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Matthew Howard

Graduate Student

Ph.D. in Communication, Rhetoric and Digital Media

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Matt is concerned with critical examinations of Koreanness in and through digital media. His current work sits at the intersection of digital leisure (such as gaming and esports), fandom, racialization, diaspora, and transnationalism, particularly through postcolonial theories. His current driving questions ask how different kinds of platformization and globalized digital cultural production disrupt, perpetuate, and/or resist the dynamics of settler colonialism, especially as experienced by people navigating the fluid process of identity construction.

Trained as a cultural historian with a background in world history, Matt is concerned with the ways power works through technological and socio-cultural conventions governing how we have spent our free time, as well as how those interactions affect the ways people know the world and themselves within it. Some of his hot-button topics include Asiatics, racial passing & hybridities, feminisms & masculinities, historical knowledge constructions, and subjectivation in global contexts.


Howard, M. J. (2022). Highway to the Golden Zone(fire): PC Bangs and Techno-Orientalism in the StarCraft II Visual Novel. Journal of Games Criticism 5(Bonus Issue A).

Howard, M. J. (2018). Esport: Professional League of Legends as Cultural History [Master’s Thesis, University of Houston].

Non-Scholarly Publications

Howard, M. J. (2019). In Hushed Voices: Censorship and Corporate Power in Professional League of Legends 2010-2017. In J. Hiltscher & T. M. Scholz (Eds.) eSports Yearbook 2017/18 (p. 29-43). BoD – Books on Demand, Norderstedt.


Bascuñan-Wiley, N., & Howard, M. J. (2022). Memory as a Field Site: Making (Sense of) Empanadas and Doenjang-jjigae [Conference Presentation]. International Symposium on Autoethnography and Narrative, Remote.

Howard, M. J. (2021). Kimjang Colonialism: (Re/De-) Constructions of Koreanness and Platform Imperialism Through Digital Kimchi Recipes [Conference Presentation]. Sixth International Conference on Communication & Media Studies.

Howard, M. J. (2021). Meet the Koreans: Esports Spectatorship Interfaces and Techno-Orientalist Racialization [Conference Presentation]. PCA/ACA National Conference.

Howard, M. J. (2021). There Are Some Who Call Me…Smeb: A Historical Ontology of Esports Usernames [Conference Presentation]. North American Society for Sport History Annual Convention.

(Conference Cancelled due to COVID-19) Howard, M. J. (2020). What ‘They’ Saw, What ‘We’ Say: The Nature of Historical Knowledge(s) in Battlefield V [Conference Presentation]. PCA/ACA National Conference.

Howard, M. J. (2019). Going Public: Writing Center Outreach and the Battle Against Justifying Inequality [Conference Presentation]. South Central Writing Centers Association Conference.

Howard, M. J. (2019). The Language of ‘Bronzeness’: The League of Legends Community’s Aristocracy of Rank [Conference Presentation]. PCA/ACA National Conference.

Howard, M. J. (2018). Ouvriers de l’Ordinateur: Work, Suffering, and Sport Heroism in Western Esports [Poster Presentation]. UCI Esports Conference.

Howard, M. J. (2018). Anything but Commonplace: Usernames as Cultural Carriers in League of Legends Subculture [Conference Presentation]. PCA/ACA National Conference.


B.A. French Language and Literature & European History Stony Brook University (SUNY) 2013

M.A. European History, Minor in World History University of Houston 2018