I am a writer, a speaker and an academic, interested in how the Internet has been changing our notions of the public, the private and the pornographic at the global level. My political leanings are feminist, anti-racist and post-colonial. My teaching tends toward dialectical, genealogical, and materialist critique. People used to say my research and writing veered into over-share, but now that auto-ethnography and academic memoir is back in style, all seems cool again.
I teach full-time in NYU’s Global Liberal Studies Program, and I really love it. My colleagues are great, my students are a joy, I am traveling all the time, and the interdisciplinary structure of the place makes me feel like I’m on Final Jeopardy nearly every day. Prior to this, I was a Senior Lecturer at the University of East London (U.K.) and an Assistant Professor at the University of the Virgin Islands (U.S.)–also great places.
Lately, I’ve been preoccupied with international production, circulation, and public conversations around “selfies.” Frustrated with the lack of coordination among people studying this phenomenon around the world, I began an academic Selfies Research Network on Facebook. We are now at 1100 members; feel free to join! I’m also co-editing a special selection on selfies for the International Journal of Communication. My co-editor Nancy Baym of Microsoft Research insisted we go with IJOC because they are peer-reviewed, online and open access, which means everyone gets to read. She’s very smart.
When that is done, I’ll get back to working on my newest book, tentatively titled: Famous to Fifteen: Towards a Theory of Microcelebrity Culture. It extends some of the theoretical work of my last book, Camgirls: Celebrity & Community in the Age of Social Networks, which was an auto-ethnographic study of female webcam users (as in, I too put a webcam in my house) back in the Olden Days of Camming (that is, circa 2000.) If you’d like to read something that quickly maps the social and political parameters of micro-celebrity, a term I sort of coined by accident a few years ago, you could read this short piece.
Oh, because it just came out, I want to mention The Routledge Handbook of Social Media, which I co-edited with Jeremy Hunsinger. If you look at the Amazon price, you’ll see it’s more than 100 bucks, which is crazy stupid, which is why I put a chapter I co-wrote on race and social media with Safiya Noble here to download. If you’d like to see any other stuff, check out the “publication” tab, above…
In addition to writing, public intellectual life matters to me. I’ll go pretty much anywhere to give a talk, especially if students are involved. I’ve been a guest on radio and television programs, worked with advertising agencies and museums, and once, I even got to be part of a great documentary. I’ve published in The New York Times and other venues, and I was recently invited to speak at a TED Salon event, held in London. If you want to know more about talks or press, it’s all above.
Gah, enough about me. Who are you? Are you a reader, a teacher, a student, a reporter, or someone who clicked the wrong link?
Should we be talking? If so, please drop me a line. I would love to hear from you
Oh, I almost forgot:
Years ago, I ran a webcam 24/7 from my house, while I was writing the Camgirls book. Now I only turn it on occasionally to show cat antics, but when I do, you can watch, below.