Faculty

Francis Steen

Associate Professor

Contact Information

Email    STEEN@COMMSTDS.UCLA.EDU
Office  2328 Rolfe Hall
Phone  310-825-3147
How do we learn from mass media? I research how people use the multimodal information in mass media to form complex and integrated models of reality, using language, images, gesture, and emotion.

I direct the digital NewsScape Library of International Television News, a growing collection of 350,000 television news programs annotated by three billion words, part of the Communication Studies Archive, which extends back to the Watergate hearings. As an extension of this project, I co-direct the Red Hen Lab, an international network of scholars studying multimodal communication (see video introduction made by the University of Navarra in Spain), and the research team Joint Image-Text Parsing and Reasoning for Analyzing Social and Political News Events , which brings together researchers, graduate students, and undergraduates from Communication Studies, Statistics, and Computer Science from UCLA and UIUC under a grant from the National Science Foundation.

A central area of my research is how the news engages in a process of reasoning about the causes of events, and about how to intervene and take control of the future; see my talk on The News as a Social Process for Improving Society. I develop these themes in the international research project Negotiating Values: Collective Identities and Resilience after 22/7, led by the Peace Research Institute in Oslo and funded by the Norwegian Research Council, where I examine the media response to the attacks in Oslo on July 22, 2011. My collaborators at UCLA include Johanna Drucker, GSR Morgan Currie, and my RA Abi Magalong.

How we form complex and integrated models of reality has important consequences for education, and I am part of research groups in Cognitive Science, Neuroscience, and Education that examine how children and students learn. In 2011-12, I was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies at the Norwegian Academy of Sciences in Oslo, studying Time is Space: Unconscious Models and Conscious Acts with a group of cognitive linguists examining how a sense of "here" and "now" is created in the news (Nesset et al., forthcoming). I also work with Marco Iacoboni of the Brain Mapping Center and Noel Enyedy of the Department of Education on the Neuroscience of Role-Mediated Learning (DeLiema & Steen, forthcoming). As a Fellow of the Mind & Society Institute at Azim Premji University in Bangaluru, India, I work on developing educational interventions for middle-school children that relate to identity formation.

I work with Rajesh Kasturirangan, Mark Turner, and David DeLiema on developing a next-generation Cognitive Science that integrates the various dimensions of human experience, including language, images, gesture, and emotion; for a first installment, see Steen & Turner, forthcoming.

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Degrees

Ph.D., English, University of California, Santa Barbara

M.A., English, University of Oslo, Norway

B.A., English and History of Ideas, University of Oslo, Norway

Publications

DeLiema, David J. and Francis F. Steen (forthcoming, 2013). “Thinking With the Body: Conceptual Integration Through Gesture in Multiviewpoint Model Construction”. Language and the Creative Mind. Edited by Michael Borkent, Barbara Dancygier, and Jennifer Hinnell. Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications.

Steen, Francis F. and Mark Turner (forthcoming, 2013). “Multimodal Construction Grammar”. Language and the Creative Mind. Edited by Michael Borkent, Barbara Dancygier, and Jennifer Hinnell. Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications. Supporting materials.

Steen, Francis F., Patricia M. Greenfield, Mari-Sian Davies, and Brendesha Tynes (2006). “What Went Wrong with The Sims Online: Cultural Learning and Barriers to Identification in a MMOG.” In Peter Vorderer and Bryant Jennings (eds.). Playing Video Games – Motives, Responses, and Consequences. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. 307-323.

Steen, Francis F. (2005). "The Paradox of Narrative Thinking." Journal of Cultural and Evolutionary Psychology 3. 1: 87-105.

Steen, Francis F.  and Stephanie Owens (2001). "Evolution’s Pedagogy: An Adaptationist Model of Pretense and Entertainment."  Journal of Cognition and Culture 1. 4: 289-321.

Steen, Francis F. (1998). "‘The Time of Unrememberable Being’: Wordsworth’s Autobiography of the Imagination." Auto/Biography Studies, special issue on autobiography and neuroscience, 13.1: 7-38.

