Athena Tan

Copy Editor at Santa Barbara Independent

Athena Tan


Athena Tan received her PhD in Film and Media Studies from UC Santa Barbara in 2016. Her dissertation, “The Abduction Complex: Kidnap Media and Contemporary Globalization,” situates abduction as a trope of globalization whose recurrence in popular, mediated narratives both indexes and contributes to the felt precarity, vulnerability, and uncertainty of the present. Analyzing a range of kidnap media from the German Autumn through the Islamic State, the dissertation explores what the concept of global media might expansively signify vis-a-vis the expropriative and representational relations of forced captivity.

Tan served as Managing Editor of Camera Obscura: Feminism, Culture, and Media Studies from 2012 to 2014 and Coordinating Editor of Media Fields Journal in 2010. She coedited Media Fields Journal no. 2 (2011) on media, labor, and mobility with Hye Jean Chung. Her PhD research was supported by an American Association of University Women International Fellowship from 2012 to 2013 and a UCSB Chancellor’s Fellowship from 2007 to 2012.