Meet the folks who make the Cyborgology Blog happen.
Nathan Jurgenson (@nathanjurgenson) is a social media theorist, Contributing Editor of The New Inquiry, and a sociology graduate student at the University of Maryland, working on a dissertation about self-documentation and social media. The research is driven most fundamentally by the understanding that we increasingly live in an “augmented reality,” a perspective that views the digital and physical as enmeshed, opposed to viewing them as distinct (what he calls “digital dualism”). Nathan is also interested in and has published on how social media has triggered the rise of the digital “prosumer” (one who produces that which they consume and vice versa). For instance, Facebook users are both producers and consumers of the site. Together with George Ritzer, Nathan has founded the Prosumer Studies Research Group, which has published work on the topic. Finally, Nathan is also an active photographer and musician in New York City. His website is: nathanjurgenson.com.
PJ Rey (@pjrey) lives and works as a photographer in Austin, Texas. He is a PhD candidate in Sociology at the University of Maryland. His dissertation examines the social construction of online/offline and cyberspace and how these interpretive frames shape the questions researchers ask. His works asks how the world might be different if we saw digital technology as prosthetic extensions of our selves–embodying our subjectivity in new ways–rather than as the boundary point between new and separate worlds. Important to this research is the question: Who benefits from a certain way of framing of digital technology and who is marginalized? He is also interesting in how the Web mediates important human activities such as labor, play, dating, and sex. For more information, visit: pjrey.tumblr.com.
David A. Banks (@DA_Banks) is a M.S./Ph.D. student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Before coming to RPI, David spent four years getting his B.A. in Urban Studies at New College of Florida. His research interests include space, place, cyborgs, and networked bodies. He cares very deeply about what built environments do to people, and what people can do to their environments. He is currently working under the NSF’s GK-12 fellowship program, teaching science in urban school districts and developing new learning technologies. David is also an avid star trek fan, an anarchist, a comic book nerd, and addicted to his twitter account. Find that account and other stuff at www.davidabanks.org.
Whitney Erin Boesel (@weboesel) is a Ph.D. student in Sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz and a Project Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. Before starting graduate school, Whitney graduated from MIT with a B.S. in Writing and worked in the Cambridge, MA non-profit sector. Her Masters thesis at UCSC focused on direct-to-consumer genetic testing, personal genomics, and self-tracking practices as part of a new form of biomedicalization that she cheekily terms “biomedicalization 2.0”; her dissertation research extends this work through an ongoing ethnographic engagement with the self-tracking group Quantified Self. Her other major (academic) interests include social media, sex and gender, and the sociology of emotion; her theatre scripts have been performed in Cambridge, MA, and her creative writing has appeared both under her legal name and under various pseudonyms. [Whitney uses her full name in professional or formal contexts, and her last name is pronounced "basil"—like the herb.]
Jenny Davis (@Jenny_L_Davis) is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at James Madison University. She studies identity, culture, technology and communication. She approaches her research theoretically and methodologically from multiple directions, utilizing formal theory and experimental work, survey research, and participant observation and ethnography. She is engaged in several ongoing projects which often make guest appearances—in varying forms—through the content of her weekly blog posts. Her publications appear in sociology, communication, and interdisciplinary journals. An active proponent of accessible scholarship, you can find select articles un-paywalled on her academia.edu page.
Robin James (@doctaj) is Associate Professor of Philosophy at UNC Charlotte, and faculty affiliate of the UC Santa Cruz Digital And New Media program. Her theoretical work addresses the interaction between music, sound, and systems of political organization (like gender or race). She is currently working on two manuscripts: one is about pop music, biopolitics, and goth; the other is about the role of sound in neoliberal epistemology and aesthetics. Her work in digital sound art creatively examines the issues in feminist/queer/critical race/disability studies, continental philosophy, and music studies that she explores in her theoretical writing. Robin has published articles in The New Inquiry, Hypatia, Contemporary Aesthetics, and The Journal of Popular Music Studies, and a book titled The Conjectural Body: Gender, Race, and the Philosophy of Music. For info about her current projects, and links to un-paywalled copies of her published research, visit her blog, its-her-factory.blogspot.com.