Current Courses by Term

2017 Fall Quarter

Decoding Media Strategies

Social Communication and New Technology

Previous Courses by Term

2017 Fall Quarter

Decoding Media Strategies

Social Communication and New Technology

2016 Fall Quarter

Decoding Media Strategies

Social Communication and New Technology

2016 Spring Quarter

Decoding Media Strategies

Social Communication and New Technology

2015 Spring Quarter

Revolutions in Communication Technology

2015 Winter Quarter

Fiat Lux Freshman Seminars

Decoding Media Strategies

Media and Mind

2014 Fall Quarter

Play and Entertainment

Social Communication and New Technology

2014 Spring Quarter

Gaming Mind

Social Communication and New Technology

2014 Winter Quarter

Fiat Lux Freshman Seminars

Play and Entertainment

Decoding Media Strategies

2013 Spring Quarter

Gaming Mind

Social Communication and New Technology

2013 Winter Quarter

Decoding Media Strategies

2012 Spring Quarter

Play and Entertainment

Social Communication and New Technology

2011 Spring Quarter

Journal Club Seminars: Human Complex Systems

Human Complex Systems Forum

2011 Winter Quarter

Entertainment as Implicit Pedagogy

Decoding Media Strategies

2010 Spring Quarter

Journal Club Seminars: Human Complex Systems

Human Complex Systems Forum

Gaming Mind

Social Communication and New Technology

2010 Winter Quarter

Entertainment as Implicit Pedagogy

Decoding Media Strategies

2009 Spring Quarter

Gaming Mind

Social Communication and New Technology

2009 Winter Quarter

Entertainment as Implicit Pedagogy

Decoding Media Strategies

2008 Spring Quarter

Journal Club Seminars: Human Complex Systems

Gaming Mind

Social Communication and New Technology

2008 Winter Quarter

Entertainment as Implicit Pedagogy

Decoding Media Strategies

2007 Winter Quarter

Entertainment as Implicit Pedagogy

Decoding Media Strategies

2006 Spring Quarter

Gaming Mind

Social Communication and New Technology

2006 Winter Quarter

Entertainment as Implicit Pedagogy

Decoding Media Strategies

Advanced Honors Seminars

2005 Spring Quarter

Variable Topics in Communication Studies: Theories of Social Interaction

Variable Topics in Communication Studies: Interpersonal Communication Theory

2005 Winter Quarter

Social Communication and New Technology

Variable Topics in Communication Studies: Media Content/Criticism and History

2004 Spring Quarter

Special Topics in Communication Studies: Social Systematics

Special Topics in Communication Studies: Interpersonal Communication Theory

2004 Winter Quarter

Social Communication and New Technology

2003 Spring Quarter

Special Topics in Communication Studies: Social Systematics

2003 Winter Quarter

Social Communication and New Technology

2002 Spring Quarter

Communication Theory

Special Topics in Communication Studies: Social Systematics

2002 Winter Quarter

Special Topics in Communication Studies: Technology in Communication

Previous Courses by Course

COMM ST 133
Decoding Media Strategies

2017 Fall Quarter

2016 Fall Quarter

2016 Spring Quarter

2015 Winter Quarter

2014 Winter Quarter

2013 Winter Quarter

2011 Winter Quarter

2010 Winter Quarter

2009 Winter Quarter

2008 Winter Quarter

2007 Winter Quarter

2006 Winter Quarter

COMM ST 154
Social Communication and New Technology

2017 Fall Quarter

2016 Fall Quarter

2016 Spring Quarter

2014 Fall Quarter

2014 Spring Quarter

2013 Spring Quarter

2012 Spring Quarter

2010 Spring Quarter

2009 Spring Quarter

2008 Spring Quarter

2006 Spring Quarter

2005 Winter Quarter

2004 Winter Quarter

2003 Winter Quarter

COMM ST 158
Revolutions in Communication Technology

2015 Spring Quarter

COMM ST 19
Fiat Lux Freshman Seminars

2015 Winter Quarter

2014 Winter Quarter

COMM ST 183
Media and Mind

2015 Winter Quarter

COMM ST 128
Play and Entertainment

2014 Fall Quarter

2014 Winter Quarter

2012 Spring Quarter

COMM ST 129
Gaming Mind

2014 Spring Quarter

2013 Spring Quarter

2010 Spring Quarter

2009 Spring Quarter

2008 Spring Quarter

2006 Spring Quarter

COMM ST M193P
Journal Club Seminars: Human Complex Systems

2011 Spring Quarter

2010 Spring Quarter

2008 Spring Quarter

COMM ST 294
Human Complex Systems Forum

2011 Spring Quarter

2010 Spring Quarter

COMM ST 128
Entertainment as Implicit Pedagogy

2011 Winter Quarter

2010 Winter Quarter

2009 Winter Quarter

2008 Winter Quarter

2007 Winter Quarter

2006 Winter Quarter

COMM ST 189
Advanced Honors Seminars

2006 Winter Quarter

COMM ST 191F
Variable Topics in Communication Studies: Theories of Social Interaction

2005 Spring Quarter

COMM ST 191G
Variable Topics in Communication Studies: Interpersonal Communication Theory

2005 Spring Quarter

COMM ST 191C
Variable Topics in Communication Studies: Media Content/Criticism and History

2005 Winter Quarter

COMM ST 197F
Special Topics in Communication Studies: Social Systematics

2004 Spring Quarter

2003 Spring Quarter

2002 Spring Quarter

COMM ST 197G
Special Topics in Communication Studies: Interpersonal Communication Theory

2004 Spring Quarter

COMM ST 100
Communication Theory

2002 Spring Quarter

COMM ST 197T
Special Topics in Communication Studies: Technology in Communication

2002 Winter Quarter