Melissa R. Meade (Founder, Project Director, and Editor) is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Communication at Villanova University. She earned her doctoral degree in Media and Communication at Lew Klein College of Media and Communication, Temple University. She received her master’s from the University of Pennsylvania, a postgraduate diploma from the University of the Basque Country (Spain), and her bachelor’s degree from Albright College. Her multi-year ethnographic dissertation project explored the lived experiences of social and economic change in the Anthracite Coal Region of Northeastern Pennsylvania with a focus on residents’ responses to deindustrialization. Her research interests include social media for community dialogue, ethnography, community-based media, deindustrialization, labor, class studies, social difference, ethnopoetics, autoethnographic writing, and discourse analysis. Meade is the author of the essay “In the Shadow of the Coal Breaker: Place and Landscape in the Anthracite Coal Mining Region,” which was winner of the Donald P. Cushman Memorial Award from the National Communication Association, 2015 and received Top Competitive Paper and John T. Warren Top Student Paper in Ethnography, also from National Communication Association, 2015. Her work has been published in Discourse & Communication, Cultural Studies, CineJ Cinema Journal and International Encyclopedia of Communication Research Methods. Her writing won both “Journal Article of the Year” in American Studies and “Top Journal Article” in Ethnography from the National Communication Association in 2017. Meade has received a number of research grants including the “Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research Dissertation Grant.” Meade presents regularly at peer-reviewed learned association conferences including the National Communication Association, the International Communication Association, the American Anthropological Association, the Southern States Communication Association, Global Fusion, and the Pennsylvania Communication Association. She also frequently serves as a panel chair, organizer, respondent, and moderator. The granddaughter and great-granddaughter of coal miners, Meade grew up in the Anthracite Coal Region listening to her grandfather’s stories about laboring in the local mines.
Jennie Levine Knies (Research Associate and Technical Advisor) is the Head Librarian at Penn State’s Wilkes-Barre campus. She was the head of Digital Programs and Initiatives at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she managed the digital repositories and was a principle investigator for Maryland’s National Digital Newspaper Program grant. She received her MLS from the University of Maryland, with a concentration in archives. She has written several papers discussing collaboration with faculty, both digital and analog, and has participated in numerous Digital Humanities-related projects. She is active in the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference, serving as the vice-chair of that organization from 2007-2009. Since 2015 she has worked on the Anthracite Coal Region of Northeastern Pennsylvania Project, assisting in the design, archiving, and documentation of the project.