YPP Network Description

The MacArthur Research Network on Youth and Participatory Politics (YPP) formed out of recognition that youth are critical to the future of democracy and that the digital age is introducing technological changes that are impacting how youth develop into informed, engaged, and effective actors.

Samantha Close

Samantha is a research assistant for the MAPP project. She received her B.A. in English Literature from Yale University and an M.Phil in Digital Design from the Glasgow School of Art. Samantha taught a wide variety of courses in equally varied venues, from English as a second language in Japanese schools, to intensive summer writing courses for gifted students with the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth, to arts practice workshops for at-risk young people in Glasgow with Impact Arts, to a guest lecture on manga and kawaii culture in an undergraduate comics course. Her research interests are in fan studies, critical theory, theory-practice, new media, and the relationship between Japan and the US. She presented on her work at numerous conferences, including the Modern Language Association, the Anime Expo Anime and Manga Studies Symposium, the International Association for Media and Communication Research, and the Graduate Symposium on Women’s and Gender History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Samantha's research is connected to how the media industries are and are not transformed by the internet, the aesthetic dimension of politics, and amateur media production.