Sarah Wanenchak (@dynamicsymmetry) is a PhD student at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her current research focuses on contentious politics and communications technology in a global context, particularly the role of emotion mediated by technology as a mobilizing force. She has also done work on the place of culture in combat and warfare, including the role of video games in modern war and meaning-making. More generally, she has long been interested in narrative and storytelling, and how stories work to shape wider social discourses. Along those lines, she occasionally publishes speculative fiction under a pseudonym.
David Paul Strohecker (@dpsFTW) is getting his PhD from the University of Maryland, College Park. He studies under Patricia Hill Collins and George Ritzer, focusing on issues of intersectionality, consumption, and popular culture. He got his BA in 2009 from Texas A&M University, where he studied under Joe R. Feagin, and wrote for the blog RacismReview.com. He currently studies popular culture, but remains interested in issues of race relations, white privilege, and gender inequality. He is currently doing work on the popularization of tattooing, a project on the revolutionary pedagogy of public sociology, and more theoretical work on zombie films as a vehicle for expressing social and cultural anxieties.
Nilofar Ansher (@culture_curate) is pursuing her Master of Arts in Ancient Civilizations from the University of Mumbai, India. She is an editor, writer and researcher and blogs at http://www.trailofpapercuts.wordpress.com.
Sally Applin (@AnthroPunk) is a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Kent at Canterbury, UK, in the Centre for Social Anthropology and Computing (CSAC). Sally researches the impact of technology on culture, and vice versa.
Mike Bulajewski (@MrTeacup) is a Master’s student in Human-Centered Design & Engineering at the University of Washington.
Piergiorgio Degli Esposti (@pgde) studies Market and Consumption Behavior and is Assistant professor at Bologna University, Italy and a Marketing Consultant.
Nathan Fisk is a danah boyd fanboy and adjunct lecturer teaching “Youth and Teens Online” in the Science & Technology Studies department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Doug Hill (@DougHill25) is a journalist and independent scholar who has studied the history and philosophy of technology for fifteen years. More of this and other technology-related topics can be found on his blog, The Question Concerning Technology.
Airi Lampinen (@airi_) is a graduate student in Social Psychology at the University of Helsinki, Finland, and a researcher at Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIIT. Currently, she is interning at Microsoft Research New England.
Tanya Lokot (@tanyalokot) is a second-year PhD student at the University of Maryland, College Park, pursuing a degree in journalism and media studies. Her interests include social social movements, urban protest in post-Soviet countries, digital media, augmented dissent, memes and data visualization.
Cheri Lucas (@cherilucas) focuses on literary nonfiction and memoir on her blog, Writing Through the Fog, and explores ideas on the self, relationships, social media, memory, and home in a physical-digital world. She is based in San Francisco.
Timothy McGettigan is a professor of sociology at Colorado State University – Pueblo.
Christine Moore (@thisthingblows) studies sexuality and is currently pursuing her Masters in sociology at the University of Texas San Antonio. She reluctantly tweets.
Sang-Hyoun Pahk is a sociology student at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Dave Parry (@academicdave) studies how the digital network transforms our political relations. He is an assistant professor of Emerging Media at the University of Texas at Dallas. His work can be found at http://www.outsidethetext.com.
Matt Rafalow is a Ph.D. student in Sociology at University of California, Irvine, studying intersections of technology, youth, and social inequality.
George Ritzer is a distinguished professor at the University of Maryland and the author of many books including The McDonaldization of Society and Enchanting a Disenchanted World.
L. M. Sacasas (@FrailestThing) is a PhD student in the University of Central Florida’s “Texts & Technology” program exploring the intersections of bodies, spaces, and technology. He blogs at The Frailest Thing.
Evan Selinger (@evanselinger) is an associate professor of philosophy at Rochester Institute of Technology.
Marc Smith (@marc_smith) is a sociologist specializing in the social organization of online communities and computer mediated interaction. Smith co-founded the Social Media Research Foundation, a non-profit devoted to open tools, data, and scholarship related to social media research.
Francesca Tanmizi is an ex-Sociology major at Loyola Marymount University who only realized she missed writing Sociology essays after graduation.
Samuel Tettner is a Venezuela-born globally situated cyborg, interested in science, technology and their critical and empowering understanding, currently pursuing a Masters degree in Society, Science and Technology in the Netherlands.
Samuel Zwaan (@mediawetenschap) is a teacher and student in Media Studies at Utrecht University.