Mona Kasra headshot

Mona Kasra

Associate Professor
Unit: College of Arts and Sciences
Department: Department of Drama
Office location and address
209 Drama Bldg.
109 Culbreth Rd
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903

Mona Kasra is an Assistant Professor of Digital Media Design in the Department of Drama at the University of Virginia (UVa). A cross-disciplinary scholar and a creative practitioner, she employs, explores, and experiments with existing and emerging media to enhance the concepts of narrative and performative arts.

Mona has exhibited work in numerous gallery and online exhibitions and has programmed, curated, and served as a juror for several film festivals and art exhibitions. She often employs video editing, remapping and spatial techniques (through the use of multiple projections) to address theoretical concerns that arise from her research inquiries. She is a member of the DWZ, a Dallas-based collective of performance, visual, sound, and installation artists dedicated to post-disciplinary, place-based explorations of new, old and yet to be revealed forms of theater and performance. The DWZ mission is to develop a unique aesthetic and encourage original, experimental, and collectively created work that defies categories and convention. Since its founding in 2011, DWZ has produced many original works, written and directed by Thomas Riccio, including blahblah, Flesh World, (w)hole, T.N.B, and kaRaoKe MoTeL, for which Mona has created multiple video installations.

Mona received her Ph.D. in Arts and Technology, with a focus in emerging media & communication, from the University of Texas at Dallas. In her research, she applies an interdisciplinary framework combining semiotics, media theory, and cultural studies to examine the power and impact of online images upon cross-cultural and cross-political life in the networked age. She has presented her research at various conferences, including The Society for Photographic Education (SPE), The Society for Literature, Science and the Arts (SLSA), Union for Democratic Communications (UDC), SXSW Interactive, and Social Media & Society. She is committed to transdisciplinary and collaborative modes of scholarship, as her work has thrived in collaborative spaces such as ACM SIGGRAPH, Digital Societies and Social Technologies (DSST) Institute, and the HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory) Scholars program, an online scholarly community funded by the MacArthur Foundation.

In 2016, Mona serves as Conference Chair at ACM SIGGRAPH, undertaking an engaged role in the strategic planning, leading, and managing of the world’s largest, most influential annual conference on the theory and practice of computer graphics and interactive techniques.

EGMT 1510: Engaging Aesthetics
Credits: 2
In this class students will learn to identify, describe, and analyze aesthetic phenomena, understand the social role and ongoing evolution of human creative expression, and develop their own approach to creative expression.
EGMT 1530: Engaging Difference
Credits: 2
In this class, students will learn to critically reflect on one's own situation and perspective in relations to one's expanding knowledge of other human experiences, seeking to cultivate a framework for informed reflection on human diversity and social complexity while developing empathy as a foundation for democratic citizenship.
ARTS 1559: New Course in Studio Art
Credits: 1–4
New course in the subject of studio art.
ARTS 2220: Introduction to New Media I
Credits: 3
This class introduces digital techniques in the context of fine art. Topics covered include digital imaging and basic interactive art.
DRAM 2830: Production Lab: Digital Media
Credits: 1–3
DRAM 2830 is a hands-on, experiential course in which students apply digital media design principles, methods, and techniques in correlation with the current Drama production schedule. Students learn the application of media technology to actual theatrical production projects. May be repeated up to four credits. DRAM 2830 requires participation as Video/Media Operator or Assistant for a main stage production.
DRAM 2840: Design Studio Lab
Credits: 1–3
This is a hands-on course in which students work closely with the instructor to research and develop creative design solutions for performing arts and theatrical productions. It provides students a working forum to collaboratively and independently experiment with and apply principles, methods, and elements of design and design process to specific projects. May be repeated up to four credits.
DRAM 3820: Video Design I
Credits: 3
Combining creative practice and critical discourse, this hands-on course grants students an opportunity to learn and utilize the crafts of digital video design in the context of contemporary installation, projection and performance arts. Students experiment with the many ways of designing time-based media and explore the role of video storytelling in the topography of 21st-century theater and live performance.
DRAM 3825: Media Design Studio
Credits: 3
This course provides a practical forum to employ and integrate a diverse array of existing and emerging media technologies into live performance and performative storytelling. Students will explore and experiment with new media-infused design approaches to enhance the narrative and to actively engage, communicate, and interact with the audience.
DRAM 4593: Special Topics in Performance
Credits: 1–3
A directed study in acting or performance offered to upper-level students. Prerequisite: Instructor permission.
IMP 4970: Interdisciplinary Thesis
Credits: 3
Required Thesis for Interdisciplinary majors.
IMP 4971: Interdisciplinary Thesis
Credits: 3
Required Thesis for Interdisciplinary majors.
DRAM 4993: Independent Study
Credits: 1–3
Independent study conducted under the supervision of a specific instructor(s).
CS 4998: Distinguished BA Majors Research
Credits: 3
Required for Distinguished Majors completing the Bachelor of Arts degree in the College of Arts and Sciences. An introduction to computer science research and the writing of a Distinguished Majors thesis. Prerequisites: CS 2150 or CS 2501 topic DSA2 with a grade of C- or higher, and BSCS major