Lori Landay


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Lori Landay is a professor of cultural studies at Berklee College of Music and an interdisciplinary scholar and new media artist exploring the making of visual meaning in 20th- and 21st-century culture. She is the author of two books, I Love Lucy and Madcaps, Screwballs, and Con Women: The Female Trickster in American Culture, in addition to articles on topics such as virtual worlds, digital narrative, silent film, and television culture. Her creative work includes animation, graphic design, creative documentary, machinima, interactive virtual art installations, and music video.

Landay has been awarded the Dean's Award for Excellence in the Professional Education Division at Berklee, a Newbury Comics Faculty Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Humanities Enduring Questions Grant. She has consulted on and appeared in Finding Lucy, an American Masters documentary airing nationally on PBS and internationally, in addition to serving as the Information Technology Officer for the Society for Cinema and Media Studies from 2002–2005. Landay holds a bachelor's degree from Colby College, which included a year abroad at the University of York in England, master's degrees in American Studies and English from Boston College and Indiana University, respectively, and a doctoral degree in English and American Studies from Indiana University.

Career Highlights
  • Dean's Award for Excellence in the Professional Education Division, Berklee College of Music
  • Author,  I Love Lucy, a book on television in American culture in the TV Milestones Series published by Wayne State University Press, 2010.
  • Author, Madcaps, Screwballs, and Con Women: The Female Trickster in American Culture
  • Published an article that included video made in a virtual world. "Rethinking Virtual Commodification, or The Virtual Kitchen Sink"
    Journal Of Virtual Worlds Research, 2(4)(2010).
  • HouseSmarts or, Domestic Technology 2.1, a short animated film, was an official selection of the Boston Science Fiction Film Festival, 2014.
  • Featured in The Girl in the Show, a book and documentary about women in comedy, 2018.
  • Presented research on the Immersive Tools Project, Berklee Berklee Institute for Accessible Arts Education in a presentation, "Dialed-Down Design: Insights from Developing VR for People with Autism" Presentation, at VRDC@GDC, San Francisco, 2018.
  • Wrote the chapter on Minecraft in the book Fifty Key Video Games. Edited by Dominic Arsenault, Kelly Boudreau, Bernard Perron and Mark J.P. Wolf. Routledge, 2022.
  • Research Fellow, MIT, 2022–2024.
  • Faculty Innovation Grant, Dance and Technology, Boston Conservatory at Berklee Dance Division (2021)
  • Berklee Faculty Fellowship, "Chimera: Prototyping an Immersive Interactive Experience that Combines Live and Recorded Performance in Virtual and Actual Spaces" (2019–2020)
  • Faculty Led Innovations in Education (FLY) Grant, "Immersive Media for Arts Education for Special Populations: VR/AR Tools for Music Students on the Autism Disorder Spectrum" (2017–2018)
  • Dean's Award for Innovation and Service, Professional Education Division, Berklee College of Music (2017)
  • Berklee Faculty Development Grant, "Interactive Media" (2014–2015)
  • Berklee Faculty Fellowship, "ShadowPlay" Interactive Art Installation (2013–2014)
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Enduring Questions Grant, "What Is Being?"(2010–2012)
  • Best of Show and People's Choice Awards, New Media Consortium (NMC) Summer Conference Art Show, "New Media Movies by Lori Landay," 2012.
  • Best Machinimatography Award, International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) 2012 Conference SIGVE Group, for "Domestic Technology or, Never Alone." (2010) [5:39] video.
  • Mejor Obra De Investigación/Open This End Award of Excellence for Investigative Film for "Transformation: Virtual Art on the Brink." (2011) [4:13] Mixed live footage and machinima video.
  • Newbury Comics Faculty Fellowship, "Virtual Worlds," (2008–2009)
  • Dean's Award for Excellence, Interdisciplinary Teaching/Curriculum (2007)
  • School Name
    Indiana University-Bloomington
    State or Province
    Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
    Field of Study
    American Studies
    Date Degree Received
In Their Own Words

"It was when I was studying in England that I started to realize the benefits of bringing different disciplines together. You see a really different picture when you try to look at the same thing through many different lenses. And coming into a discipline from the outside, you can sometimes see things that people immersed in it may not."

"All my courses are interdisciplinary, and student projects combine both critical and creative work. At Berklee I've been able to experiment with this approach and hone it to the teaching of musicians. In Approaches to Visual Culture, students make a piece of visual culture and comment on it critically: how it fits into the concepts we've been learning about all semester. I show my students animations I've done that are inspired by poems I teach. I'm trying to create models in my own artistic practice for students to use when they start thinking about their projects."

"I worked with a lot of people across the board to develop a new course called Culture, Diversity, and Artistry. We wanted to create a course relevant to Berklee student musicians thinking about their present, about their future, and about themselves as part of a larger society. It's important for artists of all kinds, musicians in particular, to think through larger issues about self, community, culture, and difference."

"In Language of Film I give students a three-part project. Their first assignment is to write an original screenplay of a scene or short-short film, and write a paper about it. Next they storyboard their screenplay and write a paper about that. In the third assignment, we improvise a scene and shoot some footage, which they edit together on their laptops; then they write a paper about editing. Students learn about how people make choices, and film scoring students gain insight into the directors with whom they have to communicate. It's probably the most exciting thing I've done at Berklee."

"I'm also the coordinator for Technology in Learning and Teaching in the Liberal Arts Department. It's really important to me to teach with technology, and for students to engage with technology as multimedia makers. Students still can make a painting, collage, or sculpture, but I also want them to experiment with podcasting, digital video editing, and multimedia making."