Editors & Authors
Meet the folks who make the Cyborgology Blog happen.
David A Banks (@da_banks) is a PhD candidate at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Science and Technology Studies Department where he studies the design and construction of public space and digital networks from an anarchist perspective. Most of his research is done using participatory methods and collaborative design. Other areas of interest include the mutual shaping of pop culture and engineering practices, self-organizing systems, and open access publishing. His work has also been featured in The New Inquiry, Tikkun Magazine, The Daily Dot, The Baffler Blog, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. Before coming to RPI, David earned his B.A. in Urban Studies from New College of Florida. More at davidabanks.org. When he isn’t writing he is watching Star Trek with his spouse Britney and their two cats.
Jenny Davis (@Jenny_L_Davis) is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at James Madison University. She studies identity, culture, and technology. She approaches her research theoretically and methodologically from multiple directions, utilizing formal theory and experimental work, participant observation and ethnography. She is engaged in several ongoing projects which often make guest appearances—in varying forms—through the content of her 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. When she’s not teaching, writing, or editing Cyborgology, she’s running amok after three particularly high-energy dogs.
Crystal Abidin (@wishcrys) Dr Crystal Abidin is an anthropologist and ethnographer. She researches internet culture and young people’s relationships with social media, technology, and devices. Her current projects look at contemporary internet folklore, grief and death in digital spaces, romance and coupling in public spaces, and mixed heritage. She is presently finishing up two monographs on blogshop culture and the Influencer industry, and two edited collections on microcelebrity around the world and ethical dilemmas in digital ethnography. Crystal is Postdoctoral Fellow in Sociology at the National University of Singapore, and Affiliate Researcher with the Media Management and Transformation Centre at Jönköping University.
Britney Summit-Gil (@bsummitgil) is a PhD student in Communication and Media at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Her research includes mass media representations and the negotiation of identity in digital environments, specifically constructions of masculine identities. She’s interested in bridging traditional humanities-based approaches with qualitative sociological methods, such as textual analysis informed by ethnographic inquiry. Her academic focus includes community building online, the “postfeminist” media landscape, and the various ways people interpret mass media texts from television and film to inform their understanding of the world. Using affect theory, rhetorical theory, and cultural and media studies approaches she tries, with varying degrees of success, to map the intersections of mass media, digital media, and capitalist ideologies. She lives in upstate New York with two awesome cats and her spouse David Banks. In her spare time she makes cookies, watches trash TV, and browses Reddit because “research.”
Sarah Wanenchak (@dynamicsymmetry) is a doctoral candidate in sociology at the University of Maryland, where their work concerns technology and social movements and how emotion and meaning evolve when the two merge. They have also written extensively on the intersections of social justice, narrative, and video games, and their essay work has been featured in The New Inquiry. They write science fiction and fantasy under a pseudonym and have published several novels to date, and their short fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines, as well as in multiple Year’s Best collections. They spend way too much time yelling about things on Twitter.
Whitney Erin Boesel (@weboesel) is a researcher at both the Berkman Center for Internet & Society and the MIT Center for Civic Media, where she uses qualitative methods and network analysis to study framing and influence in online media (particularly as related to sexual and reproductive health and rights). She is a co-chair of the International Workshop on Misogyny and the Internet (Cambridge, June 2015), an organizer of the annual conference Theorizing the Web (NYC), and an organizer of the unconference Point to Point Camp (Cambridge, May 2015); in her “spare time,” she continues her ongoing (since 2010) ethnographic study of the group Quantified Self and does occasional freelance writing. Her Masters thesis 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 undergraduate thesis was a three-act play. 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.]
Robin James (@doctaj) is Associate Professor of Philosophy at UNC Charlotte. She is author of two books: Resilience & Melancholy: pop music, feminism, and neoliberalism will be published by Zer0 books in early 2015, and The Conjectural Body: gender, race and the philosophy of music was published by Lexington Books in 2010. Her work on feminism, race, contemporary continental philosophy, pop music, and sound studies has appeared in The New Inquiry, Noisey, SoundingOut!, Hypatia, differences, Contemporary Aesthetics, and the Journal of Popular Music Studies. She is also a digital sound artist and musician. Her website, which has PDFs of all her publications, is its-her-factory.com.
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.
Nathan Jurgenson (@nathanjurgenson) is a social media theorist, contributing editor at The New Inquiry, a researcher at Snapchat, and a sociology graduate student at the University of Maryland. 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). Most recently, Nathan has been writing about surveillance, privacy, visibility, and the self. This is being applied to social media and photography for a forthcoming book, and in other work, the design of social platforms around ephemerality and metrics.
PJ Rey (@pjrey) is a PhD candidate at the University of Maryland. He co-founded the annual Theorizing the Web conference and the Cyborgology Blog together with Nathan Jurgenson. His MA thesis argued that social media is an environment where exploitation thrives in a relative absence of alienation. He is beginning dissertation research examining digitally-mediated sex work with a particular interest in how such work is experienced as embodied interaction. When not dissertating, he dabbles in portrait/event photography and hifi geekery.
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 (@nwfisk) 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.