Sara M. Cole, Ph.D. '13 language literacy and culture, is an author and lecturer of digital theory, cultural anthropology, film/media/ communication studies, and discourse. Her past publications address linguistic expressions of digital identity, gender representation, connections between work and play, and the role of horror and consumption in modern media. Dr. Cole's recent research focuses on the ways that video game and other digital play narratives influence personal identity and psychological development, specifically feelings of digital longing, gaming nostalgia, and intergenerational play. She explores ways in which players value ideologies developed through play and linguistically express learned conceptions of morality, ethics, interpersonal relationships, and senses of self.
Since 2007, Dr. Cole has taught courses in film and video game history, cultural linguistics/semiotics, folklore, and anthropology, working with traditional, returning, and online students of various ages, disciplines, and academic and cultural backgrounds at Johns Hopkins University, Towson University, University of Baltimore, and local community colleges. She stresses the importance of valuing social spaces that foster deep learning via online and digital interactions, and urges students and colleagues to broaden their expectations of these formats in higher education.
Her book, Identity and Play in Interactive Digital Media: Ergodic Ontogeny (Routledge, 2017), focused on sociolinguistic analyses of expressions of identity as influenced by interactive entertainment media experiences. This work developed the concept of ergodic ontogeny to encompass the multi-faceted influence of agentive new media play as it changes individual understandings and outward expressions of morality, gender, and other identity markers as well as broader cultural trends. Dr. Cole is returning to UMBC having received her PhD from the Language, Literacy, and Culture program in 2013. She received a masters degree from Johns Hopkins University and bachelors degree from Goucher College, majoring in both philosophy/religion and media/communications.
We enthusiastically welcome Dr. Cole to the LLC Doctoral Program!