Profile

Helena Vanhala, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Media Arts (Arts & Humanities)
Assistant Dean, School of Informatics, Humanties, and Social Sciences (School of Informatics, Humanities and Social Sci.)
vanhala@rmu.edu
412-397-6202 phone (M)
412-397-6469 fax
Wheatley Center 313


Educational Background

  • Ph.D. in Communication and Society, School of Journalism and Communication, University of Oregon
  • M.A. in English Philology, University of Tampere, Finland
  • Minor, in the M.A. degree program: International Relations , Universty of Tampere, Finland
  • Minor, in the M.A. degree program: North American Studies, University of Tampere, Finland
  • B.A. in English Philology, University of Tampere, Finland

Professional Background

  • Assistant Dean, School of Informatics, Humanities and Social Sciences, Robert Morris University, August 2020-present
  • Head, Department of Media Arts, School of Informatics, Humanities and Social Sciences, Robert Morris University, August 2014-July 2020
  • Associate Professor of Media Arts, Department of Arts and Humanities, School of Informatics, Humanities and Social Sciences, Robert Morris University
  • National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) Faculty Fellowship, Faculty Development Grant by the NATPE Foundation, NATPE Marketplace and Conference, January 2019, Miami Beach, FL
  • National Council of Arts Administrators Annual Conferences, 2014 Boston, MA; and 2015 Nashville, TN
  • Director, Center for Global Engagement, Robert Morris University, January 2013-July 2014
  • Chair, International Division, Broadcast Education Association, 2013-2015
  • Vice-Chair, International Division, Broadcast Education Association, 2011-2013
  • Research Paper Competition Chair, International Division, Broadcast Education Association, 2009-2011
  • Assistant Professor of Media Studies, Division of Communication, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
  • Education Committee Board Member of the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association
  • International Radio and Television Society (IRTS) Fellowship, 2003 and 2004, New York, NY
  • Graduate Teaching Fellow, School of Journalism and Communication, University of Oregon
  • Graduate Teaching Fellow, Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, University of Oregon
  • Program Coordinator, North American Studies Program, University of Tampere, Finland
  • freelance journalist

Area of Expertise/Research

  • critical political economy of communication
  • cultural studies
  • media industries
  • film, television, streaming, and video: theory, history and production
  • terrorism and media
  • film and international politics
  • international communication and international journalism
  • intercultural communication

Publications

  • "Finland," The Sage International Encyclopedia of Mass Media and Society. Ed. Merskin, Debra. SAGE Publications, pp. 626-630. ISBN: 9781483375540
  • The Depiction of Terrorists in Blockbuster Hollywood Films, 1980-2001. An Analytical Study.
    Jefferson, NC & London: McFarland & Company, Inc. Publishers, 2011. ISBN: 978-0-7864-3662-0
  • "Terrorism no longer sells in Hollywood," guest editorial, Helsingin Sanomat, Finland, 2011 (original in Finnish: "Terrorismi ei enaa myy Hollywoodissa")
  • "Civil Society Under Siege: Terrorism and Government Response to Terrorism in The Siege," Jump Cut 50, Spring 2008

Presentations

  • 2018 - "Bringing Scholars and Documentary Filmmakers Together to Analyze and Produce Critical Interpretations of Reality," Broadcast Education Association, Las Vegas, NV
  • 2016 - "Content Creation in the Age of Binge-Viewing," Broadcast Education Association, Las Vegas, NV
  • 2011 - "The Hollywood Men of Action-Adventure," Broadcast Education Association, Las Vegas, NV
  • 2010 - "Studying International Communication and Broadcast Media in Finland: From the Midnight Sun Film Festival and Broadcast Media Visits to Sauna and Santa's Reindeer," Broadcast Education Association, Las Vegas, NV
  • 2009 - "Ethics and Hollywood Counterterrorism: Propaganda for Defining Terrorism as War," Broadcast Education Association, Las Vegas, NV
  • 2008 - "Hollywood's War on Terror," Broadcast Education Association, Las Vegas, NV
  • 2007 - "International News Coverage versus National Security in the Age of Modern International Terrorism," Broadcast Education Association, Las Vegas, NV
  • 2007 - "Arab Terrorism versus Northern Irish Terrorism in Hollywood Films," International Association of Mass Communication Research, Paris, France
  • 2006 - "International News: A Commodity of Cultural Convergence," Broadcast Education Association, Las Vegas, NV
  • 2005 - "Killing Them Softly? Producing Hollywood Action-Adventure Films for the Global Market," Broadcast Education Association, Las Vegas, NV
  • 2004 - "Modern Terrorism: A Western News Commodity," Broadcast Education Association, Las Vegas, NV
  • 2004 - "The Concept of Terrorism: War over Meaning," Union for Democratic Communications, St. Louis, MO