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,  in 2104 I began an academic Selfies Research Network. Our Facebook Group is now at 2500 members; feel free to join!

A few things have come out you might wish to read on that front:

  • I recently co-edited 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. If you are looking for a good overview piece for students, you might find our introduction, called “What Does the Selfie Say? Examining a Global Phenomenon” of use.
  • Last year, a handful of educators in our Research Network around the world produced a six week, open access syllabus that uses selfies to help students think about identity, interpellation, branding, celebrity, sexuality, race, criminality, geography and dataveillance.  If you would like to see a full description of how the project worked, feel free to check out the chapter, “The Selfies Course: More than a MOOC,” forthcoming in an anthology from Ashgate.

Right now, I’m working on my newest book, tentatively titled: The Grab: Theorizing Social Media’s Strange Intimacies.  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. That book is probably best well known fro coining the term “micro-celebrity.” If you’d like to read something that quickly maps the social and political parameters of micro-celebrity,  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