next next
From my portfolio


By Tara Graham
Nov 03
0 Tweet

The millennial generation has grown up with one foot in the material world and another foot in the virtual. My classes are an attempt to bridge these two worlds.

I began teaching on the UC Berkeley campus in the 2010 summer semester. Since that time, I have regularly taught International and Area Studies (IAS), Middle Eastern Studies (MES) and Global Poverty and Practice (GPP) undergraduate courses.

My background is in journalism, with specialization in online media. The classes I teach always include a digital component whereby students learn to build websites to house and present their work to a global audience. To do so, my courses cover web production, online research methods, storytelling and writing, basic photography and videography, social media best practices, and new media theory. Students are asked to apply these methods and practices to international topics or social justice issues relevant to the scope of each course. I encourage students to tweet in and out of the classroom as a means of sharing commentary, resources and tips; asking questions; and cultivating a capacity for seeking answers beyond the classroom and course reader. In doing so, I believe I am teaching students how to use their Web 2.0 publishing capacity as a means to intelligently and critically express themselves as public scholars.

There are no final exams, nor quizzes or 25-page essay assignments, in my courses. Instead, students complete blog posts and research pages via websites of their own design. They produce and embed multimedia tools into these websites (interactive presentations, time lines, slideshows, etc.), which they later use to present findings before their peers or a jury of scholars. Students are evaluated on their independent research, web production, creativity and responsiveness to feedback, as well as in-class and online participation. In the end, students walk away with more than a letter grade; they walk away with a polished online portfolio of the work produced in the class. (Added bonus: I never walk away with smudges of red correction fluid on my hands.)

 View student work produced in my classes here.

The millennial generation has grown up with one foot in the material world and another foot in the virtual. My classes are an attempt to bridge these two worlds. While I require regular attendance, reading and in-class participation, I also ask students to be present online—that is, to build, to write, to seek and to share. I am deeply interested in this digital moment and in the online media revolution that is quickly changing the way (former) audiences produce, encounter, distribute and curate information.


 *Student evaluations available upon request

Summer 2013

IAS 150: “Media & Popular Uprisings Around the World”

Spring 2013

IAS 120: “New Media for Global Poverty Action” (GPP)

MES 198: “Online Research & Web Production in Middle Eastern Studies”

Fall 2012

IAS 194: “Online Research & Web Production in International & Area Studies”

MES 198: “Online Research & Web Production in Middle Eastern Studies”

Summer 2012

MES 150: “Islam 2.0: Media & the Re-Shaping of Muslim Identity in the 21st Century”

Spring 2012

IAS 120: “Using Media Tools for Global Poverty Action” (GPP)

Fall 2011

IAS 120: “International Reporting in the Digital Age”

Summer 2011

MES 150: “Media, Politics & Society: The Arab World in the Global Context

Spring 2011

IAS 140: “Field Reporting in the Digital Age: Using Media Tools for Social Justice” (GPP)

Summer 2010

IAS 160: “Media, Culture & Society: The Middle East in the Global Context

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


The Narrative #Selfie


Lose the shirt off my back? Nah.

When life got dicey, I opened my closet doors, bypassed the blouses, and earned a (modest) payday by selling used hangers in 25-pack bundles.

More recently, I put my hustle into play at 500 Startups, the world’s most active venture capital fund and startup accelerator, where I led content, branding, marketing, operations, and corporate partnerships for business development and global programs.

Before transitioning into tech, I worked in higher education, teaching online research and media production classes across a variety of disciplines at the University of California, Berkeley. During that time, I also worked as the Director and Executive Producer of Digital Media Projects at the Blum Center for Developing Economies, where I co-founded and led The #GlobalPOV Project, a mixed-media approach to thinking about poverty, inequality, and undertaking poverty action.

In addition, I was the Director of Media at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, where I had the opportunity to interview Bashar al-Assad in his presidential palace in Damascus, Syria, in late December of 2010. I asked Assad if he considered himself a dictator. He dodged the inquiry, but his actions in the immediate weeks, months, and years to follow answered the question . . . and then some. Sadly.

Before that, I was a practicing journalist and graduate fellow at the University of Southern California. During that time, I worked as a web reporter and photographer for KCET’s “SoCal Connected,”​ as an online editor for the London-based New Statesman magazine, and as the co-editor-in-chief of USC Annenberg’s award-winning digital news website. I got my start in journalism as a full-time associate editor (and employee #20!) at P✪PSUGAR, a Sequoia-backed content and commerce startup turned global media empire.

My freelance reporting has been featured in NBC, CBS, and ABC news broadcasts and in online publications, including The Huffington Post. I have also done manuscript editing for various authors with recognized commercial and university presses.

You can find me tap dancing in the dark corners of my imagination to a sold-out audience of — none. Like most everything else, it’s all for fun.

Let’s connect! Join me on Twitter or Instagram or LinkedIn.


#Hashtagging While Talking
Upholding The Distinction Between To & Too
Tap Dancing Down Store Aisles
Inverting Pyramids