook of Methods in Digital Humanities.

Sylvia IV, J.J. (2019). “From Archaeology to Genealogy: Adding Politics and Processes of  Subjectivation.” communication +1, 7(2), Article 3. doi: 10.7275/a3dm-3770

Sylvia IV, J.J. and Andrejevic, M. (2016). "The Future of Critique: Mark Andrejevic on Power/Knowledge and the Big Data-Driven Decline of Symbolic Efficiency." International Journal of Communication, 10, pp. 3230-3240.


Sylvia IV, J.J. (2016). "Little Brother: How Big Data Necessitates an Ethical Shift from Privacy to Power." In Booth, P. & Davisson, A. (Eds.), Controversies in Digital Ethics (pp. 13-28). Bloomsbury.

Sylvia IV, J.J. (2019). “p5.js in the Media Studies Classroom.” In Sarachan, J. (Ed.), Coding & Pedagogy digital collection.

Professional Affiliations:

ICA - International Communication Association
NCA - National Communication Association
SOPHIA - Society of Philosophers in America