Profile

Helena Vanhala, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Media Arts (Media Arts)
Department Head, Media Arts (Media Arts)
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
  • B.A. in English Philology, University of Tampere, Finland

Professional Background

  • freelance journalist
  • 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
  • Assistant Professor of Media Studies, Division of Communication, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
  • Education Committee Board Member of the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association
  • 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 of North American Studies Program, University of Tampere, Finland

Area of Expertise/Research

  • terrorism and media
  • film history and film theory
  • film and international politics
  • TV and video production
  • international communication
  • international journalism
  • intercultural communication
  • critical political economy
  • cultural studies

Publications

  • 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

  • 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
  • 2003 - "Fast, Cheap and in Control: DV in Video Field Production Courses," Broadcast Education Association, Las Vegas, NV
  • 2002 - "September 11: When Reality Imitated Fiction," Union for Democratic Communications, State College, PA
  • 2001 - "Hollywood Action Films on Modern Terrorism: From Moneymakers to Too Hot to Handle," Communication & Social Change, Northwest Graduate Student Conference, Eugene, OR
  • 2001 - "Saving the West from the Barbaric Rest: Selling Terrorism in Hollywood Style," Union for Democratic Communications, Ottawa, Canada
  • 2000 - "Terrorism Goes to Hollywood: Representation of Terrorism in the 20th Century Fox Feature Film "The Siege"," Power, Democracy and Communication Conference, Vancouver, Canada