Tara Knight

Tara Knight, Interim Director

Tara Knight is a filmmaker, animator, and projection designer for live performance. She is currently directing Mikumentary a series of short films about the worldwide Hatsune Miku phenomenon. Knight has presented the films and lectures at the South By Southwest Interactive Festival, the Time Warner “The Future of Storytelling” Event in NYC, at New York Comic Con, and Anime Expo in LA. Episode 3: Participatory Culture was installed at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo as part of the 10th Anniversary Exhibition and the films have been bootlegged into Spanish, French, Russian, Vietnamese, Cantonese, and Thai by viewers online.

She is currently an advisor for the New Horizons Project which NASA will upload as the Golden Record 2.0 in 2016. Two of her short films won 2014 Van Gogh Awards at the Amsterdam Film Festival in the categories of Animation and World Cinema: Best Experimental Film. She is a founding member of Project Planetaria, an interdisciplinary project exploring the intersection of performance and astrophysics. The Floating World,
a performance she co-created with Malashock Dance, won an Emmy in 2011.

Knight began her career as an optical printing assistant, a painter on the films of animation pioneer Faith Hubley, and as an animation assistant for Emily Hubley on her short films and the cult hit Hedwig and the Angry Inch. She earned an MFA in Visual Art from the University of California, San Diego and a BA in Film Theory and Production from Hampshire College. She earned an honorary degree from Konodai Girls’ School outside Tokyo. Knight is an Associate Professor of Digital Media and the Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for the Division of Arts and Humanities at UC San Diego.  She is delighted to serve as the Center for Humanities Interim Director this academic year.
Office: Literature 410
(858) 534-6270


Micaela Smith, Interim Assistant Director

Micaela received her Ph.D. (2012) in American Studies and Ethnicity from the University of Southern California. As an 18-month Mellon Dissertation Fellow, Micaela completed her dissertation while in residence at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa and participated in the Sawyer Seminar Series, “Race, Property, Poverty: The Paradoxes of Law and the Possibilities of Justice.” Micaela’s scholarly work examines race, marginality and Afro-Brazilian life in the context of state repression and a bourgeoning tourism economy in 1960s Salvador da Bahia, Brazil. She has taught courses in African American Studies and American Studies.


Linh Nguyen head shot

Linh Nguyen, Graduate Student Researcher

Linh Nguyen is a PhD candidate in the Department of Ethnic Studies. Her dissertation examines the U.S. resettlement of Vietnamese refugees through the tropes of family and kinship. Research interests include critical immigration and refugee studies, militarisms, cultural studies and feminisms.



Victoria Gerginis-Mellos, Program Administrator (On Leave Fall 2015)

Office: 310 Literature Building

(858) 822-4973