University of California, Riverside


Derek Burrill Derek Burrill Associate Professor of Media and Cultural Studies

Topics: Academy Awards
Spike and Mike

Preferred Media: Print, Radio, Video

Contact Card

Tel: (951) 827-1261

Media Contact: Bettye Miller
Tel: (951) 827-7847


Derek Burrill studies performance and movement in digital games, as well as the cultural and artistic impact of video and computer gaming. His interests include Media Theory, Film and Television and gender studies. His book, “Die Tryin’: Videogames, Masculinity, Culture,” was published by Peter Lang in 2008. His work has appeared in Modern Drama, Text Technology, Social Semiotics, and Television and New Media, as well as in anthologies such as ScreenPlay, Spirited Away, and Resolutions 3.  Professor Burrill sits on the editorial boards of Games and Culture and the Journal of Games and Virtual Worlds. He is also an active producer of digital and analog art.

On Academy Awards

Professor Burrill has studied the Academy Awards for years, and has created an Oscars fantasy league for friends. A onetime seat-filler many years ago, he also follows odds on potential Academy Award winners posted at betting centers in Las Vegas. “It’s big business, just like sports betting,” he says. He is available to discuss how the Academy Awards are run; the awards season in general; how previous ceremonies have been received and how they are produced; and gender and sexuality, ethnicity, class, and all categories associated with actors and audiences.

On Spike and Mike

The Spike and Mike Festival of Animation collection, which was donated to UC Riverside in 2014, is an important archive for scholars examining the role of animation in American culture and film since the 1970s, Derek Burrill said.

“It represents the biggest and longest-running festival of animation in the world and has the largest collection of animated shorts in this country. The impact for UCR in acquiring this archive is that it puts us on the level of other schools like UCLA and USC with major media archives.”

“Animation isn’t just for kids. It never has been,” he said. “This festival was the place that recognized that. It gave animators early in their careers a space to present their work and push the boundaries of taste and maturity.  Spike and Mike showed great foresight. We are incredibly thankful to Spike that UCR is the place where his and Mike’s legacy will be honored.”